Free Yourself From Tense And Painful Postures

There is a lot of advice about correcting your posture, personally I would not advise anybody how to correct their posture.

Maybe a better way of putting it would be. To stand and sit at your full expansion, and natural height, without stiffening.

Because what most people think is good posture, is actually not. 

If you have any structural damage, then seek out the best professional help.

Most people, however, have just picked up some bad tension habits and bad posture habits.

Some of the things that you need to be careful of, are. Trying to stand too tall, or trying to sit up too straight.

You should not really try and find what is called perfect posture, and instead, try to return back to your natural poise, balance and posture.

Ideally, you just need to get rid of any tension habits or bad posture practises.

Before you can adjust your posture. It is important that you know what types of posture you are. You can find out by observing yourself in a mirror or getting someone to take a side photograph of you.

Let's say, your hips are already too far forwards. The last thing that you want is to move them further forwards.

The same applies if your hips are too far back, you don't want to go the wrong way, and push them further back.

Or if your hips are already in the right position, you don't want to adjust them forwards or back, just because you may have been told, most people stand with their hips too far forwards. 

Again the same applies if you are leaning back or forwards. So it is important you check your posture first, before you make any posture.

Good posture, does not entail, adjusting one part of your body. Because, to find your natural posture, your whole body needs to be working in good organization, and balance.

Many people constantly, shift, from straight and stiff forced posture stances to slouching and zig zag types of postures.

If you try to physically try to correct your posture, or you unnaturally hold yourself up, then this can lead to muscle tension and stiffness.

Sometimes, you may need to make some subtle and smooth alignment adjustments, but as for messing about with your posture I would be very careful what you do.

Because, your posture is subconsciously controlled, as a young child, you were already programmed to sit, stand and move with good poise, balance and grace, with ease and little effort.

All your movements and posture habits are controlled through thoughts and instructions.

We are conditioned at birth to stand and sit with the least amount of tension, we only begin to lose our natural poise and balance, when we begin to introduce bad tension habits that block off and interfere with these natural thought processes and procedures.

Life, is forever pulling us forwards, and due to our lifestyle, many people spend far too much of their day, sitting and standing in a slumped position hunched over or bending forwards.

Our posture also reacts to our environment and life's struggles and challenges. 

Through bad ergonomics, our negative experiences, and our daily stresses and bad habits that we pick up, all of which can start to interfere with our natural poise and balance. 

Causing the tensing of some muscle groups as well as the lengthening and the shortening of our muscles.

If we continue to practice these bad tension habits. Then soon we will begin to replace our natural poise and grace where we move easily and effortlessly without having to try, and we will replace them with stiffness, tension and strain.

When our body becomes out of alignment with gravity, then our muscles will start to tighten and stiffen to compensate for the body being out of alignment.

Ideally, the head should rest freely on top of our spine, and our weight should be evenly distributed, over the shoulders, hips and the ankles.

Here you will be standing with the least amount of tension, where your bones are supporting you and not your muscles, a bit like a column.

Getting out of unhealthy and tense postures

Before you can undo all your bad and negative posture habits, you need to become aware of what you have been doing wrong.

It can help for you to have some mirrors or somebody you know, so you can observe yourself to try and identify what you're doing wrong.

The key to natural, healthy posture lies with the good organization of the whole body, what is especially important is the relationship between the head, neck and the spine.

The Alexander Technique, which is the most popular posture, technique, tell us that we should allow the neck to be free, and we should direct the head to go forwards and up.

The head should lead the body, and when the head leads the body, it will guide our movements. 

The only joints that you should bend, sit and squat are the ankles, knees and the hips, avoid bending from the waist, as the waist is not a joint.

Ideally, when you should sit, stand and move, you should be at your full natural height and expansion, but all your joints should be free, without stretching, without tensing, without pressure, without holding and without forcing any part of your body.

Because, if you're unhealthy types of posture are kept up for a long period of time, then this is going to cause problems and changes in the body, and over a period time, due to muscle memory, you can remain stuck in one of these unhealthy postures. 

Because, soon, the body, will start to make the, bad and out of aligned body, their default, automatic posture, which will not only, make them feel uncomfortable, it can also have some negative consequences. 

What can happen is, the bones, and the body can begin to change in structure, some muscles, will shorten, whilst others will stretch, which can cause the spine to lose its natural and healthy curvature, and the neck becomes stiff and out of alignment.

Fight or flight reflex response

A common postural habit that you sometimes see, is where people hold themselves in the fight or flight reflex mode, which is our natural guarded response that we go into when we are threatened.

When we are faced with a threat, our posture automatically shortens in stature, we pull the back of our head downwards and then protrude it forwards, we hunch up the shoulders, and stiffen our neck, arms and legs.

This response can become habitual, if it is consistently repeated, and we can respond like this to all our anxieties and stresses even though there is no real danger, some people can even get stuck in this fight or flight reflex mode.

This posture which is linked to anxiety, can make us react with fear to the slightest thing, and it is a very unhealthy posture, bad tension habit and response to develop.

Any fearful situation, even in the absence of real danger can put you into this instinctive survival response.

Most people have conditioned themselves to display this fearful habit and response to some degree, often many people aren't even aware that they are doing it, they just sense that something is not quite right, but they are not quite sure what it is.

This posture, which will throw your body out of balance, is bad for your health and well-being if repeated too often, and it can cause a lot of unnecessary tensions and strain on the body.

If you are doing this, the trick is to be mindful of what is going on, so you can free your neck, and release your head slightly forwards and up.

If you think you might have structural damage or posture problems, then you might need to pay a visit to a medical professional or seek help from a well qualified a chiropractioner, or you might want to check out the website of The Posture Doctor Paula Moore at

Bad posture can be the result of years of bad habits

The way we sit, stand, bend, move and lift, will all boil down to the habits we have picked up over the years, and over time these bad habits become our default setting and our normal way of doing things. 

Once we have developed these bad postural habits, it will become hard for us, to sit, stand and move efficiently and correctly, and over a period time we can get stuck in these unhealthy postures and these bad habits can result in painful, uncomfortable and tense postures where these habits get repeated over and over again, often getting worse.

As a young baby, you automatically had a natural and upright, balanced and aligned posture, and you instinctively knew how to sit, stand and move with the least amount of effort and tension.

So any bad postural habits and tense postures you may now have, are a direct result of the habits and ways that you have picked up from the people around you, or through the bad habits that you have created.

Bad posture help

Ideally, your legs should be vertical, but not braced, and your pelvis should be underneath your rib cage so the weight is distributed evenly over the shoulders, center of the hips and the ankles. 

The top of the pelvis should be positioned slightly more forwards than the bottom of the pelvis, so your body is more vertical where your shoulders should be over your hips and your hips are over your ankles.

Although you should not slouch, it is as equally as bad to try and stand or sit up too tall or too straight, many people get confused to what good posture is, and good posture is not something that you should have to work on, or try to correct.

A better way of putting it might be, to stand, move and sit upright and balanced with the least amount of tension and effort, so you are working with gravity instead of against it.

You already have good posture, and it is more of a case of returning back to your natural poise and balance.

If you are slouching or your body has collapsed, then avoid trying to pull yourself up or lifting up your chest and chin, as many people do.

Many people in the Western World are out of balance and alignment with gravity. Many have developed too much curvature in their spines, whilst others attempt to stand up to stiff and too straight.

When you find your natural balance and alignment, then your bones will do the job that they were designed to do, which will free up and soften your muscles and release all the unnecessary tension and strain.

To demonstrate this, if you imagine a tower of blocks stacked upright and vertical, then they would be far more stable, than a tower of bricks that is stacked up unevenly.

If you stand up, so your weight is evenly distributed, over your shoulders, hips and ankles, then you will be more in balance and in alignment with gravity, which would allow your bones to do all the supporting work, and you would have far less strain and tension in your body.

Many people have either too much curve in their spine or they stand and sit up too straight or in zig zag types of posture or they allow their bodies to collapse.

When standing it is important to make sure that you do not try and stand too straight or too stiff and rigid and although you want to be upright and relaxed, you should aim to stand without stiffening so you maintain good flexibility and poise.

What is important is, you do not lift up your chest as this will cause your spine to curve and it will place your whole body out of alignment, making your back muscles tight and stiff.

The importance of the balance of the head

One of the most important things to get right is the alignment of the head, because the head as a big impact and influence over the rest of the body.

The Alexander technique states that the head should rest gently on the top of the neck and the neck should be free of tension.

If you listen to an Alexander Technique instructor, then you will learn that they do not apply any physical effort to help people return back to their natural poise and balance.

They achieve it through thought processes and series of instruction, the head direction, which is classed as the most important, use the thought directions, "Allow the neck to be free and the head to balance forwards and up".

The average weight of an adult human head weighs about, 10 to 11 pounds, this means that you only have to have your head positioned slightly too far forwards or too far back, and it will put a lot of strain and load on your neck and your upper body.

The head plays an important role in the, good balance and movement of the whole body, and the head and spine relationship, controls the good organization and movement of the whole body.

The head sits on top of the spine, and it pivots up an down on its axis point which lies just below the ears.

When the head is positioned at its most balanced and tension free place, then there should be more of the head forwards at this pivotal point and axis.

The head should fall forwards slightly, as this will help to keep the spine at its natural full length, which will help to keep you upright and give you good balance and good organization.

The Alexander Technique tells us that the neck should be free, and the head should rest freely on top of the neck and it should balance forwards and up, but this should be natural and not held.

Although your head will move up and down at times during your day, ideally your neck should be free of tension, if you pull the back of your head down, then this will cause your neck and back muscles to contract, and if you bend your neck or drop your head forwards then this will put tension in your neck.

When we allow the back of our head to be pulled down, then this will cause the spine to collapse and curve, it is almost as bad to allow your head to drop forwards to much.

If you try to hold it, then you will bend your neck and drop your head forwards.

Try to avoid lifting up your chin, pushing or pulling up the head, tucking in your chin by force, or pulling the base of the back of the head down. The neck should be soft, with the head resting freely on top of the neck.

The shoulders should be free and relaxed by the side of your rib cage

A lot of people have rounded shoulders, which are pulled too far forwards, which causes the head to stick out too far in front and the back becomes rounded.

Many people are told to pull their shoulders back, which although is correct to a degree, if they are pulled too far forwards and too narrow, causing your chest to shorten.

The trouble is, it often leads to the person pulling or forcing their shoulders and their upper trapezius muscles way too far back.

Doing this will elevate the shoulders too high and to far back, causing the shoulders to go too far the other way, which will again pull them too short, causing tension in and around the neck and upper back region.

If you have rounded shoulders, then, they may need to come back and down, but do not force them unnaturally back too far. Ideally, your shoulders should be free, relaxed and down, but springy and loose, and at your sides. 

The shoulders are not meant to be tense or square, they are meant to be rounded and free, if your shoulders are too far forwards, then your back will be shortened, but if you pull them, too far backwards, then again, your back and the width across your shoulders will be too narrow.

Your shoulders should be free and loosely hanging down at the sides, as the video below will show you.

People assume or they are told to try and have good posture or to try and correct their posture, but when they attempt to find, what they think is good posture, they create even more tension, so they are actually creating bad posture.

If you have developed any bad habits over the years or if you have gotten into the habit of tension parts of your body, then those bad habits will need replacing with good ones and you will need to start to release any tension or any tensing of the body.

It is also fine and beneficial to  exercise to build or strengthen your muscles, or correct any defaults, and it is OK to align your body, but you should not try and correct your posture, because trying to correct your posture leads to more tension, more bad habits and more strain.

A much better approach would be, to start to undo all the bad habits that you have picked up or created, both physically and subconsciously, such as 

  • Holding yourself up or in position
  • Tensing
  • Forcing 
  • Locking of the joints
  • Fixing yourself in position 
  • Hypertensing 
  • Overstretching  
  • Bending forwards 
  • Leaning back 
  • Tucking in your butt/pelvis 
  • Pushing hips too far forwards or too far back 
  • Slouching 
  • Trying to stand up or sit up straight 
  • Pulling the back of your head down/ lifting up the chin 
  • Bending the head forwards at the neck, tucking the chin in too much
A lot of people think, or they have been misled into thinking that to have good posture, they should stand or sit up straight, which often results in people trying to stand or sit too tall, leading them to physically work against their natural balance and alignment.

This makes them too, ridgid, causing a flat back, overstretched muscles and hypertensing of the legs, which will require a lot of tension which will result in the muscles becoming tight to hold the body up in it's unnatural position.

The body is not straight, so you should not attempt to stand or sit up straight or or do anything else for that matter.

Instead, a better alternative would be to avoid doing the things that you should not do, and start returning to what you already know naturally, automatically and instinctively, like you used to do well when you were young. 

The kind of natural things that you did effortlessly as a young child, that left you feeling comfortable, aligned and balance with no real effort, having to think about it or trying on your behalf.

Because there was a time before you picked up any bad habits or before you started to try and correct your posture, where you sat, stood and move freely without any tension, strain, effort or pain.

Keep your shoulders relaxed and hanging freely by your sides

Many people advise people to pull their shoulders back and then bring them down, but this is all very well if you're already in a natural and aligned balanced posture or your shoulders are hunched forwards

However, some people are in a back bend posture, where they have their hips pushed too far forwards or their shoulders are already to elevated and pulled too far back. 

So trying to pull your shoulders back, when they're already too far back, or they are in the right position to start with, then if you pull them back, it will just make things even worse.

The shoulders should ideally be released, so they float freely at the side of the rib cage, practice releasing the shoulders and allowing them to find their own position naturally.

Develop good sitting habits

It is important to sit correctly, so you're sitting on your sit bones, with your spine positioned, so it maintains its natural and healthy curvature.

To sit properly, you have to stand properly and vice versa. This means that, when you go to sit down, you should first be positioned in front of your seat, so you're standing in healthy, natural alignment and balance. 

By learning to sit correctly, you will gain good experience of how to make the most of your hip and knee joints, which will help you when you have to bend down.

The pelvis is part of the torso and not the legs, therefore you should always bend from the hip pivot joints and the knees, not bend from the waist when lifting, getting in and out of your chair or if you're bending down to pick something up.

The video below will show you, the correct way to get in and out of your chair, so you end up sitting in an upright, but natural, tension and pain free posture, which will also put you in the correct standing posture. 

Get the sitting right, and you will be half way there, plus you will feel better and you will have less tension and back and joint pains.

If you have been slumping and hunching your back and shoulders, then a good quality posture brace can be very beneficial as they will ease your upper body and your head back into its natural alignment, you will still have to make sure your lower body is correct but they can help do all the hard work for you.

Eliminating bad posture 

So what is good posture? It can be hard to define with so many different contradictory opinions about and with so many different postures being displayed by people. 

To try and define what is good posture 

  • It's about being and maintaining your full but natural, healthy height, expansion and width, without stiffening 
  • Being vertical and in alignment with gravity 
  • Being poised, aligned and balanced
  • Keeping your joints as free, loose and flexible as possible where your muscles are free from tension

Healthy posture, involves having good balance, poise and movement whilst at the same time being at your maximum expansive posture without stiffening, forcing or unnaturally tensing, pulling or holding yourself up. 

Many of the less industrialized civilizations and cultures have less trouble with back pain and tension.

Whilst many western cultures are straying more and more away from their natural, healthy posture the less industrialized countries have kept a more of a natural upper back and leg posture.

This is where the spine is more upright with less curve through the length of the back with the big curve being at the lower back and bottom.

The spine curves more at the bottom to stick the buttocks behind which gives the buttocks that slightly angled position.

Standing with the least amount of strain and tension

Although there are some techniques that you can apply that will help you to bring your body back into alignment align, (see videos below) be careful not to try to physically correct your posture as this will only lead to more tension, pains and muscle stiffness.

A lot of muscle stiffness and back and joint pains are a result of people physically messing about with their posture. The reality is, you should not be trying to physically adjust your posture. 

If you're experiencing a lot of tension, then this is usually an indication that you have developed some bad habits that will need changing or,

  • Your body is out of alignment with gravity 
  • You're physically trying to hold yourself up 
  • You're physically trying to push yourself up 
  • You're trying to physically correct your posture
The reason why you should be careful not to correct your posture physically is because we automatically and instinctively know how to sit, stand and move with the least amount of tension and strain.

Therefore it should not be something that we need to consciously and physically interfere with or try and control, it is more of a thing that we should return back to doing.

Things only go wrong, when we practice and pick up bad habits, or we get stuck in a poor posture position and we allow them to get progressively worse, or we try to mimic others or we try to take physical control of our posture.

You should be careful trying to mimic others, because how do you know their posture or advice is correct.

Some people will advise you to stand against the wall so the back of your head, your shoulders and your butt are all touching without trying to force it. 

But again this is flawed because, people have different body shapes, whereas some will have bigger butts and others will have thicker backs. 

Some people will also have different leg lengths and slightly different knee structures, so there is not one exact standard structure or body shape. 

What you should aim for is, what feels most comfortable and tension free for you, especially to start with.

To begin to reduce any muscle tension, it might be better to take the approach of 
  • Releasing and letting go of any tension 
  • Correct any bad habits like slouching, bending forwards, leaning back, and looking down by bending your neck and dropping your head 
  • No pulling, pushing, forcing, tensing or tucking in your butt
For example, if your shoulders are pulled too far forwards, then instead of trying to pull them back, which is a case of using tension to release tension. 

Practice thinking the upper back muscles to be soft or smooth or any other muscles that are tense or unnaturally held. 

If your neck is tense, avoid lifting up your chin or bending your forwards from the neck, if your chest is lifted up, release it back down.

You can buy a portable electric shiatsu massager to help you relax the back muscles, then allow your shoulders to relax naturally and find their own position.

The benefits of massage, yoga or exercising, however, will be short lived if you keep doing the things that have been causing the shoulders to be pulled forwards or any of your other muscles to be tense.

If you have been slouching when you're sitting, learn how to get in and out of your seat correctly and smoothly. 

Do not stretch up, slump or lean forwards whilst working or performing activities, try and everything at hand, within reach or at eye level or use the range of your eyes to look up, down or sideways. Avoid sitting lazily on the sofa or in your seat.

To be able to stand, move and sit with the least amount of tension has a lot to do with the position of the pelvis in relationship to the legs and body and your abdominal strength and support.

The correct natural position of the pelvis

Your body should be more of a column so you become more in alignment with gravity. Try and avoid trying to stand or sit up straight, as again this causes tension by causing the spine to become too straight or overextended.

To stand in better balance and alignment, our weight should be evenly distributed over our shoulders, over our hip center and over our ankles, so if you drew a line down from your shoulders, through your hip center and your ankles, then these three points should roughly match up.

Standing efficiently with the least amount of strain and tension, does not just involve the work action of the legs, the whole is body is required to be in good co-ordination, alignment and balance in order to stand with the least amount of effort and strain.

When were are standing it is recommended that the sensation of our weight should be more towards our heels than the front of our feet, but although the weight should come more over the ankles. 

When you're at work, try to adapt your job or work station to suit your posture, rather than adapting your posture to suit your workplace.

We should avoid standing back on our heels as this can put us into a lean back posture, nor should we stand with our toes lifted.

Many people, sit, stand and walk with their hips pushed too far forwards or too far back, which will throw the whole body out of alignment and balance. 

One of the keys to having a healthy and naturally balanced tension free body is having good core stomach and pelvis support and strength, so the legs are underneath the pelvis and the hips are underneath the torso. 

If the hips are pushed too far forwards then the torso will lean back to compensate for the out of aligned hips, and the legs will become slanted or the knees will give. 

If the hips are pushed too far back, then the torso will lean forwards, again to compensate for the out of aligned pelvis.

Both of these can make you feel uncomfortable and they will putt an extra workload on the muscles, which can cause the body to collapse or it will become out of alignment with gravity.

The position of your pelvis is important on two accounts, first, it is recommended by some experts, that the pelvis should be angled slightly forwards, so the top of the pelvis is a bit more forwards than the bottom.

Secondly, the position of the pelvis in relationship with your legs, your head and your upper body, and it is extremely important to have the hips underneath the torso to give your upper body the key support and strength that is required to minimize any tension and keep you in good alignment and balance.

Ideally you should allow your pelvis to find its own natural position itself by releasing any tension that you're holding onto.

Many people stand with their hips either pushed too far forwards or too far back.

The position of the hips is really important if you want to sustain good balance and organization.

When your hips are in the right position, so they are positioned on top of your legs and underneath your torso.

Your spine will become stacked upright, so your bones to all the supporting, which will ease the tension on your muscles.

When your hips are out of alignment, not only does your whole body become thrown out of alignment and balance, it will also put a huge strain on your muscles which will have to tighten to help support you and compensate for the out of balance body..

Many people stand with their hips either pushed too far forwards, some have their pelvis tilted back or they are in a lean back type of posture.

This puts an excessive curve in the spine and throws the head and shoulders out of position in order to try and compensate for the hip imbalance.

Ideally, the spine should be a well balanced column, so your weight is evenly distributed, over your shoulders, hips and ankles.

It can be hard to advise people, because each person can vary from another.

Some may have too much curve in their lower back, whilst others have to much curve in their upper back.

Others may have their hips pushed too far forwards, whilst others, have their hips pushed too far back.

The first step to getting out of tense and stiff postures is all about being aware of what you're doing wrong and figuring out, whether your spine is too curved, or even, too straight.

You may need to visit a professional or take an Alexander Technique class to get help knowing what type of posture you have, and what you need to, put it right.

How long it will take to correct things can largely depend on how bad your posture is, but it may be something that you will have to work on.

If you have very poor or out of balance, posture, then you cannot go straight to balanced posture overnight, and you may have to take small steps, step by step.

So how can you tell if your hips are in their natural alignment and balance?

Stand with both of your feet firmly on the floor, and then try and lift up the front of your feet.

If you can easily lift up the front of your feet, then this means that your hips are pretty much in the right place.

If you struggle to lift up your hips, then this will indicate, that your hips are thrust too far forwards, or even too far back.

Getting out of tense and painful postures

Many people get stuck in those lazy types of sway back posture.

This is where they have their hips are pushed too far forwards, which can cause their back to angle backwards, the shoulders become out of alignment and the head starts to protrude forwards, 

When you are in a back bend type of posture, it can cause the lower back to become compressed.

Another typical type of tense posture, is where people enter into an S type posture, in this type of posture you will often see the legs become tilted and the knees become locked.

All these types of sway back or zig zag types of postures, can make it hard for people to stand and sit up properly.

To compensate for these out of aligned, balanced  and sway back postures, because they struggle to hold themselves up, you will usually see them leaning on something to help give them more support  to stand upright.

If you think that your hips might be are thrust too far forwards, or you have too much curvature in your spine.

Then you might find that the top of your legs and the weight of your hips need to come back a touch so your hips come over your ankles, so your weight goes over your ankles and your upper body comes over your hips.

If you think that you're in an S shape, posture, where your hips are pushed too far forwards, and your back is to curved and your legs are slanted.
Then the top of your legs might need to come back a touch and your upper body may need to come forward and upright a touch.

The legs should be vertical (as such), but not braced, and the knees should be soft, I am reluctant to use the term, straighten your legs, because the legs nor any other part of the body is straight.

Everybodies knees and bone structure and bone length will vary a bit.

Many people tend to hyper-tense their legs and lock their knees, if you do this, just soften the knees a touch, so your legs muscles are active, but not tense or braced stiff.

Others have their hips pushed too far forwards, which causes the legs to slant.

Another problem, is when you allow the knees to give too much and your calfs to drop and ankle forwards, which will result in the collapse of the body.

Generally speaking, the weight the body, should be more over the ankles and heels, and not towards the toes.

We have all been told to sit or stand up straight, but when you do this, it promotes the lifting of the chest, which will curve the spine and tighten the back muscles.

If you have a habit of lifting up your chest, just gently ease your chest and ribs down naturally. 

Be careful though, that you don't drop your chest too low, as this will cause you to bend and stoop forwards too much.

Just relax your chest and relax your back

If you think you're in one of these lazy, sway back or S type postures, then the video below by the founder of the Balance Center, Jean Couch, will demonstrate to you several techniques, on how to get out of tense and painful postures and fix knee, leg and upper body alignment issues.

Good poise and posture could be described as, having efficient use of our bodies, so we are in good alignment and balance, so we can sit, stand and move with the least amount of tension and effort, whilst still remaining at our full extension and poise.

Ideally, when you're standing, you should be in a position where you're not putting strain on your back or tensing muscles that don't need tensing.

Try not to fix yourself locked in one position

People who are out of balance and alignment, or people who have developed poor postural habits tend to use tension or they need something to lean or support them to compensate for their poor alignment. 

This is not the answer because by doing this they're unnecessarily creating tension and wasting energy by adding further muscular effort and tension to hold themselves upright in place.

Unfortunately, most people accept this state of tension as being normal or they are not aware they're doing it because it is all they know. 

Once you're more vertical, aligned, relaxed and balanced, you can allow yourself to sway and tilt forwards gently whilst keeping your whole body straight, then go backwards very slightly, but making sure you only hinge from the ankles. 

To begin with, tilt forwards slightly, until you reach the point of tension at the front of your ankles, then stop, and then go backwards until you feel the point of tension at the back of your ankles, then do this a few times, until you get to know the midpoint between the two extremes and try to stay in and around these two limits.

Because, although you're ideally searching for the position with the least amount of tension, you should not try to stay fixed or locked in one static position or attempt to hold yourself still, just try to remain within the small variations between the narrowest points of balance that you have, somewhere in between the two points of tension.

The same applies when you're sitting down, because again, you have not got to sit and hold yourself perfectly still or lock yourself in position, it is OK for you to sway back and forth a little, so long as you do not pass beyond the points of tension.

Do Not Pull Your Shoulders Too Far Back 

Most individuals who try to correct their posture lift their chests up and pull their shoulders back, your shoulders should be free and relaxed down and held in their sockets.

You may have even been advised to do this but neither are correct and in fact any lifting up or pulling will make things worst.

If you want to align up your shoulders then the best way to do this is either by using a reputable posture brace or by doing some shoulder correction exercises.

The video below will demonstrate the correct way to achieve this

If you have structural damage then you will need help from someone who is medically qualified and specially trained to work with you to try to correct your posture or alleviate some of your pain and symptoms.  

To have a healthy balancerd posture, you have to focus on your whole body, where most people go wrong is the only concentrate on the upper body yet the correct position of your legs is essential to support healthy natural alignment and your pelvis acts as the foundation of support for your whole upper body. 

Posture exercises for lengthening your back

Another posture correction exercise that will help you to restore your natural poise and balance by lengthening your back as well as helping you free yourself up from any tension you have gathered during the day is to use the semi-supine posture correction exercise. 

When we have been standing up or sitting for long periods of time our muscles are constantly working to support us and although, having a natural, balanced, aligned posture where your bones support you will significantly reduce the workload of the muscles. 

If you practice the semi-supine posture for ten minutes a day, then it will release the pressure off your muscles and lengthen your spine, thus reducing back and neck pains, improving your breathing as well as helping to release any tension. 

This exercise will also help you to correct your posture, this exercise involves lying down on your back flat on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent and pointed upwards, your feet should be roughly about 18 inches away from your butt with your feet being about shoulder width apart.  

You should have a pile of books resting under your head, the height of the books should be the distance from your head to the wall when you're standing in a natural relaxed posture with your back against the wall. 

Your elbows should be placed slightly away from your waist and you should rest your hands lightly on your stomach, then scan your body for any tension, and then just think to yourself, relax and release all that unnecessary tension.

The video below demonstrates how to best perform this exercise

The correct sleeping position 

Your sleep posture is also important as your sitting and standing posture, because the average person will spend approx six to eight hours each day in bed sleeping. Having a firm mattress

Avoid sleeping on your stomach. The best positions for sleep posture is either to sleep on your back or your side.

Many experts suggest for sleepers who generally lay on their sides to put a knee pillow between the knees to align their hips and keep your hips in a relaxed position.

Your head needs to be level and in alignment with your spine which will help to reduce and prevent posture related back strains and pain.

You can buy cervical or memory foam pillows that are specially designed to keep your head fully supported and level with the correct position of the rest of your spine. 

If those pillows don't suit you a normal pillow that is the right height to keep your head in alignment with your body is fine so long as you don't sleep with your head to high or to low in relationship with your spine and neck. 

If you lay on your side, your knees should be bent and pointing out so it releases the tension in your back. Some people also have a supporting pillow that they can hug and rest their arms on

Try not to sleep in a tense stressed position, like hunching up to much or stretching your legs and back out to straight. It can pay to just make sure your lying in a comfortable and tension free position.

If you lay on your back then you need to have a small support underneath your knees like a small pillow to keep a slight bend in the knees. 

If you lay down with straight legs it will create more tension in the lower back and again use a memory foam or cervical pillow. It is recommend that a fairly firm mattress with a memory foam cover or soft cover is ideal. 


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