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by Donna Brooks

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Somatic Practices for Healthy Posture

You can create healthy posture by using the somatic practices I share below. But first, please realize that healthy posture is NOT a consequence of forcing your body sit, stand or walk “tall”, “upright” or even “aligned”.

Somatic practices for healthy posture are easy to do.

You can feel and sense your body from the inside out. It’s subjective as opposed to looking at your body from the outside and trying to get it to behave in a certain way or to achieve an ideal. These somatic practices for healthy posture are just that. They are practices. They take some time.

Somatic practice for healthy posture eases stress and relieves harmful movement patterns.

You know, stress is created in the autonomic nervous system. And, stress itself can make posture poor and painful. Among other things, your autonomic nervous system can give you chronic back and neck tension, tight muscles and a tight jaw. Posture is also a result of how fluidly you move. It also is a result of how integrated your movement is. This is found in your somatic nervous system. If you have had accidents or injury, you have first hand experience with hurtful adaptations in our movement that inhibits fluidity.

Somatic Practice for healthy posture lets you experience healthy posture without effort.

Somatic practice for healthy posture has an emotional component.

Emotional responses can change our level of body tension or tone. We think of tension as a bad thing but without tension we would be saggy and collapse. Instead, let’s think about tone. The “tone” of our body tissue both varies and has a general level of activity that reflects us. Importantly, emotions influence this range, Let’s see if we can feel some of this range:

Sit quietly and as objectively as you can, feel your posture. Is your weight even from side to side? Does your head slump? Are you slouching or making yourself sit up?

To get an experience of overall tissue and nervous system tone, think of a time you felt both easy and exhilarated. Drawing up this experience is a somatic experience because it is just about you and your life.

As you draw up that experience can you feel a positive shift in how you experience being “tall” , “full” or “upright”. If not, continue below and I will help you find ease and integrity in your posture.

Now, think of a time you felt worried, alone or injured. Can you feel a shift in your posture?

Our movement patterns help or hurt our posture

Our bodies are a fantastically complex arrangement of muscle, bones, connective tissue, fluids, nerve impulses and respond to all kinds of internal and external perceptions. For instance, just how we perceive body weight or lightness can support healthy posture.

Stand up and notice how much effort it takes you to stand. You can also notice details like which foot has more wright or if your hip back or neck have tightness or pain.

Use the video below as a guide to begin to feel weight softening not gravity. Just imagine you are a fluid container of sand the shifts, rolls, glides, slides. If you prefer to do this lying down, you can.

Now feel how at. certain point your body responds to feeling heavy , sinking into gravity with a lightness. This may take awhile, especially if you have put a lot of effort into standing up “straight”. Give it time. Play with it. The video is short but you can spend 10 minutes or so.

Now, stand again. What has changed about your posture. Do you feel more grounded or lighter? You may feel fuller or have more ease. Emotionally, you may feel more relaxed.

If so, you are well on your way to a somatic embodiment that makes for healthy posture, pain-free movement and nervous system regulation. You can continue and deepen this journey by learning more on my website: . You can read more about what somatic movement is here. Learn to improve your breathing with somatic exploration. I offer classes, workshops and individual lessons world wide over Zoom. I offer in person work in Easthampton MA.