Good posture with self awareness.

 Look at your posture. From the front you should have a level pelvis and your shoulders should sit aligned with a straight back, from the side your ankles can be used as a reference point.  Most people think of posture in terms of alignment, proper posture means sitting or standing up straight, with your chest out and your shoulders back.  That’s what we were taught as kids, and we were taught to achieve this posture through effort.  Proper posture, is difficult to maintain.  Some people manage to do it with tension and effort; others just give up and resign themselves to a life of bad posture.

Muscles are not meant to support weight directly, but to align the skeleton to support the body in gravity and to generate the forces necessary for movement.  A good natural balance produces a skeletal alignment (posture) that may seem similar to that prescribed by proper posture as described above, but that is maintained in a very different way.  Proper posture is produced by continuous effort, natural balancecan be relaxed and effortless.

Three factors contribute to postural problems — poor balance, unnecessary effort, and lack of self-awareness.  Lack of self- awareness is widespread in society.  Few people are aware of how poor their balance is or how much unnecessary tension they carry. Habitual tensions in the ribcage and neck pull the head and torso forward, worsening balance.  Poor balance adds tension, as muscles contract to support off-center weight. Excessive tension serves to reduce awareness.

The key to improving posture lies not in effort to an external ideal of proper posture, but in increasing self-awareness, which will lead to reduced tension and improved balance.