Misalignment in the pelvis is one of the major causes of misalignment and/or pain in the spine. Using our yoga practice we need to retrain our bodies and our minds to become comfortable and strong in correct alignment so that we don’t then fall into bad habits as soon as we walk off our mats and out into our days.
4 simple steps to correct the alignment of either a shifted or rotated pelvis
- Make sure your feet are parallel and hip width apart
- Micro bend your knees
- Lean your weight back into your heels
- Abduct your feet and your thighs (press them outwards away from each other)
- Knit together your transverse abdominal muscles (as though you were buttoning up a tight pair of trousers)
Then lift up through the crown of the head and roll your shoulders down your back. Hopefully the muscles in your glutes, thighs and lower belly will be engaged and activated rather than leaning on our joints and exacerbating our bad posture/ habits. (feet turning in or out, locking knees out, bad pelvis alignment, rounding of the back, slouching, the list could go on and on!)
Try and create a trigger in normal life that encourages you to stand like this for a few minutes at a time. Maybe on the telephone or washing up?
It will feel unnatural to start with and much more comfortable to go into bad habits but the more you practice it the more this position will feel comfortable and soon THIS will become your habit.
There is a fascinating you tube video called The Fuzz Speech by Dr Gill Hedley talking about the importance of stretching and how ‘fuzz’ or connective tissue hardens over the muscles as we sleep and if we don’t stretch and correct our posture then the inevitable immobility of ageing will happen with a rounded back and lack of movement. If we keep stretching and keep correcting our alignment then the shape of ageing does not have to be a foregone conclusion.
See how you drive in your car. Probably slumped, maybe leaning to one side? Do you drive a lot? If so imagine how bad that is for your posture and spine.. The same position we sit at the desk in, sit on the sofa in? A rounded upper back? Pelvis Delete tucked under? If so, pull against your steering wheel, push your head into the headrest behind you, engage your core and feel how correcting your posture feels. Hold and breathe deeply like this for a minute or so and then go back to your bad posture. Try to do it as often as possible so this becomes the comfortable position to be in rather than the slumped flexion syndrome of the spine. Try it and see…
Try to create ways to encourage yourself to realign and strengthen whether on your yoga mat, at your desk or in your car. If this becomes your habit then you will thank yourself in later life when the rest of your generation begin to stoop and round and you are walking tall and proud!