The presentation of yourself to the outside world is a language telling people many things without you having to say a word. Of course, the clothes that you wear are a language unto themselves. However, your posture portrays a host of messages before the eye of the beholder absorbs what you are wearing.
Let us start by accepting that perfect alignment takes muscular strength. Let’s also accept that as we age we lose strength and bone density, and that some of us suffer from debilitating or even crippling conditions that preclude us from being able to stand up correctly. However, we can also accept that most of us lose our focus on our bodies posture, becoming too absorbed in “life”. We can even focus so much on one or other form of exercise that we forget about the exercise of standing up straight and to our full height. In our youth-oriented world, standing to our full height and with directness tells the onlooker that we are confident, capable and strong, and therefore deserve our place in society. The reverse can also be true. Any variations away from perfect alignment can project a message of weakness, sickness, indirectness or even lack of honesty.
Examples of poor posture may include the following: A taller person may droop their shoulders and upper body by sinking into their torsos in order to look smaller projecting a more vulnerable persona. By doing so they may weaken their lower backs by constantly applying pressure to the spine. Another example of poor posture may be a person who lets their backs over arch, with their knees slightly facing inwards with their arms hanging behind their shoulders. This then lifts the chest too high and again over arches the spine. This again weakens the lower spine as well as the abdominal muscles and puts tremendous stress on the knees. This may eventually cause difficulty in walking. Flat back syndrome where the bottom is tucked in so far that the hips angle upwards and it becomes difficult to engage the abdominal muscles. Walking becomes difficult with the legs wanting to rotate outwards, and will cause pain in the muscles around the hips.
Whether you want to appear shorter than you are, or younger and more childlike, look strong when you feel weak, or brave when you are frightened, it is far better to start from a position of core strength. Once you have acquired prefect alignment, then you can be your own master of disguise, projecting any image you would like to the outside world.
Adjusting or fixing posture can be transformative to your daily life. It can liberate your skeletal structure and allow you to develop the correct muscles in the correct way. Good posture or perfect alignment will undoubtedly make you feel better. It takes time and concentration and dedication to developing muscle strength. You may need to undo years of bad habits. This usually requires the help of a qualified trainer who with patience and dedication can help you on your way to speaking a new body language. Usually you will need to develop your abdominal and back strength, the “core” muscles, and learn to be body aware with your shoulders and hips back in the correct positions. Becoming conscious of where are your weaknesses and strengths is critical. For example, strong abdominal muscles may help you to overcome the arching of your lower back. Being able to control the muscles in the “no man’s land” between the hips and the ribs will enable you to stand tall and stabilize your torso.
Ultimately, when you have mastered good posture and you are back in control of your body, you will have increased your body language vocabulary 10-fold. Standing up straight and using the muscles that your body was designed to use for this purpose will ultimately be very rewarding. You will give yourself a better chance to be rid of pain caused by bad posture, and you will be able to let your body speak a language of strength, and confidence. How wonderful is that!