Millions of people sit for 8 hours or more in a single day. Despite that sitting is often perceived and practiced as a non-exertive posture, if you're working at a desk or computer, you need support.
Actually, there's more need for
STABILITY IN SITTING
than there is in standing or walking or upright postures.
This is partly because you must sustain a sitting posture for long periods of time - grounding the feet, bending the knees and lengthening the lower spine.
However, stability is often misconstrued as holding the body in place - people squeeze or grip in attempts to stabilize in exercise positions or yoga poses.
I learned from my teacher, Elizabeth Andes-Bell in her Energy Yoga Therapy classes, how to direct imaginary lines of force which form diagonals. As groups of diagonals cross one another, use a mind-body coonection to sense the lines as cat's cradles and scaffoldings. You use alignment of heels and sits bones or heels-to-knees-to-sits-bones to create triangles or squares. Then you draw imaginary diagonals: right sits bone to left heel and left sits bone to right heel.
Just as there are scaffoldings placed around a building under construction in order to stabilize the structure, so it is with your body's skeletal structure: while maintaining challenging yoga or Pilates poses or in sustaining sitting positions, a scaffolding composed of criss-crossing lines of support - even though you create the diagonals in your mind - helps to create stability for the structure of your skeleton. If the structure of the skeleton has stability, the muscles won't have to hold on, you'll be able to breathe more deeply, you'll focus better on your work, and you'll have less pain. The most important diagonals come from the heels and either go across to either opposite knee or from each heel to its opposite sits bone. You can see in this illustration of a knee-bending movement, which could be construed as chair pose in yoga - or similar to a squat performed at the gym without weights - that I have drawn in a triangle from the tail bone to each of the heels. But you could also make a square from heels-to-sits bones and then within that inaginary square, draw the opposing criss-crossing diagonals. Again this is all with your imagination, which is what connects the mind to the body.
One way I assist people to sense better stability for sitting postures is to have them place their hands on their thighs.
Once the feet are grounded and the heels are expanded back and wide on the floor, I have people sense the sits bones down into the surface of the seat.
Then the person can place the palms on the thighs and help to guide the femurs - or thigh bones - back into the hip joint sockets.
This "femur deepening" is what will grant stability to the pelvic halves which will support the extension of the lumbar spine. This is because the lumbar vertebrae rest atop the sacrum in between the two pelvic halves.
This link on Google + features an image showing how the slight arcing back of the heels is in sync and in support of the arcing stability of the sits bones.
Also, please watch this video to see the differentiation of the
two pelvic halves from the back:
There are several videos in this e-book described below which show activities performed froim sitting positions with the palms on the thighs.
You'll see many enhanced illustrations in my new enhanced e-book by previewing excerpts and then purchasing it on iTunes at this link:
There are over 500 photos and illustrations & twelve videos in this comprehensive book which is not just for women who wear heels. Both men and women will find advice, activities, stretches and movements to learn better support and stability for the body in any type of shoe or in barefoot exercise such as Pilates and yoga. The improved support you find can then be taken into sports or running & cycling - and of course walking, climbing stairs & sitting at a computer.
When you buy the e-book, you'll see that I have taken opportunity and time to draw lines or create overlays of images or create composite illustrations with captions and pointer lines - similar to what I've done with the illsutrations in this blog posting - so that you will be able to see the lines from heel to sits bone and that will encourage your own mind to better-sense those imaginary lines as you draw them yourself - and you'll gain more and more mind-body facility to create physical stability.
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Figure in correct sitting position: 3d rendered medical illustration - Original Illustration © Sebastian Kaulitzki at Fotolia.com
Skeletal figure in deep-knee bend: Female Skeleton in Yoga Position - Original Illustration © Kirsty Pargeter at Fotolia.com
Skeletal figure palms-on-thighs: 3D medical man in sitting position - Original Illustration © Kirsty Pargeter at Fotolia.com
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