What is Posture?
Posture can be broadly defined as the physical position that a person assumes consciously or unconsciously. It describes the outer shape and alignment of the musculoskeletal system particularly of the torso, neck, and head at any given point in time. One’s overall posture describes the patterns of physical position and movement over months and years, whereas a pose is an intentional positioning of the body for no more than a few minutes.
Posture is commonly evaluated in simple terms by examining the vertical spatial relationship between the head, heart, and hips. The shape of the spine while standing or sitting is a central characteristic in describing one’s posture. An upright posture is widely accepted around the world to be better posture than a rounded posture.
Good posture is commonly described as a level skull looking out at the horizon positioned directly over an upright torso and a long spine. The head, shoulders, ribcage, waist, and pelvis are stacked in a vertical line to have the most efficient position in terms of the gravity line. On the contrary, most people consider poor posture to be generally defined as a lack of verticality of these segments of the head and torso. In brief, a good posture for standing and sitting is commonly defined as an upright spine with “natural curves,” while poor posture includes a rounded C-curve spine, a flat spine, or an overly arched spine.
The general outer contour of our body, particularly the curves of our back, is sustained by the constant variable tension of myofascia. Strands of muscle and fascia surround our skeleton and hold us up in place against gravity. There is a base level tonus of the myofascia that is autonomic, so we do not need to be totally awake or mentally present for our posture to be maintained. At all times, during activity or rest, there is some level of unconscious tonal tension in our muscles and connective tissue. The body-mind naturally seeks reduction in the feeling of excess tension in the myofascia. It has an affinity toward comfort and ease, and an aversion to discomfort and stress. Therefore, our innate intelligence seeks a postural form of lowest resistance and least strain for any activity.
In Sridaiva, optimal posture is a state and geometric shape of the mind-body in which its flow of life force or vitality is maximized using the least amount of energy and with minimal stress on the body. We postulate that when the body is in its most natural, archetypal morphology, then all the different sections, parts, and sub-systems of the body optimally function as a whole system. When posture is optimized, then the vital energy illuminating both body and mind expands with healthy growth.