If you don’t balance, you fall down! Our bodies would fall forward without muscles pulling us back. We’re unconsciously using our muscles reflexively to balance when we sit, stand, sleep, or work.
Habits trains the body to balance differently. Plus, injury trains the body to move in ways that avoid pain. Over time, the body adapts, and even if you change habits or the pain goes away, the unbalanced patterns of motion persist.
We often believe we’re standing straight and upright because our brain is being told by our senses that we are balanced, even though actually, we’re not.
The truth of how we stand is visible in a posture picture, or a mirror.
How balanced is your posture?
Stand in front of a mirror and close your eyes
Now stand up straight with your best posture
Don’t move, but open your eyes.
What do you see?
Is your head level or cocked slightly to one side?
Are your shoulders level or do you detect one is actually higher than the other?
What about your hips? Is your belt line perfectly level?
Is your nose inline with your belly button, and centered above your feet?
There is no such thing as perfect posture, but there are certainly stronger and weaker postures. Any asymmetry is a sign that there’s room to improve, and might be related to recurring back or neck pain. A severely crooked posture can indicate scoliosis or longstanding spinal distortion. If you notice your posture isn’t balanced consider getting a posture check from a professional.
Strengthen your Balance
Stand tall in front of a mirror
Roll your shoulders up, back and drop them down
Lift your left leg until your thigh is parallel with the floor
Keep standing tall (don’t collapse or wave your arms around)
Hold this for 5 sloooooww breaths
Repeat with the right leg
Wobbly? Touch a wall to steady yourself.
Article from Posture Month