Bikinis, Bones, and Backs
During summer, many of us head to the beach for some fun in the sun. On the beach wearing bathing suits we see the unvarnished, skin-and-bone truth to our posture and all of its misalignment.
Without hiding in shirts, jackets, and pants, we can examine how the body has had to painfully adapt itself to the culprit of our modern, misaligned posture: the tucked pelvis.
Bending At The Beach
The photos above show various degrees of bending that are safe and strong (straight lines) to unsafe and weak (curved lines). If the butt is tucked under when bending, the spine has to curve and therefore loses its stability. With the butt out, weight in the heals and the spine naturally straight and aligned, you have much more power and ease to do what you want.
Comparison: Aligned vs. Misaligned Shoulders
Let’s compare shoulders while standing: yesteryear and today.
To find people who are standing with their shoulders in pain-free alignment, we must look to the turn of the century (at the bottom of this page, see a visual history of why this is the case). The aligned women in the 1920s on the left have a well-placed pelvis that is not thrust forward and a butt that is not tucked under. They are not lifting their chests (if they were, you’d see a deep trough in their spine) and they are erect by relying on the alignment of their bones, not by forcing their muscles to keep them upright. They are tall without effort and seem to glide when walking.
The contemporary woman on the right has a back and shoulders that are misaligned. Because her pelvis and legs lean forward, her back is exhausted keeping her upright so it follows the forward trajectory by hunching forward. This causes the shoulder blades to stick out and be wide apart, resulting in her arms falling forward. This in turn causes her chest to be narrow and tight, while the back is broad and weak. More than likely, when sitting she sits slumped in a cashew shape, which exacerbates her shoulder misalignment.
The average person, such as the young woman on the right, has adopted a posture that mimics what she sees from the people standing and sitting around her. Because of this, she has changed her posture from the aligned posture she had as a toddler to the misaligned posture she has today.
Find a teacher to help you find your aligned posture on the beach and beyond.