We’re here to build kickass, organic alignment from the ground up. Unfortunately there’s a lot of myth surrounding what good alignment really is. To clarify, let’s examine what it is NOT.
1. Shoulders Down & Back
The old shoulders down and back advice leads to more harm than good. As if we didn’t have enough tension in the body, right? See, the body is a vast interconnected system. Yanking on one part necessarily leads other parts to pick up the slack if the underlying issue isn’t addressed. So by locking the shoulders down and back, we lead to compensation in the rest of the body, typically by arching the back and putting pressure on the neck. Shoulders are one part of the puzzle, but we need to remember the greater system at work here.
2. Balancing Books On Top Of Your Head
While balancing books makes for a good party trick, it forces a certain amount of rigidity into the body. There’s a time and place for rigidity, but it is not ALL OF THE TIME in ALL OF THE PLACES. Certainly not when walking around day to day. Keep in mind: you’re 80% water. Be fluid! Good alignment carries a bit of natural grace and potential for better movement.
3. Sucking In Your Gut
In a similar vein we have an odd military carry-over of sucking in the gut for “good alignment”, often reinforced by trainers who have little idea how breath functions in the body. Sucking in the gut is a sure-fire way to lose stability in the spine, and without stability the body tenses itself. Stability–somewhat counterintuitively–allows mobility. You can’t have one without the other. When we compromise our stability, we involuntarily curtail our movements, making them stiff, choppy, and anything but fluid. Release needless tension; let the breath flow in the body. That’s what alignment is all about.
4. J-Shaped Spine
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: your spine has a natural S-curve. Don’t force artificial shapes onto the spine. Without these curves we wouldn’t survive as bipeds, as they’re necessary for dispersal of ground force when walking. Organic alignment is simply that: organic. Outside interventions have little effect when the body doesn’t recognize their benefit to its function.
Looking for more ways to solidify your natural alignment? Don’t miss the FREE report, “4 Habits Sabotaging Your Alignment“.