When you have correct posture, your body efficiently resists gravity in the least stressful way on your physiological and structural systems. Posture is typically thought of as a static and statue-like position. How boring! In truth, posture is dynamic in nature, and managing it is a constant interplay between your moving body and the things you do with your body. Maintaining proper alignment while moving is a challenging balancing act. To have better posture in motion, you must keep your body correctly poised within each movement to minimize the friction on your joints. In other words, activity is not pulling you out of good aligned posture— whether it’s walking, bending over to pick up the newspaper, lifting weights, running, cycling, or doing yoga.

Good standing posture looks like this:

Good Posture_final2

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Excerpted from The Roll Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility, and Live Better in Your Body by Jill Miller. Copyright © 2014 by Jill Miller. Excerpted by permission of Victory Belt Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. 

Jill Miller

Jill Miller, C-IAYT, ERYT is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide and creator of the self-care fitness formats Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method. With more than 30 years of study in anatomy and movement, she is a pioneer in forging relevant links between the worlds of fitness, yoga, massage, athletics and pain management. She is known as the Teacher’s Teacher and has trained thousands of movement educators, clinicians, and manual therapists to incorporate her paradigm shifting self-care fitness programming into athletic and medical facility programs internationally. She has crafted original programs for 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox, YogaWorks, and numerous professional sports teams. She and her team of 500+ trainers help you to live better in your body with an emphasis on proprioception, mobility, breath mechanics and recovery. She has presented case studies at the Fascia Research Congress and International Association of Yoga Therapy conferences. She has the rare ability to translate complex physiological and biomechanical information into accessible, relevant moves that help her students transform pain, dysfunction and injury into robust fitness. Jill is the anatomy columnist for Yoga Journal Magazine and has been featured in Shape, Men’s Journal, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, Yoga Journal, Self, and on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Jill is regularly featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She is the creator of dozens of DVD’s including Treat While You Train with Kelly Starrett DPT and is the author of the internationally bestselling book The Roll Model: A Step by Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility and Live Better in your Body. Based in Los Angeles, CA, she is a wife and mother of two small children and is currently writing her second book.

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Ella Maghen

This body map guide has helped me as I prepared my Tadasana teaching. Good posture is the first step to living happily in your body!

deborah liu

such great pointers. this article really spoke to me when it talks about posture while moving – i have to be more mindful so I’m not wearing down my body. posture is more than the static stance.

Gail

Excellent! We often take posture for granted…or we forget that “good posture” is not automatic. Just because we are standing upright does NOT mean we have good posture! For several years I taught a Pilates-based class for St. Mary’s college dance department and I always included 2-3 days of “posture education” for the students. They were AMAZED at how bad their posture actually was and how GOOD it felt to truly “stand up straight”. Thank you!

Claudie

Being conscious about our posture and the way we move in space is really interesting! When I first started to connect with my own body I understood so many things. Like why I had repetitive inflammation in my shoulders because of a bad habit and not keeping a good alignement when my shoulders were in flexion. Many many years later I Yoga teacher took pictures of me to show me how I was standing on my feet. I was shocked! I looked like if the wind was pushing me in the back! Imagine all that pressure in the front of… Read more »

Rachel Taylor

The concept of posture as something dynamic is helpful to me. After having my baby 10 months ago, I’ve sometimes struggled to find postural alignment. At various times, I’ve felt thrown off by the changes in my abdominal muscles and the movements of cradling, breastfeeding, picking up, and holding my baby. Sometimes I’ve let my mind think I’ve “lost” alignment, or that my posture “should” be better. I know that being a less judgmental observer of my body and approaching postural alignment as a constant process will be more helpful to me physically and mentally.

Markella

Practicing good posture like this makes me feel resilient and far more able to handle load or find balance again if i’m thrown off.

Georgia

Love the bit about breathing into the torso in all directions – that’s an easy one for people to forget about.

Ksenia

Yes! It’s a great reminder that ” hold it like a statue” posture is actually very active alignment maintenance. The Foundation of many asanas- Tadasana- may seem like “just standing” but it combines so many DOMs at the same time: our hip joints are externally and internally rotating, as well as adducting and abducting is performing. So we have to discover all 4 to find it in 1 !

cg ovalle

Thank you Jill, so simple yet so complicated. Found my self walking and making sure to go down the list to see if my posture was good. Will relate to my clients of the important of Good Posture.

Tanja

Thank you for pointing out that good posture is DYNAMIC in nature and follows you with each movement!! As you mentioned most think of it as a static position, mainly while standing or sitting!

Jenna Mitchell

I need to work on not pinning my shoulders back !

Lorena

Thanks! I needed that! My posture is typically poor. I have to constantly remind myself to stand up or sit up straight. I fear that in my older years I will end up with some type of posture problem. I love the info-graph, it’s a great visual to have.