I have recently been working with 3 different young men (in their 20’s) at the Pacific Center for Alexander Technique (PCAT). One started because he believed his posture was keeping him physically restricted and in pain. He is as well developed muscularly as anybody you will see at the gym. He’s buff!
The other two young men were referred to the center by their singing professor because she noted how their postures were preventing them from progressing with their vocal development. They too are very well conditioned (buff!). All three have muscularly well developed bodies. They take good care of themselves and workout regularly. But their postures were all quite poor and interfering with their pursuits.
"Strength and Flexibility Do Not Insure Good Posture"
Strength and flexibility do not insure good posture. Posture is controlled by your nervous system. If you are working out with poor posture, you are likely strengthening a problem. The best you can hope for is to become strong enough to withstand the force of your own postural habit. But thats a small part of it. Many people come to the PCAT who do not exercise much or at all but still improve their postures and ability to move.
What does good posture feel like?
In most activities, good posture comes with a feeling of lightness and freedom to move.
What does good posture look like?
Thats kind of a trick question. It depends on what you are doing at the time. Are you standing still or bending and reaching or sitting at the computer or running up and down mountains? There is a common appearance of good posture. People look comfortable in their own bodies. They make whatever they are doing look easy, because they are at ease in their posture.
Where Does Good Posture Come From?
Good posture comes from the neck being free so the head can balance and move freely atop the spine which leads to the spine returning to a dynamic resting length. This head-neck-spine relationship allows the body to return to balance where harmful compensating tensions aren’t needed.
The better you are with this the more it carries over into various positions and activities. Good posture is not about correct positions of the body. It's about freedom and lightness in the positions you use throughout your day and in special performance. And it usually shows with the appearance of ease and balance - Postural Poise.
Achieve Postural Poise
At PCAT, I offer a program to achieve this Postural Poise and be able to take it into ordinary and extraordinary activities. This is accomplished by you becoming proficient with the skills and principles of the Alexander Technique. As a result, people improve their posture which reduces or eliminates pain by alleviating cause, enhances performance by removing physical and mental restrictions and increases a sense of well being by removing the physiological expression of stress and strain.