Eliminate Bad Tension Habits And Start To Feel More Comfortable, Poised And Relaxed

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.

When we collapse our back and we sit and stand in a relaxed but slumped posture, not only can this lead to back and joints pains, it can also have a negative effect on our digestive system, it can restrict our breathing, cause tension, affect our emotional state and make us feel generally low and lethargic.

If we constantly allow our back to collapse by going into a slump, it can cause us to lose our spine's natural lumbar curve and in some case, the long term effects can cause the spine to curve the wrong way, so the spine ends up in a convex curve instead of the natural concave spine, which can cause the compression of the discs.

If you slump or slouch for long periods, then this will disengage some of your supporting muscles that are designed to help hold you upright, whilst at the same time it will put more workload on the other muscles.

This will cause an imbalance and create a situation, where some muscles will shorten, whilst others will be elongated, so some muscles will not function and others will have too much workload and strain put on them.

When most people attempt to correct it to what they think, or what they have been told, is good posture, such as trying to sit or stand up straight, what they often do is, they flip to the other extreme.

Were they, stick out or they lift up their chests where stand in a military type of posture which causes their backs to curve, too much the other way and makes the muscles become tight and stiff. 

Good posture is not about trying to sit or stand up straight as that can cause you to over stretch or over straighten the spine, which will cause the spine to lose it's natural curvature as well as causing muscle stiffness.

Other types of bad postures are, where the hips are pushed too far forwards, which puts the person in a back bend and out of aligned, zig zag type of posture. 

Whilst some, have their hips and butt, sticking out too far backwards, which causes them to bend forwards, which tends to flatten the back. 

The real problem starts, when you get stuck in one of these unhealthy and out of aligned postures.

Because, if these types of unhealthy postures 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.

Important Tip

Unless you know what you're doing, avoid trying to physically correct your posture as it will only result in making things worse.

The way to good healthy and balanced posture should be to stop doing the things that are wrong, release your tension habits and try and return to your natural poise, balance where you move, stand and sit freely with the least amount of stiffness and effort.

Although this page is titled, correct your posture, I would never advise anybody to try and physically correct their posture or try to tuck in 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 posture issues, 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 slouching, you should avoid pulling yourself up by your head 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 alignment, and there are ways to put this right, such as knowing how to sit and stand up correctly (See video's below) which should not involve trying to physically pull yourself all over the place.

If your hips are pushed too far forwards or you have them pushed too far back, then you might find that you do have to make some minor smooth adjustments.

Therefore, if your hips are out of alignment to the rest of your body, then you may need to gently release and ease them back or forwards depending on which way they are out of position, but any movements you take should be slight and smooth.

The same applies if you are either leaning too far forwards or too far backwards, and again, you may find that you may need to make slight but smooth adjustments, however avoid using force or tension if you attempt to make any adjustments.

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

To check if you're in good balance and alignment, then you can try standing sideways in front of a full length mirror, if you notice that your hips are pushed either too far forwards or too far back, then you can gently release them and ease them back or forwards until they come back underneath your upper body.

Again, to see if you're standing upright and vertical,  stand sideways in front of a full length mirror, making sure that your weight is evenly distributed over your feet. 

Then, you can gently sway your whole body without bending at the waist, slightly backwards and forwards slightly, as you do it, gradually reduce the amount of sway until you find your natural upright balance.

Because, any attempts to try and physically hold yourself up or force yourself into position will cause stiffness and it will just make things worse. 

When you attempt to hold yourself in position, you will spend all your time pushing and forcing yourself all over the place.

Ideally, to find a sense of good balance, your weight should be evenly distributed, where you have your shoulders over your hips, and your hips over your ankles.

The human body is designed to be top heavy, therefore the more excessive weight that you're carrying you are, the harder it will be to stand and sit for long periods.

Techniques such as the Alexander Technique focus on free movement and sitting and standing at your full height and expansion without using and physical effort or over extending your spine.

Our posture is subconsciously controlled, we naturally know how to sit, move and stand with the least amount of effort and muscle tension.

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

The Alexander Technique focuses on the head and spine relationship, and it is very hard to have good balance, if the head is too far forwards or too far back, in relationship to the body.

The head should rest freely on top of the spine, where the head should float forwards and up, without using any physical force, when the neck is free and the head is released forwards and up, the rest of the body should fall into place.

If you are pulling the back of your head down, which will contract your neck and back muscles, then it is OK to release your head, 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, but any movement should be slight and smooth.

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 without any physical effort required.

How long does it take to return back to your natural healthy posture

The way to natural and healthy posture should start off with awareness of what we are doing wrong, so we don't fall into the trap of carrying on with our bad postural tension habits.

When people try to stand or sit upright to get out of their slumped posture, they tend to try to hard and end up physically holding themselves up in a tense and stiff posture.

Rather than trying to physically adjust your posture, it may help to get into the habit of practicing releasing the flexed or contracted muscle or muscles, so you naturally return back to your natural poised, aligned and balanced posture.

For some you have been stuck in a slumped or hunched up posture for quite a long time, then a little extra help or work may be required.

So how long does it take to go back to your natural and healthy, aligned and balanced posture? 

This will all depend on how bad your posture is, and whether or not, there is structural damage that, you will need to work on.

First, you need to observe yourself or seek professional advice to find out what types of posture you are, and the severity of it. 

If you're just a bit out of alignment, then that can be corrected, fairly quickly, for others with structural damage or long term bad posture. 

Then, it can take quite a bit of work and correcting, exercises, over a longer period of time.

Because, everybody is slightly different, and not all posture problems, will be able to be solved, or corrected, as quickly as others.

All your posture problems, may not be able to solve, quickly, because if the body has already changed and adapted, then you're not going to correct it, by just making a decision, that you're going to fix it. 

Because if some of your muscles, have become shorter, and others have lengthened and become weak, and your spine is out of alignment, then, you cannot, just switch straight back, to your natural, and aligned posture, in one swoop.

Depending, on, the severity of your posture problems, especially if you have forward head posture or a rounded back and hunched up shoulders, then you may have to do some daily exercises. 

Forward head posture, or sometimes called text neck can lead to many problems, including neck and back pain and stiffness, blocking of the airways causing poor quality sleep, low mood and low confidence. 

The long term damage of forward head posture can be, severe, painful and irreversible, and the severest of cases it can cause the neck bones to fuse together resulting in a lifetime of pain and discomfort.

If you suspect you have forwards head posture, then it may pay you to find ways to correct it or start to release the tight muscles and release the head so it returns back to its natural point of balance where the head rest freely on top of the spine before it gets too bad.

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.

Sometimes trying to correct your posture, to what you think or what you have been told is good posture, without knowing what you're doing, or without knowing what good posture is, can make things much worse, or perhaps you have been given bad and incorrect advice.

But, you have not got to keep these bad postural habits, because these habits and bad posture can be reset, and bit by bit, you can return back to your natural, pain free and tension free posture.

Balance and alignment

The key is not so much to aim for this so called perfect posture, a better approach might be, to practice and learn how to sit, stand and move, with the least amount of tension, strain and effort.

When, you're in, a shortened or overextended tense and out of aligned postures.

Then it will force the muscles to tighten up and lock.

When your body is out of alignment with gravity, then the muscles will have to shift into action do the workload, that is designed for the bones.

This will put more strain on the muscles and body, it will cause the muscles to tighten and it will also consume a lot of extra and wasted energy.

To obtain, the posture with the least amount of tension and strain, you will need to work with gravity, because, if you have anything that is stacked up. 

A bit like a tower or column of blocks that is not in good balance, like it is leaning or it has a bend in it, which will either cause the tower to fall over, or there will be a lot of strain put on it.

We are the same and we have the same laws of gravity as a tower or block of bricks, therefore if you're not standing or sitting in good balance, then the body will start to collapse or there will be a lot of strain and tension put on the muscles.  

For many people, standing and sitting out of balance can become such a well practiced habit, that it becomes their default setting and they accept it as being normal.

But, if you can start to become more aware of, whether or not you're in good balance and alignment. 

Or if you have been practicing bad habits, then you can begin to iron out and change any bad habits that you may have picked up or developed.

When you are standing upright, with our weight evenly distributed over feet, with a neutral spine, where your shoulders are over your hips and your ankles, then you should be standing with the least amount of tension.

To feel more comfortable, free and balanced, then, the key is to start to work with gravity rather than fighting against it.

So you can hand back control of your posture to your subconscious mind so you can begin to forget about your posture.

The position of the hips is very important, if we stand with our hips pushed too far forwards then this will put too much arch in our lower backs, which will put a lot of strain on our back and neck.

If you go to the other extreme and you try to hard to physically straighten and hold yourself up, then this will cause you to lift up your chest and stick out your front rib cage. This will cause excessive strain and stiffness, and it is just as harmful as slumping.

Although you should stand at your natural height and full expansion, nothing should be forced, the legs should be vertical and underneath your hips and upper body, with your weight more over to the back of your heels and not so much your toes.

Your ankles and knee's should not be locked, and your legs should not be held tense or braced stiff. 

The legs should be vertical and go up, some peoples bone structure will vary, so its a case of trying to find out what is right for you and what feels the most comfortable for you.

When your whole body is in good alignment and balance, then there should be no need to stiffen or brace the legs. 

Your weight should be more over your heels than your toes, but avoid pulling your knees backwards.

Your heels should be back and down, but not locked, and your knees should go forwards and away from your heels, do not tense or lock your knees. 

The Alexander Technique tells us, to think your heels back and down, then think your knees forwards and away, rather than trying to do it physically. You can purchase an Alexander Technique book and guide from Amazon.

Many people will use the words, like stand or sit up straight, but no part of the body is actually straight, a better way to put it, would be to stand upright, aligned and in balance, without any stiffness.

Many people when they attempt to correct their posture, move between the two extremes, of slumping and going into a stiff military type of posture, and they are constantly shifting from one to another. If you go to the other extreme and you try to hard to physically straighten and hold yourself up. 

This will cause you to lift up your chest and stick out your front rib cage. 

This will put too much curve in your back, resulting in excessive strain and stiffness, and it is just as harmful as slumping

Although you should stand at your natural height and full expansion, nothing should be forced, or held. 

Each person is slightly different in height and structure than others, so you have to allow a bit of variation and sometimes we can try and copy others, however, that is only helpful if they have good posture and balance.

When your body is stacked up like a column, then you will have less resistance to gravity, which will free your joints and put you in a posture that has the least amount of tension.

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.

Bad posture help

The worst thing that you can probably do, when you're attempting to correct your posture, is to try and physically lift, pull yourself up, or hold yourself in position, and all this will do, is, it will make your posture and problems worse.

Finding good poise and balance so you experience more of that feel good flow feelings, is more about returning to your natural balance and alignment where you sit, stand and move with the minimal amount of tension without having to do consciously think about it or do anything.

Any attempt to just physically correct your posture or hold yourself in position, will only make things worse and result in more tension.

If you keep searching for this so called perfect posture and you keep trying to physically correct or mess about with your posture. 

Then the chances are, you will struggle to find your natural alignment and balance, because it is a thing that should happen automatically without you having to do anything, it is more of a case of, stop doing what you shouldn't be doing.

If you have developed any bad postural habits, then these should be replaced with good ones, if you have any muscular skeleton issues, then it is best to get the opinion of an expert, rather than trying to fix things yourself.

Any humps on the back, shorten of stature or forward head posture requires work and exercises, because if you have muscular skeletal problems, then, you cannot correct or fix them overnight or in one move.

There are exercises and techniques that you can learn and perform to correct any long term, structural and muscular skeletons defaults, damage or out of alignment, and there are techniques that can help you to align your body (see videos below).

The aim is to stand and sit at your full natural height and expansion, without any effort, stiffness and straining, make small adjustments at a time.

Most people, when trying to switch from a collapsed posture to an upright and relaxed on, when they attempt to do it, they either, try to physically pull themselves up, or, they lift up their chests, they elevate and pull their shoulders too far backwards and they tilt their heads up.

If you have slumped into a lazy collapsed posture, the video below, will demonstrate, how to bring yourself into alignment, without lifting up your chest, because if you lift up your chest, you will put too much curve in your back, and you will push your front rib cage too far outwards.

If you're still struggling, then you may benefit from buying a book, on the "Alexander Technique" or even visit a local Alexander teacher or class, if there is one available in your area.

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, the neck should be free of tension and the face should be very slightly angled forwards and it should be directed, forwards and up.

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.

Some people, may have developed forward head posture, where the head is positioned too far forwards in relationship to the body. 

Either through pulling the back of the head down, or by protruding the head too far forwards through constantly looking down or bending the head forwards.

If you think you might have forwards head posture, see your doctor or a specialist.

Because, correcting forward head posture, depending, on how far advanced it has become, may require practicing to release the tension and the things that are causing the head to protrude forwards or by doing some correcting exercises, over a period of time. 

If you have forward head posture, then you may need to release and free your head, so it sits freely on top of your neck, with the head slightly tilting forward and up, without using any force.

Your head should be freely resting on the top of your neck so your head is over your torso and in correct alignment in relationship with the body.

Although there is no fixed position of the head, as we tend to move it up and down and side to side. 

The ideal point of balance is where the head is slightly tilted forwards so the balance of the weight of the head is slightly more over the front of its axis.

Your neck should be free of any stiffness and tension and the reason why your neck should be free and soft, so your head is free to move when, necessary.

If the back of the head is pulled down, where the chin becomes lifted or if the head is bent forwards at the neck, then this can cause the spine and whole body to collapse.

Ideally you want we want the neck to be free and relaxed as possible, so the head rests freely on top of the neck with the head tilting gently forwards a few millimeters. 

Although the face should gently tilt forwards, make sure you let it roll forwards from the head and neck axis joint.

You can, imagine that there is a bar which goes through the ears, and this is where the head should be angled slightly forwards or rotated from to look up or down.

Avoid tucking in your chin and try to avoid bending from your neck or go around with your head looking at the floor and your chin forced and tucked in too hard, as this will throw the body out of alignment, it will cause severe tension in the neck and upper back and it can cause the spine to collapse. 

The head should sit freely on top of the neck and the neck should be free and relaxed. Trying to physically adjust your head can result in more stiffness. 

When we try to physically correct our posture, we tend to do it with way too much force and tension, instead of allowing it to happen smoothly and naturally.

A better approach to consider and take might be, if the back of your head is pulled down, then relax the neck and release the head so the head naturally comes forwards and just allow it to go up freely by itself. 

Become aware of any bad tension habits that you have and then try to eliminate them or replace them with good healthy habits. 

The head should only tilt or roll a few millimeters forwards, if you concentrate on relaxing and freeing the neck, then the head should find its own natural and free point of balance and tilt.

The Alexander Technique involves little physical effort or adjustments, and it uses thought to direct the head to go forwards and up.

If you are bending or tilting your head too far forwards or down, then just release it so it comes forwards and up, so it settles naturally in the most tension free position. 

The definition of tension is, to "apply a force to (something) which tends to stretch that thing", so if you have got muscle tension, then you are applying excessive tension and stretching which is not needed.

What causes muscle tension and out of balance, posture, is when we over lengthen and stretch some muscles and we shorten and contract others. 

To rectify this, release the contracted muscles and relax the over stretched muscles, so you bring the tense muscles back to their resting and most relaxed state.

The video below, will show you the proper head positioning.

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.

Let your bones support you as they were designed to

The skeleton bones need to be stacked upright and in alignment so your body is more of a column so the bones do all the supporting work which will allow the muscles start to release and become more relaxed and soft, so you return to that feel good comfortable flow state.

Again, you should not keep on trying to physically adjust your pelvis to try and find what some call, neutral pelvis. 

Finding your natural pelvis position can be found when you stop trying to tuck in your pelvis, correct your pelvis or attempt to find what you think is neutral pelvis.

It is more of a case of releasing any tension in your hips and then allowing your pelvis to find its natural position itself.

So it is not a case of forcing anything, but more of, releasing any tension and allowing your body to return back to and find its natural alignment and balance on its own.

The same principal applies if you are tensing any other part of your body, for example, if you are bending your head or back forwards, then release them so they return back to their most natural and balanced position, so it can pay to be aware of any tension that you're holding onto, and make it a habit of releasing that tension.

Because, if you apply tension or physical force to try and correct tension or correct your posture, then you will create more tension, it is a bit like fighting fire with fire.

This is why it might be better to concentrate on releasing tension rather than applying tension to correct tension or to correct any out of alignment and balance of the body.

If your chest is held too high, then gently release it back down, if your rib cage is protruding or too high, which will cause too much of a curve or bow in your spine, release it back and let it naturally hang down.

If you imagined a piece of string attached to your naval and sternum, then that piece of string should be pulled up so you take up the slack, but it should not be tight.

The head is very important to be able to find good poise, alignment and balance. The neck should not be stiff and the head should feel as if it is floating on top of the neck.

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.

If your hips are pushed too far forwards, then you may need to release the hips and allow them to move back a bit, so the weight of the hips comes back and your body weight comes more over your ankles.

This should allow the legs to become more vertical (but not stiff) so they are underneath the pelvis, and the pelvis should be underneath the rib cage so everything is aligned and the spine is stacked up, which should allow the muscles release and relax.

If you were to draw a plumb line down from the pelvis to the feet, then the center of your pelvis should be on the same vertical line as the ankles are, and the torso should rest on top of the hips, with the chest and rib cage relaxed down, so the sense of your weight is more over your heels than the front of your feet

If you find that your shoulders are still lifted up or elevated, where they are still a bit elevated or positioned behind the center of your hips, without bending forwards. 

Then it may help you to gently allow your stomach, ribs and your chest to relax and settle down, (avoid bending forwards or letting your chest collapse down), then relax your neck and let your head rest freely on top of your spine, and let the knees soften. 

The pelvis is one of your main foundations, so it is important to have it positioned well, so you stand and sit upright, but relaxed, which should allow your torso and spine to be stacked up vertically, so the muscles relax, rather than being in a S shape type of posture, instead of relaxed and slouched.

If your hips are pushed too far back, then it can help if you release them so they come forwards a bit, so again the legs come underneath the hips and the torso sits on top of the hips, allowing everything to become in alignment with gravity.

How do you tell if your hips are in the right position? If you watch the video below, then it will show you a simple technique that will show you if your hips are located in their natural and relaxed neutral position. 

Basically, if you cannot lift up the front of your feet when you're standing then your hips are probably out of alignment, but if you can lift up the front of your feet, then your hips should be roughly in the right alignment.

The neck should be relaxed so the head rests freely on top of the neck, with a slight natural tilt of the face, many people stiffen the neck, but the neck should be soft and act like a shock absorber.

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.

Finding out what type of posture you are

Two of the most common unhealthy postures that people often have are. They either have their hips pushed too far back, which causes their legs to slant and their top half goes into a back bend, or they go to far the other way and their butt and hips are pushed too far back.

If your hips are too far forwards, then you will need to bring your hips and the top of your legs back, so your body comes forward slightly as the above video will demonstrate.

If your hips and butt are pushed too far back, then, they will need to come forwards and your body will need to come upright.

Before you can bring yourself back into alignment, you first need to know what type of posture you are and what you're doing wrong. 

There is a lot of advice about correcting your posture, but before you can make any adjustments you first need to know what or where you're doing wrong.

It is not all about finding perfect posture, because the more you physically mess about with trying to correct your posture, the more tension you create. 

A better way of putting it might be, to eliminate bad posture and replace bad posture habits, be learning how to release any tension.

What is more important is, learning how to return back to your natural posture, alignment and balance and learning how to sit and stand with the least amount of tension, effort and strain, so you're releasing any tension and correcting what you're doing wrong.

Any strain, tension and even some joint and back pain, is often an indication that you're doing something wrong or you're doing something that you should not be doing.

It should be less of a case of trying to fix and correct your posture and more of a case of, ironing out and bad habits and returning back to your natural poise, alignment and balance, so you feel more comfortable and you have the least amount of tension and strain and you are applying the least amount of effort to do the everyday things that you do.

This does not mean standing or sitting lazily, otherwise your body will collapse, your aim should be to stand and sit upright at your full expansion, without stretching, without effort and without stiffening.

Then just start to be aware of what you're doing wrong and become more aware of any tension that you're applying in specific muscle groups and practice thinking those muscles to smooth, relax, release and be free. 

We have a point of balance where the major muscles that support us are at their least degree of tension and workload, in-between the two points of tension.

There is small, variation in-between these two points, such lifting your head up and down, or leaning forwards and leaning backwards, which you should try and aim to remain within the two points of tension.

It can be helpful to beware of this, because if you lean forwards too far, then you will notice tension in your chest, if you feel those chest muscles tensing, relax and release back a touch. 

If you lean back, you can feel your lower back muscles tightening, if you feel this, relax and release forwards a touch. 

If you overextend your body you will feel your chest muscles stretching or your lower back muscles stretching, if you notice this, relax your body down and your chest back down. 

Try and get into the habit of not doing the things you shouldn't do, and do more of the things you should, and practice releasing tension, where you have got used to habitually tensing your muscles.

Think relax, smooth and soften instead of tensing, start to allow your body to find its most natural tension free poise and balance on its own.

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 to compensate for the 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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