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There's No Such Thing As Bad Posture!

Has that got you confused? Isn't that what we are told all the time, stop slouching, correct your posture, stand up straight, sit tall, and put your shoulders back and down. Crikey, makes me feel uptight thinking about it.

So... does the cat in the above meme have bad posture. Well technically, I have no idea, but as a cat, I doubt it. The cat probably has an incredibly supple, flexible, and dynamic posture, this is just a snapshot. Imagine this cat was an athlete, this was their rest day and they are lounging and letting it all go. would you then criticize them for slouching? I doubt it.

So when does it become bad posture?

Over a long period of less and less movement which then becomes limited; not taking yourself regularly through a full range of movement with a range of sensations,

eg, pandiculations, strength, agility, etc.

Let's take the cat in the chair again. If the cat uses the chair every day for long periods, sat in that slouched position and gets down and up to the floor less and less, there starts to become limitations in the cats' movement. This will affect the cats' full range of joints and muscles in the future and will become less able to be agile, play, jump, and run with ease. In truth the cat will age faster.

A good posture is a moving posture. Moving fluidly with ease, suppleness, strength, and agility.

Movement creates life.

Sitting for hours, without regular breaks and then finding out at 50 you think the floor is a long way down and its effort to get back up and frozen shoulder starts to kick in because you can't lift your arms above your head anymore.

Then there becomes a fear of falling and then we hold the body more rigid. It starts to spiral pretty quickly after a certain age!

I am looking at the long game and if I am wanting to live as long as possible AND I want to be enjoying it and that means being able to do things!

Its all about movement variability, full range and expression of who we are, as a person as a body. Many problems accepted as getting old are in fact a result of a lack of a full range of movement variability.

Aging doesn't have to be like this....

Play with these, your seven a day for posture health:-








Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Therapeutic Pilates Instructors, Alexander Technique, Yoga, Hanna Somatic guides/teachers, Sports Massage, Bodyworkers & Fitness coaches (etc) are all looking for how the body moves well and efficiently to be healthy.

Some will look at angles and bony landmarks to assess skeletal alignment, some will look at stability and mobility and the range around the joints; some will look at the strength, flexibility and suppleness of the muscles, some will go deeper by supporting inner enquiry of the internal experience of movement acknowledging all of our unique individual way of moving. (Nutrition and alignment is a whole other blog)

We are all unique in our posture and movement, both with our bones and muscular structure; born with and how our life has shaped us.

Look at the differences above of these femur ( thigh) bones and the angle of the ball head of the hip on the far left photo above, this would be hugely different in how these two people moved at the hip.

The middle photo is of two pelvis'. The left pelvis you can see the forward facing hip sockets but on the right they are not visible as they are side facing.

The scapula (shoulder blades) on the right image, are hugely different, the person on the right would struggle linking hands behind their back,

All these skeletal differences will show up as a difference in movement range and posture.

This is why it is important to fine tune your own self awareness, to listen to how your body moves and to trust yourself. You may never get into some wide hip opener because your bones weren't designed to.


A posture that becomes repeated to often, becomes rigid and can actually change the shape of your bones, or more acurately, causes bone growth called Spurs. These can become painful and limit movement even more.

These spurs are caused by repeated and unbalanced continuous force or compression by the tendons connecting muscles to bones in a prolonged position (posture) Think of heel spurs, bunions, dowagers hump. Bones, fascia, tendons are basically the same building blocks, they change according to the tension and compression. So the tendon becomes more calcified.

In the case of a severe Dowargers hump there also becomes a fatty deposits around the base of the neck, this is caused by multiple micro-compression fractures, which is the bone being repeatedly broken and re calcifying, rather like a sand dune; caused by the head in continual forward position, internal rotation of upper arms and muscles tension around the whole area. Eventually this is un-reversable.

I personally have worked on my own neck for decades as I saw this emerging even as a young teenager and carrying lots of tension in drawn up shoulders and terrible headaches. I also recognize, now as I am older, this in my Fathers posture and my Nan.

While researching for blogs I often discover interesting articles. I found a seemingly odd one about the spiritual meaning behind your bone spurs. Now there was some other rather dubious points in the article but when you get past the woo woo, pause and think for a moment. This is what it said... ''The spiritual meaning of bone spurs is that they can be a sign of your spirit’s unwillingness to grow and evolve.

If you find yourself unable to move forward in life, it might be time to take a look at why. Bone spurs are often caused by calcification, which means that you are forming hard tissue in your body. This can be caused by ][ being unable to release negative emotions from your past.'' Its a bit like old wives tales, its often worth sifting through to find what the wisdom was. This could all make sense....

YOUR POSTURE TELLS A STORY- How has Life shaped you?

Ever had someone tell you they recognize you before they see your face by the way you walk?

We inherit many of our postures from our primary caregivers and the people we spend a lot of time around. When you are in a long term relationship you will start picking up gestures and mannerisms from each other.

Sometimes this becomes more apparent when you have children of your own. Do you ever feel like you laugh like your Father or do a gesture of rubbing your nose you got from your mother? How about your choices and behaviour?

Think how many generations your posture might have been inherited from. Quite an astonishing, or maybe even shocking thought? Our body carries our history, our own lifetime and those who have come before us.

Some of that posture we may want to take with us, it is something that holds good for us.

Some we may want to leave behind. This is how we heal the things we want to let go of.

This is how we work at healing 7 generations. This is an indigenous teaching. When we are healing ourselves, we are healing 7 generations. (This includes the bigger picture and includes nature and our environment as something inseparable from ourselves)

The importance of acknowledging our life experiences and our ancestors have influenced and shaped us for the better or by stressful incidents, emotionally as well as physical, accidents, chronic stress, pain or trauma. Whether this has been conscious or unconscious, whether we have known our ancestors or not it still shapes who we are and is shown in our postures, gestures and actions.

We can not just squash them down and ignore these aspects of ourselves.

The body never lies.

It results in anxiety, prolonged sadness, panic attacks, outbursts, seemingly unexplained anger, depression, not to mention, illness, IBS, insomnia, addiction, inflammation, headaches, and heart problems.


As you can see it's way more than standing or sitting up straight. In fact, standing up 'straight' could in itself be rigid and full of trauma. I have memories here of a man who was a Sargent in WW2, he was tall and always bolt upright and shouted angrily most of the time. Stories passed down by daughters and nieces who were terrified of him, tip-toed around, tense and nervous. What got passed down through that family line? Or a child who often hid under the stairs when their parents were arguing and whose posture as an adult was stooped and head held down. What about a dog that has been hit as a pup regularly and as a grown dog its tail is always tucked under and down? These are obvious examples.

Remember these things can be subtle but affect us daily in huge impactful ways every single day both positive and negative.


Mindfulness and meditation can often be minimalized into something to help us relax and deal with stress. Mindfulness is about living more fully, more present moment so we can get more joy in life. But how? It sounds simple but yet such an abstract, far out of reach concept for many.

When we include the body in our mindfulness practice, when we learn the mind and the body are not separate, it becomes and embodied practice, that is a Bodymindful practice.

This is the true practice of Yoga.

This is the true practice of any holistic Bodymind practice.

To learn about ourselves.

A bad posture may therefore be defined as an unconscious posture. You know, when you sit for hours not listening to the fact you pelvis is twisted and your neck dropped and head is feeling to heavy or that you have a twinge in your knee when you turn around or you walk into a room full of people, feel self conscious and assume a posture of your mother as you walk across the room.

So maybe we are not who we 'think' we are.

How do we create new movement patterns, new habits?

How do we let go of who we think we are supposed to be and embrace who we truly are?

It begins every moment, being bodymindful, being gentle and kind with our inner talk; being aware, so we have choice in our actions, our gestures, our posture as our expression of ourselves in the world.

Our posture is all of this.


Heather Parsons

Bodymind Movement Coach

30 years experience as a Bodyworker

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2 comentarios

03 ene 2023

LOVE this Heather! I trained as an NLP Practitioner so recognise much of this thinking x

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Thank you for your feedback and glad you enjoyed it 💗🙏🏻

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