Postural alignment involves finding symmetry, positioning body parts optimally for strength and control, and being energy efficient against gravity. Poor posture stresses the body and can make you tired. Many health professionals work with postural integration, poise, breathing and balance – they all involve posture in standing. We never really stand still – we have something called postural sway – moderate amounts can be good for circulation, but too much can be a predisposing factor for a fall. Movement is in fact just a series of postures, one moment after another. Different postures require different combinations of active and passive interventions, and feedback from an expert is often necessary.
1. Knee bend – side lying
Extend the hip and bend the knee to the buttock.
2. Hamstring stretch – on back
Flex the hip to 90 degrees, knee straight, back and opposite leg flat on the floor
3. Cobra – on elbows
With hips and forearms flat on the floor, raise the shoulders off the floor.
4. Cobra – on hands
With hips and hands flat on the floor, raise the shoulders off the floor, and look up to the ceiling.
5. Cat stretch
On your hand and knees, with hips and shoulders at 90 degrees. Start with a flat back
Tuck the head under and flex the trunk up to the ceiling .
Then lift the head and arch the back down to the floor.
6. Lunge stretch
Keeping the hips horizontal and facing forwards, trunk upright, extend the hip and feel a stretch across the front of the hip.
7. Shoulder stretch
Stand with feet 45 degrees away from the wall. Rest the forearm on the wall and have the upper arm at a comfortable height for the shoulder.
Gently turn the body and head away from the wall, and feel a gentle stretch in the chest muscles.
8. Shoulder stabilisation
Stand with your heals, buttocks, shoulders and head against the wall. Keep the posture tall and upright. Lift straight arms to shoulder height, with relaxed neck and shoulders.
Open the arms against the rubber band, and feel the muscles working at the back of the shoulders.
9. Child pose
Starting on your hand and knees, with hips and shoulders at 90 degrees.
Rock backwards gently with the hips and keep the hands on the floor, opening the chest and shoulders.
10. Shoulder retraction
Stand with the heels and buttocks against the wall. Feel the distance between the wall and the shoulders.
Lift the ribcage and draw the shoulder back and down to rest against the wall.
11. Neck retraction
Stand with the heels and hips against the wall. Look straight ahead. Feel the distance between the wall and the back of the head. Lift the ribcage and draw the shoulder back and down to rest against the wall.