Posture is a concept that most people think of being a simple concept, “it’s just the way someone’s body sits!”,
But it’s so much more than that. Our posture is connected to every layer of who we are.
It is everything in regards to the strength and durability of our physical bodies.
Our whole lives up to this point dictate how we hold our bodies, from workout routines, to sports, to desk work, to being overly lazy and sitting too much. Our bodies do a great deal to adapt to the imbalances and misalignment that injury and bad habits lead us to. What will happen is that through constant use, certain muscles may become overly tight, or tonic, and others will become perpetually weak, or phasic.
An example of this may be found in somebody who sits too much from desk work or driving. This act of sitting causes the hip flexor muscle group to be consistently contracted, which will then shorten over time. This shortening could pull our lumbar spine out of alignment, and stress the vertebrae. The gluteus muscles then become phasic, or weakened, and won’t properly activate to stabilize our pelvis and back when we move.
Another example could be an imbalanced weight lifting routine. From the time I’ve seen in a gym, many people overdevelop their chest muscle with excessive pressing exercises. (“Chest day every day!”). This then leads to an imbalance around the shoulder girdle, and injury if this imbalance is not addressed.
These are only two instances of many describing what can lead us to a bad posture, and how aligning yourself will reduce the chance injury and increase the structural integrity of a solid, strong body.
Our physical posture also affects the stress on our mental and emotional states, and our mental/emotional stress will affect it! We are holistic, interconnected beings. Simply looking at a person’s body can give you an silent snapshot as to how that personal is feeling.
When you see someone who isn’t feeling the best about themselves and they’re feeling depressed, how do they hold themselves?
They’ll walk around with awful posture. Their heads will be down, and their shoulders hunched over.
When someone endures mental traumas and depression on a consistent basis, this will develop what is known as neurotic holding patterns. These holding patterns are how internal tensions will manifest in someones physical body.
Many people have holding patterns where they will constantly, subconsciously gnaw and chew on things when they are mentally stressed and overthinking. They don’t even realize it. This will cause plenty of muscular tensions around the jaw and neck musculature.
Our breathing is also limited when we get into these holding patterns. When one walks around with their head down and shoulders slouched, this literally depresses the sternum. It can drop by up to an inch, and the muscles around the neck will become overly tight, not able to contract and expand the rib cage properly as done with deep, diaphragmatic breathing.
Taking short, shallow, labored breaths because of bad posture will, over time, put our bodies into a state of sympathetic overload. Sympathetic overload refers to how our nervous system handles stress, and this is otherwise known as your “fight or flight” response. The sympathetic branch on your nervous system is opposite the parasympathetic nervous system. Stimulating the parasympathetic brand gives you a “rest and digest” response. The yin/yang of stress balance, in simple terms. Stimulating the sympathetic nervous systems breaks the body down, while the parasympathetic recovers the body. They are both needed, but in balance.
Thing is, we are already “sympathetic” enough, mentally stressed out by the million things going on in our daily lives and chemically stressed from the toxic load we typically force our bodies to endure. Deep breathing exercises are a great way to stimulate a recovering, energy enhancing response. These exercises will relax the tension in our holding patterns, and improve our physical and mental postures.
Our posture tells a lot about us. Improving it will involve focusing on not only improve your physical body, but mental complex as well. Reciprocally, we must utilize positive de-stressing techniques like breathing exercises, yoga, and bioenergetic meditations to break loose those tension patterns within our body.
My first eBook, Posturology, delves deeper into posture, and how to improve these “muscle viruses” that we all carry.
To support my work, pick it up on Amazon at this link here: http://amzn.to/2h5ZVay