Discover The Many Positive Benefits Of Having A Healthy And Natually Tension Free Posture

Because of the powerful mind body connection, our state can alter with our posture and our posture can change with our thought processes. 

This means, if your body is tense, then you will tend to have more tense related thoughts, but if you relax your body, then your mind will follow the body and you will tend to have less tense related thoughts 

If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety and worry, then this can cause the stiffening of the neck and make your body to shrink in stature. 

A tense and stiff neck is also related to the fight or flight reflex mechanism, which can result in feeling and thoughts of insecurity as well as putting you in survival mode which can result into frequent fearful reactions.

When our your body starts to slouch and collapses a bit, then this tends to put us in a low mood and negative state of low confidence and low spirits, and if we are angry or stressed, then this can cause tension and stiffness in the body.

With all this in mind, it is important to try and maintain good healthy balance, poise and alignment, as you can use your body to change your state and create a state of calm, happiness and inner balance.


You could describe it as, standing, sitting and moving with the least amount of tension and effort, where you're in alignment and balance with gravity, so you have not got to try and find or achieve good posture.

Maybe a better way to describe it is, getting rid of any bad habits, creating new good postural habits, releasing tension, and working with gravity and your natural balance, instead of going against it, and stop doing the things that have been causing any bad posture or tension in the body. 

Good posture is not something that we need to learn, but more of a case of something we need to return to or relearn and educate our body.

Because, you have already experienced good healthy balance, poise and alignment when you were a young child. All young children between the ages of around two to around five have natural, healthy upright and aligned postures.

They move about smoothly, with a natural balance and poise. But as we move through our school days and into adult life we take on many bad posture habits.

You may have already tried to move back into what you think or what you may have need told is good posture. The trouble is when we try to physically correct our posture, we usually make things worse.

Children stand and sit at their full expansion without stiffness and without trying to pull or push themselves up.

They do not try to tuck in their pelvis or their butt, and they move about and stand freely without holding onto and tension and without trying to hold themselves up through physical effort.

Children do not have to try and find good posture, because it comes natural to them, but the real big difference with children than adults is. They do not have any bad postural habits, like slouching or trying to stand or sit to attention in a stiff and rigid posture. 

They do not brace or hypertense their legs and they do not lock their knees or ankles. Sometimes we need to learn from the toddlers rather than tell them how to sit and stand.

Often we are advised how to sit and stand, and although these people mean well, sadly there is a lot of bad advice about, especially from some of the bodybuilders.

You may have been told to stand tall to make you feel more confident, and although you should not slouch or allow your body to collapse, trying to stand tall can result in muscle tightness and stiffness

A young child does not think about their posture, because it is something that happens naturally and automatically without having to try.

Often as adults, when we do try to get what we think is good posture, it  turns out to be bad posture.

Important Tip

Unless you know what type of posture you are and what you're doing, avoid trying to physically correct your posture or hold yourself in tense unnatural stances as this will only result in making things worse.

The way to good healthy, natural and balanced posture should be obtained by stopping doing the things that are wrong, as well as releasing and letting go of your tension habits.

If you're having to use extra tension to hold yourself up, then you will be pulling against your natural balance, alignment and gravity.

The best way to obtain good posture is to try and return to your natural poise, balance where you move, stand and sit freely with the least amount of stiffness and effort.

I would never advise or try to tell anybody to try and physically correct their posture or try to tuck in, force or pull anything or physically attempt to hold themselves up or sit and stand up straight, as this will cause muscle stiffness and imbalance.

If you have bad posture issues or habits, then this is usually an indication that you are doing something wrong or you are physically trying to hold yourself in place or you're trying to stand or sit up too straight or too tall.

Besides slumping and slouching, you should avoid pulling yourself up by your head, lifting up your chest or pulling the back of your head down, especially when you're getting in and out of your chair.

Many people slouch or allow they allow their bodies to come out of balance and alignment, such as going into a sway back or zig zag types of posture.

There are ways to put your posture right, such as knowing how to sit and stand up correctly (See video's below), but at no point should you try to physically pull yourself all over the place.

Techniques such as the Alexander Technique focus on free movement, poise and sitting and standing at your full height and expansion with the least amount of tension, without using and physical effort or over extending your spine.

Our posture is subconsciously controlled, we naturally know how to sit without having to think about, where we should move and stand with the least amount of effort and muscle tension.

The Alexander Technique, uses thought control to allow you to return back to your true natural poise, grace and balance, at no point do they recommend trying to physically hold yourself up or correct your posture.

They focus on the head and spine relationship, when the head and spine is working in good organization, then the rest of the body should come into alignment and balance.

The Alexander Technique says we should allow the head to rest freely on top of the spine and the neck should be directed through thought to be free and the head should go forwards and up. 

If you are pulling the back of your head down, which will contract your neck and back muscles, then it is OK to free and release your head at its axis point, roughly between your two ears, the same applies if you are tucking your chin to far and forcefully in.

If your hips are pushed too far forwards or too far back, then you may also need to gently release and ease them back or forwards, but any movements you take should be slight and smooth.

Again, if you may also need to make slight but smooth adjustments if you notice that when you're standing, that you are leaning either too far forwards or too far backwards, however avoid using force or tension if you attempt to make any adjustments.

When we lean forwards or backwards, then our muscles will have to tighten up to compensate for our bodies being out of balance.

To see if you're in good balance and alignment, then you can stand sideways in front of a mirror, if you see that your hips are pushed too far forwards or too far back, then you can gently ease them back or forwards until they come back underneath your upper body.

To see if you're standing upright and vertical, again stand sideways in front of a mirror, and with your weight evenly distributed over your feet, you can gently sway your whole body without bending slightly backwards and forwards gradually reducing the amount of sway until you find your natural upright balance.

Any attempts to try and physically hold yourself up or force yourself into position will just make things worse. Ideally, your weight should be evenly distributed where you have your shoulders over your hips, and your hips over your ankles.

The more weight you are carrying the harder it will be to stand and sit.

If you are a sloucher or you think that your posture has collapsed, then the link below is a subliminal recording that is designed to return you back to your natural posture and full expansion without any physical effort required.



The problems often start around school age when we start to slump and slouch in our chairs, we tend to stiffen our necks or we allow our bodies to collapse.

A young child does not think about their posture, because it is something that happens naturally and automatically without having to try.

Often as adults, when we do try to get what we think is good posture, it  turns out to be bad posture.

Other things that can contribute to our bad posture habits and pull us down or forwards can be, are our jobs, our work station, house old choirs and even some of our recreational hobbies or leisure activities we pursue.

When people try and correct their posture, they either listen to inaccurate advice or they attempt to physically correct their posture without really knowing what healthy posture is.

The first thing you need to be aware of is, you should not try to physically adjust your posture, such as trying to physically stand or sit up straight, pulling or pushing yourself up, or trying to hold or lock yourself in position.

The benefits of having good poise, alignment and balance

1. You Will Feel Better 

Did you know it's very hard to feel depressed if you have an upright and relaxed posture, were not talking about this so called perfect rigid posture, a good posture is an upright, relaxed and aligned body stance, your posture should be subconsciously controlled, we only develop poor posture by practicing bad sitting and standing habits..

Your posture has a profound impact and influence on how you feel, our posture is linked to our mood, people who are depressed tend to slouch and drop their heads, hunching and slumping your body is also linked to anxiety and insecurity. 

The positive effects of a good posture are, it will make you feel better, happier and more relaxed, your mind and body will become balanced and in harmony with each other.

When our body is relaxed and balanced our energy flows freely, this is our natural feel good flow state. 

When we are not in the feel good flow, we become more stressed, frustrated and irritated and we tend to mess up things more.

When we slouch, lean back or we adopt a ridged military type posture our body becomes out of alignment and balance, our internal organs don't function as efficiently as they are designed to and our energy becomes blocked and stagnant.

2. You Will Have More Energy 

You only have to slip into a slouched and slumped posture for a few minutes and it will start to zap the energy out of you. 

Slouching is the quickest way to drain your energy, it can cause you to breathe shallow as well as affecting your digestive system. Our posture and breathing can have a massive impact on our life.



3. Flexability In Your Body 

When we are standing or sitting upright in a relaxed position so our body is in complete alignment and balanced, this should mean your bones and skeleton are doing all the work to support you and not your muscles just as they are designed for. 

Because your bones are supporting you, then your muscles will become free and flexible. 

This will make it easier for you to move your body in a natural and more effortless free flowing way, allowing you to go into your old age, with better mobility, you will feel healthier, more active and more energized.

4. You Will Be More Happier

It is well documented how depressed people have collapsed and slouched bodies where their head drops pushes forward, they back curves and their shoulders become rounded so they are looking at the ground which will very quickly put you into a negative energy. 

A relaxed poised upright and balanced posture will very quickly make you feel better and your mood will soon lift. 

Make sure you don't forcefully or physically adjust your posture and avoid lifting up your chest and pulling your shoulders back like most people do because any attempt to physically pull and hold yourself up will make things worst.

5. Reduce Muscle Tension 

A lot of muscle tension and stiffness is a direct result of poor body posture being out of alignment and balance, where some muscles have to tighten to compensate for the under use of others.

Although emotional stress and nervousness can account for some of our tension, the biggest contributor to muscle stiffness is when your body is out of alignment or you are trying to forcefully hold, push or pull yourself up. 

Also, when we slouch or lean backwards in a sway back type of posture our body will become out of alignment, and the muscles will have to tighten to do the work that is designed for our bones.

We are supposed to be like a pillar where our body, head sits over our body and our body is supported by our legs or the chair if were seated. In this correct posture our bones will be doing all the supporting and holding us up.

Standing in a rigid military type of posture for just a short period of time can cause severe muscle tightness, as the muscles are forced to stiffen to hold the overextended body and spine.



6. Reduce Those Aches And Pains 

If you have any back or neck pains you should check them out with your doctor first, but many pains are due to bad posture and bad body mechanics, poor posture can lead to soreness, aches and pains and long term bad posture can lead to eventual hip and knee ware and even replacements.

Our internal thoughts and feelings can affect our physical body and our physical body can affect our thoughts and feelings, both slouching and over straightening can cause muscle tightness and body pains.

7. You Will Have Less Stress 

A calm and relaxed poised posture will help you to relieve your stress and anxiety, you can control your thoughts, emotions and feelings by learning how to control your body. 

Stress and anxiety are linked to the fight or flight mechanism, this means when your body is stressed and tense your mind will interpret this that something bad is going to happen, your senses and body will scan for future threats, this will keep you stuck in a fearful survival mode state.

When we feel threatened, we either tense our body and shoulders, or we shrink into a guarded stance. 

By holding a relaxed but upright posture you will feel less threatened in your surrounding environment, meaning you will have less trouble with stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling in the free flowing sweet state.

Bad posture can also restrict your breathing and play havoc with your digestive system, and stiffening the legs can also restrict our blood flow.



8. Our Posture Affects Our Thinking 

Our mind and body are intricately linked, the body does not work on its own and we have a complex mind body interaction. 

Our body can follow the lead set by the mind, when we think negative thoughts, our body responds to them, this results in negative feelings and unpleasant sensations which are felt in the body. 

This works the other way around as well, our mind is affected by our body, change your physiology and your thoughts will soon match the state you're in, you will also think more clearly and your creativity and your other mental faculties will improve. 

When the body is relaxed you will have more creative and positive thoughts, when the body is tense you will have more tense and anxious thoughts, change your posture and you can change your thinking.

9. Increased Confidence 

A aligned and balanced healthy posture will make you look and feel more confident, you will be more successful and you will talk more clearly and naturally.

Confidence gives you power and strength, people tend not to pick on the strong and confident type, when slouch you will have more feelings of insecurity, we go into a low confidence state.

When we slump our emotional state will change and we will soon experience low confidence emotions, it will make you feel tired, low on energy, sad and vulnerable.

10. Increased Intelligence And Better Concentration 

When you have a good relaxed posture you will think more positively and clearly, you will feel more relaxed and at ease. 

This positive and calm state will improve your creativity, you will think more clearly, you will experience less of those heavy and negative emotions and it can help to increase your intelligence, your concentration and focus should improve. 

Learning how to get in and out of your chair

One of the biggest reasons for bad posture is sitting. The secret to sitting relaxed, poised and comfortable so you maintain a healthy posture, is to know how to sit in your chair correctly so you're positioned on top of your sit bones

In order to sit comfortably and healthily,  you first need to be able to get in and out of your chair correctly, most people however, give little thought or attention into how to sit properly, and they usually just flop down into their chair, and they end up slumped and hunched up,

When they do try and attempt to sit correctly, they tend to pull themselves up to try and sit up straight, which results in muscle stiffness and tension. The video below will demonstrate how to get in and out of your chair so you can sit comfortably and healthily.



There is a lot of advice about getting good posture. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it about trying to have or find good posture, because, unless you know absolutely sure what you're doing, trying to have good posture usually results in making things worse causing more muscle tension and stiffness

You may find that a better approach would be to, prevent yourself from doing all the things that you should not be doing, the types of things that have caused your bad posture, as well as beginning to release any tension that you are creating so you return to that good feeling tension free posture.

Some of the bad postural habits that should be avoided

  1. Try to avoid pulling the back of your neck down/lift your chin up,(especially when you get in and out of your chair) as this will cause the neck and back muscles to contract and tighten. When the back of the head is pulled down, it will shorten the neck and cause the spine to collapse. 
  2. Try to avoid, bending the head forwards of the neck, as again this will cause the spine and body to collapse and shorten. The head ideal point of balance, should be where it is forwards and up so the spine is fully elongated, but it still maintains its natural curves.
  3. Do not just flop down in your chair as this will cause the spine to curve or collapse (see video above)
  4. Do not lock your knees as this will cause tension in the upper legs, the hip region and the back. The knees should be soft and pointed forwards and away, also avoid locking the ankles, the heels should be back and down, but the ankles should be free with a bit of sway, the weight of the body should be more towards your ankles than your toes. All the joints should be free
  5. Do not lift up the chest or push the chest out, the chest and rib cage should hang down freely, if you lift up the chest, your spine will curve too much 
  6. Try and avoid pulling your shoulders back or forwards, ideally the shoulders should be free and float by the sides of the rib cage 
  7. Avoid pushing your hips too far back or too far forwards 
  8. Avoid bending forwards or backwards as much as possible 
  9. Do not lock yourself or try to hold or fix yourself in one position 
  10. Avoid trying to sit or stand up straight as this causes tension, no part of the body is straight
If you want to be taught by an expert, and you want to return back to your natural, healthy posture, then you may benefit highly from the video below, it lasts for over an hour but if you follow the advice and tips then the long term rewards are priceless.



Bad posture help

Trying to physically correct your posture will only make things worse, many people try to have what they think or what they have been told is good posture, but they end up pulling themselves all over the place causing more stiffness and tension.

You should be careful trying to obtain good posture by physically trying to do it, because when we physically try to correct our posture, we tend to use excessive force and tension, or we try and hold, lock or fix ourselves in a fixed position which is unnatural, tense, rigid and potentially damaging. 

Our body is supposed to have a tiny amount of sway and movement, so long as it remains in between the boundaries and two points of tension, the neutral and relaxed spot between leaning forwards and back, and we are designed to keep moving.

A better approach might be to be aware of all the bad habits that you have developed and to practice releasing tension and prevent yourself from doing all the things that you should not be doing.

The balance of the head in relationship to the body

To find that ideal balance and alignment where you have the least amount of tension, it is important to try and maintain the free balance of the head, so the neck is relaxed and the head rests freely on top of the spine.

A lot of bad posture is a result of the head being held forwards and away from the body, which will throw the whole body out of alignment and balance. 

When the head is off balance, then it is impossible for the person to have good poise, alignment and balance, it will also cause a lot of tension and stiffness in the neck and the rounding of the shoulders and upper back.

If the back of the head is pulled down, the face will tilt upwards and the head may rotate forwards. 

This will cause the back of the neck to shorten, the neck and back muscles will contract, the head will protrude forwards and the spine will collapse and come out of alignment, causing a shortening of stature.

This posture is known as the fight or flight reflex posture, and can be potentially very damaging if left untreated. 

The same applies if you bend your head forwards too much, especially if you go around with your head  bent from the neck, and again it will cause the spine and body to compress and collapse. 

These two types of postures, will cause the shoulders to hunch or elevate up, the neck will shorten and stiffen and the shoulders will become rounded, which will cause low spirits, back pain, tension and discomfort.

Although there is no one fixed point for the head, as we are constantly looking up, down and from side to side.

The head should sit freely on top of the spine, with the face slightly tilted so the head just rolls forwards very slightly. 

So if you could imagine the head balanced on an axis point, you would have slightly more of the head weight forwards from the balance point, with the least amount of weight behind the point of balance.  

When the head is slightly tipped forwards off its axis, then the spine will be fully elongated, and you will enjoy greater poise, balance and you should experience the least amount of tension and strain.

If your head is protruding forwards, then, the neck needs to be freed and relaxed, the shoulders will need releasing and freeing.

The first thing to do is to become aware of what is happening, many people will pull the back of their heads back and down and lift up their chin, when they are getting in and out of a chair, using the phone or operating a laptop, iPad, on gaming consoles, when they are on the computer or doing their jobs or hobbies. 

These bad postures can soon become well rehearsed habitual habits, that cause much discomfort and can make it very hard for us to sit, stand and walk.

Once you become aware of these bad habits and tension patterns, you can begin to replace them, change them, or start to release your head and ease of any tension that you're applying, such as, leaning or bending your head forwards or pulling the back of your head down.

The key is not to try and physically reset your posture, but to practice releasing or letting go of any tension or bad tension habits that may be distorting your whole balance and natural ad healthy alignment.

When the head is released forwards then and the shoulders are released and allowed to relax freely at the side of the rib cage, then this will help to release the tight or contracted muscles.

Rather than trying to physically roll your head forwards, which often results in people tucking in their chin to forcefully or they end up walking around with their neck bent and looking at the floor, which will also cause the back to bend and the shoulders to hunch or rise.

It may be better to focus more on relaxing and softening the neck, again allowing your head and neck to drop or bend forwards and avoid trying to physically tuck your chin in, as this causes the contraction and tightening of the muscles, as well as, compressing the spine and throwing the body out of alignment.

The head should only roll a few millimeters forwards from the axis point of balance, if you focus on relaxing and softening the neck so you allow the neck to relax, think the neck to soften, then your head should automatically find its own natural point of balance.



Balance and alignment

If we do not stand in good balance and alignment, then this will put extra workload on our postural support muscles which can cause us to struggle to stand or sit or our  muscles will become stiffened in order to make sure we don't fall over.

Many people have gotten into such a habit of standing and sitting off balance, it becomes their normal and they do not even realize they are doing it, until the experience back and joint pain or persistent tension and tension headaches.

If we stand vertical so our weight is evenly distributed, with the shoulders over the hips and the hips over the body then we should be in better balance and alignment.

Many people stand with their hips pushed too far forwards. This can result in the back becoming arched and hunched which will push the head forwards, to try to compensate for the protruding forwards hips, which will cause a lot of tension in the neck and back.

There are some people who have their hips pushed too far back, which will cause the torso to lean or bend forwards.

Some people will try and hold or pull themselves up to try and get out of the slumped posture, but if you try to hard to physically hold yourself up, this will quickly cause the muscles to stiffen, which is very uncomfortable and it is just as bad as slouching.

Try to avoid spending all your type alternating between the two extremes of standing too stiff and rigid and slouching as many people do. If you're really struggling, purchase an Alexander Technique book.

Ideally you want to stand vertical and upright so you're more in alignment with gravity, so your weight is evenly distributed over your ankles, hips and shoulders.

If your hips are thrust too far forwards then you may benefit if you gently released them back, so the weight of your hips come back,  so your shoulders, the center of your hips and the ankles line up, so your legs become more vertical (but not stiffened) and your hips come underneath your torso. 

If your hips are pushed too far back, then it should help if you gently thrust them forwards, so again, your legs become more vertical and your hips come underneath your torso, so your weight becomes evenly distributed over your shoulders, hips and ankles. 

If you still find that your shoulders are still raised up and behind the center of your hips, without bending or dropping your head forwards. 

If this is the case, it may help you to gently allow your ribs and your chest to relax and settle down and ease those shoulders down gently, be careful not to bend forwards, drop your head forwards or push your hips too far back.

Then relax your neck and let your head rest freely on top of your spine.With practice, this should leave you more upright and relaxed rather than relaxed and slumped or rigid and military so your spine and body are stacked up vertical, rather than being in an S shape or overstretched spine. 

Then just let your body relax and allow your bone structure to hold you up, there should be no need to try and hold yourself up or in position.

Try to avoid trying too hard to change or correct your posture, because when we try too hard and we use physical effort or excessive force, then this usually results in applying unnatural amounts of force and tension. 

As this can lead to either locking yourself in a tense position or trying to hold ourselves up, which in not natural and it will result in muscle stiffness. 

When your hips are well positioned, when you're standing, you should be to raise the front of your feet up, if you cannot lift up the front of your feet, then this could indicate that your hips are out of alignment.

Change your tension habits

Rather than trying to physically correct or change your posture, it may be better to observe yourself so you can know what you're doing wrong, then practice and get into the habit of releasing or easing off any tension and replacing any tension habits.

Some typical type of examples might be

  1. If you're pushing your hips too far forwards, release them back 
  2. If you're pulling your shoulders back, release them forwards so they find their own natural position
  3. If you're pulling your shoulders forwards, release them back
  4. If you're lifting your shoulders up, then allow them to relax back down
  5. If you're lifting your chest up, gently release and let your chest relax down
  6. If you're bending forwards, release, and allow your body to relax back 
  7. If you're leaning back, release and let your body ease forwards a bit 
  8. If you're overextending your body, let it relax back down 
  9. If you're locking your knees, allow them to soften
  10. If you're pulling the back of your head down, release your head and allow it to rotate forwards, this may require a bit of physical effort
  11. If you're dropping your head forwards, gently ease it back up
  12. If you're pulling your knees, back towards your body, allow them to soften 
  13. If you're hyper tensing your legs, let them relax


Knees, legs and feet

Most people think that in order to stand up we rely totally on the legs. 

The legs are our main foundation of support, so they need to be underneath our hips and torso, to give us maximum support.

However, to sustain good balance and alignment, the whole body needs to be in good alignment, otherwise it will throw us off balance.

The feet should be positioned about hip distance apart or less, depending on the width of your hips and they should be positioned slightly more wider at the toes than the ankles, avoid turning and pointing your feet too far outwards or too far inwards.

We have three weight bearing points on our feet, the one is located behind the big toe, the other is behind the little toe and the third on at the center of the heel.

The weight of our body should travel down through our legs and ankles and it should be distributed over these three weight bearing points on our feet.

Although our weight should spread evenly over the three weight bearing points on our feet, when you're standing you should get the sensation that your weight is more towards your heels than the toes.

Our ankles and our knees should not be locked. Our knees should be soft and they should go forwards and away from our heels.

Many people tend to hyper tense or lock their knees, which causes a lot of stiffness and tension in the upper legs, the hip region and the lower back. 

Try to avoid forcefully drawing or pulling in your knees towards your body, the knees should also so be slightly facing outwards to avoid knock knees, where the knees are in alignment with the big toes.

Try to avoid the urge to change or correct your posture in one quick swoop as it does not work like that, changes take time and effort, and if you have developed bad posture, then you may find that you need to make small and subtle changes, bit by bit.

 



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