How do we know what is good posture given the range of bodies out there? When we hold ourselves in good alignment, there should be a sense of softness in the body – it shouldn’t feel like we’re really struggling to hold ourselves up. Here are some simple ways to improve your posture when standing:
  • feet hip width apart
  • stand with even weight between your left and right feet
  • 2/3rds of your body weight should be felt through your ankle (your toes should be able to wriggle freely)
  • soften your knees (unlock them 1mm)
  • your pelvis and shoulders should be directly stacked over your ankle joints
  • let your bottom relax
  • lengthen your whole spine and imagine your head is a helium balloon floating away from your shoulders
  • let your shoulders relax in this posture as though they are softly draped or floating over your ribcage (‘shoulders back and down’ does not necessarily equal good posture as this makes our muscles work hard around our shoulder blades and back)
  • breathe into the base of the ribcage— this is your neutral position, ie position of least tension
I am drawn more and more to the importance of foot care and awareness when analysing posture and helping people to understand how to improve their postural positions. Get your feet right, then the rest of the body will often soften tremendously. A great link demonstrating the importance of your feet and some feel good self treatments can be found on Kit Laughlin’s Foot sequence.