posture has nothing to do with 'should'
posture has everything to do with your constantly changing relationship to gravity
And...how your body is organized in relationship to itself--internally.
There are many ways to find our vertical axis besides the spine
Posture is the relationship of the various ‘diaphragms’ of the body: the top of the skull, the vocal chords, the thoracic (the most well known) & the pelvis. We also include the shoulder girdle, the knees, the arches of the feet. Changes to how these areas relate to each other–& to gravity–have effects well beyond looking taller. How do these areas ‘naturally’ relate? In other words, what is your resting posture when you’re standing in line not thinking about it?
Although such a resting stance feels extremely ‘natural’ it’s not necessarily correct to think of it as our ‘natural’ posture. Rather, it’s the posture we’ve formed for ourselves through years of habit. For most of us, this underlying posture can benefit from some internal reorganization. Why? When we make lasting changes, our dynamic, responsive posture-s become easier & more graceful. Our organs get healthier–with more space they function with less unnecessary strain. We get stronger simply because our bones & muscles are unburdened of stresses they aren’t designed for. And we start relating to ourselves, each other & our environment in a very different way.
Using our muscles to suddenly “stand up straight” just makes us tired!
How often have we heard (or said) “don’t slouch!” or “lengthen your spine!” Quickly lifting our chests or sucking in our bellies doesn’t result in any lasting changes to our posture. Why? Why can’t we simply hold ourselves in the picture of perfect posture? One reason is that posture is not fixed; it’s a reaction to all the forces (gravity being the main one) that effect us as we move through our days. Another reason has to do with connective tissue…
Look at the the tensegrity model above. The flexible, movable wires are what holds the rods in space, and in relationship to each other. In our bodies, connective tissue acts in the same way & our bones act more as spacers. Bones don’t hold us up! To make lasting change to our posture, we have to effect the connective tissue. There are many somatic and physical practices that we can explore to help us achieve a better internal organization–and that’s what results in the outwardly visible form of ‘good posture.’
So...what's the dirt? How to stand, dance & saunter well between earth & sky?
keep scrolling down for some resources...
Explore the relationship between the thoracic & pelvic diaphragm.