I have a client who tells a story of a friend of his who he and his wife often hang out with along with several other mutual friends.
At a table in a restaurant or a bar, this friend of my client's will realize that he is slumping in his seat and look around (seeing everyone else slumping), and all of a sudden exclaim to everyone at the table:
You cannot "get out of a slump" (so to speak) by yanking your body up into some pre-conceived position of "good posture."
There are abhorrent notions ingrained in us from very early on in our body's development, such as some impatient parent scowling at us from across the dinner table, exclaiming suddenly, "Sit up straight!" which of course is as potentially damaging as "Clean your plate!"
I have a friend whose father used to line up she and her three sisters and demand to them, "Shoulders back."
My friend, as well as most people, go through most of the years of their lives perceiving "good posture" as standing up straight with shoulders back.
Posture is not lifting.
Another client of mine, before he studied with me, went to a doctor because he was experiencing intense chronic neck, shoulder, and upper back pain from sitting at a computer and typing for long hours.
The doctor told him he should take a leave of absence from his job for six months.
"Yeah, but what do I do when I have to go back to work? What can I do, or where do I go to learn how to better support my posture?"
The doctor said, "I don't know."
At Backbone and Wingspan, we are offering a free clinic in response to the many, many people who sit all day at computers, key-stroking themselves into neck, shoulder, and upper back discomfort, and/or leg-crossing themselves into hip and lower back pain.
Power Sitting Posture Clinic on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
from 6-7 PM
featuring Pilates-based resistance band exercises,
an all-in-one upper and lower back and hip stretch,
and the art of sitting in any chair.
founder Tim Driscoll.
More on notions of posture later this week...
In the meantime, check out our event listing on the
Not a wingspan fan? We'd love to have you as one.
As of September 1st, 2010, Tim Driscoll, Backbone and Wingspan founder and owner and author of Pilates Iconoclast is now located on the Upper East Side at Mind Your Body Pilates
1370 Lexington Avenue @ 90th Street
Tim can still be reached at 212-647-8878.
Backbone and Wingspan: Pilates-Based Movement-Oriented
Manhattan New York City 212.647.8878 Tim Driscoll