AH! What beautiful posture!
We all strive for better posture and alignment for many reasons:
1. Our bodies are put together in a way that allows for movement AND stability - and we need a lot of both. When our bodies are aligned, the bones are stacked up in such a way that they are ready for anything; we can handle whatever life brings to us. If our bodies are stuck in a certain position, then we are unable to move in the opposite direction- and if we push through it we risk injuring the tissues around that site. For example, we can have our chin stuck in a forward position from looking at a computer screen all day and then when we try to curl our chin back in for 100s in Pilates class, it is too much strain on the neck and it hurts! By improving our alignment, we can work with the body's natural,wonderful biomechanics, we can use the inherent stability that is built into our structure without having to overwork, AND we can enjoy ease of motion without having to "push" for flexibility.
2. We need good alignment so that our body can wear our body out all at the same time! All the components of our joints: bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, are shaped in a particular way to give us maximum movement and stability. For example, the vertebrae of our spine are shaped to allow for curves throughout the spine, creating a natural shock absorption so that when we walk run or jump there is a springiness in the spine, making it more resilient to wear and tear. If we take away that natural spring by overly rounding our upper back from too many hours at a desk, we are wearing out those vertebrae faster then the others and osteoarthritis may set in prematurely. If we maintain good posture, our spine will wear and tear naturally and evenly through all the segments, so that we have a long, healthy, pain free life.
3. The vanity issue: Not only does proper alignment look good, but it allows us to develop optimal muscle tone. Ever wonder why jeans don't look quite like you imagine they should look on you when you look at yourself from behind in the mirror?? Maybe you are letting your hips push forward too much, so the pockets in the back of your jeans looks a little, ahem, pinched. Maybe if you bring your hips back your glutes will be able to fire properly and have better TONE, and not so much TENSION.
Looking at the ideal alignment picture, it can look a little too theoretical. Maybe you're thinking, "Isn't that how I look already?" Well, hopefully yes, but over the next few weeks I will show some typical postural issues and discuss the problems that can arise, so you can see where you might fit in and if you can make some positive steps toward a happier body:)
Ten years ago I bought the secnod edition of this book to help me resolve severe back pain. At the time I could not bend over the sink when brushing my teeth without putting my hand on the counter because of the pain in my lower back. I used the exercises every day for about 6 weeks. At the end of that time I was back to jogging and being pain free. The book went onto my bookshelf.Now I am taking the book out again. I haven't been maintaining the exercises and have low back pain again. I am confident that I'll be feeling good again by returning to the exercises that Judith Scott presents so well. The pictures and descriptions are wonderful.
If you have low If you have low , mid-back pain, etc., there is a really good book caleld Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno. It conveys, without a doubt, the most Responsible Content on the matter that I have ever come across and is NOT about anatomy in general. You can google his name. You can probably find it at your local library if you don't want to purchase it. P.S. I've had 2 discectomies in the past didn't know better, and ..yeah, it's a really worthwhile read.