“Hey, your baby is not sitting upright!
“Sorry… he is only 3 months old, he’s not sitting at all.”
“Right, but you could give him some support with a cushion
and put him into a straight position,
or perhaps you could remind him a few times a day to sit up?”
Would you buy into it?
Of course not.
So why do we have an urge to say to our older children:
“Stand up tall!”
or perhaps we have heard this from our mum and insist on saying it
and are surprised that their posture doesn’t change?
When we ask someone (or ourselves)
to change a habit, we should make sure
they have the conditions and support to make a change and succeed.
A baby is not able to sit upright
until they have gained enough strength in their spine muscles,
we equally cannot change our forward position,
until we have re-trained our spine to stand upright
and have re-wired our brain to know what a good posture really is.
We (and our teens) have been stuck in a forward position for years,
our whole life is “forward” biased:
staring at our phones, sitting at our desk for many hours
even our “movement” time is forward:
walking, cleaning, gardening etc
It’s true that when we stand upright and align our bones well,
there would be much less effort on our body and less strain on our joints,
but our body cannot change simply by getting reminders.
When our body (and brain!) have gone through Pilates training,
and learnt what a good alignment is,
we would no longer need external reminders.
We would just “know” that our used to be “natural position”
is as a matter of fact – painful for our body.
If our poor posture feels “natural”, it doesn’t mean it’s beneficial for us,
It just means that we have been stuck in that position for a long time.
Once our body has gone through Pilates training,
it can endure longer periods of standing, sitting
and even cooking, cleaning, waiting
in which it will remain long, tall, graceful and pain free.
It’s not our fault.
It’s our inevitable sedentary lifestyle
No matter how old we are
or how long we have not been training for,
with a focused, professional training,
our hunched forward, rounded shoulders and forward head position
can be changed.
Yes, we would need to invest in learning how to move better
and become more mindful about how we move and how it feels,
what parts in our body we should keep stable and which ones should move
but that’s exactly how we maintain a long, strong, lean and pain free body
There is no other way.
Keep training intelligently,
Tom is 5 years old today, and he’s learnt to sit up a long time ago,
he’s been practising consistently so he got there and no reminders were required