To Perk or not to Perk up your Posture

Do you catch yourself slouching at your desk or dinner table? Has anyone ever told you to sit up straight? From a very early age I was always being told to straighten my back, threats of a rod being put up my spine didn’t make me sit up any straighter because I always forgot.  It was much more comfortable for me to sit with a bit of a slump.  Roll on 30 odd years, after a couple of years of Pilates most days, I noticed a significant improvement.

I first started to notice that I could sit straighter for longer without feeling much of a stretch in  the back of my thighs especially when doing the Pilates exercise Spine Stretch.  I would also catch myself in a mirror and notice I was sitting and standing taller.

Then I got a bit obsessed, a Pilates Instructor with bad posture certainly isn’t going to be a good advertisement for the practice and early in my teacher training a teacher mentioned a movement would be difficult for me because of my kyphotic spine. I admit I felt offended, embarrassed and left the session feeling low.

From that day I vowed, unless someone asked me, I would not label anyone with a “faulty” posture.

Is Faulty Posture actually a thing

Yes there are such things as faulty postures, abnormal curvatures of the spine. They have unfortunate names like Kyphosis, Lordosis, Scoliosis and can happen for many different reasons.  They can be structural, inherited, caused by certain conditions and can cause lower back pain, shoulder pain and/or stiffness.

But if you aren’t in pain and you don’t have any goals that are related to changing your “posture” I am not going to label you, you don’t need any more body hangups to add to the ones which you may already have.

Kensho Boutique Pilates Brisbane

Bringing quality Pilates Instruction to Bulimba

Pilates Exercises and Posture

There are exercises in the Pilates repertoire that are not suited for certain types of spine shapes and there are exercises that can help stabilise and strengthen.  In any Pilates exercise you are working on the body as a whole so you could be doing an exercise that directly relates to your non-postural related goal like strengthening your core or toning your booty but will help work towards retraining the balance of any mis-alignments wherever they may be. 

Do you want to sit straighter for longer? Even if you have a diagnosed postural function that you would like to work on correcting or you are in pain and your goal is to become pain free you would still work the body as a whole.  As humans, we are not designed to be in one position all the time, we are designed to move.  If you spend a lot of time in one position, let’s really think about how much you sit, do you sit for work? driving, eating, having a coffee then when we do something different like go to the gym or pick up a basket of laundry our body might not like it and it won’t be long in sending us that painful message.

What if I want to Perk up my Posture?

The message is to keep moving, even try a different way of sitting.  

  • Keep moving
  • Try sitting in a different position 
  • Sit on the floor
  • Do Pilates

The body won’t be long in telling you that it’s time to move. Pain is telling us we need to move.  Most ignore it, pop a paracetamol and continue doing the same thing - take action and do something about it.  Pilates is one way and I will say the best way for me and for many more.

If you want to get moving with Pilates, reach your goals without any judgement or added body hangups get in touch with me via the contact page.  

~ Elaine 💋

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