Your Belly is Not a Shelf
Recently, coming home from a walk, I was confronted with eight heavy boxes stacked up at the base ofthe steps to my house. They were not my boxes, not my responsibility, and without going into all the details, carrying them up the steps was not my idea of fun. I had walked a long time and was ready to rest. It was beginning to rain, and these boxes that were not minewould become a far worse inconvenience were they to become drenched. So I schlepped them up the stairs, one by one.
You can guess how I was doing it, can’t you, given my frame of mind? Tail tucked under, shoulders hunched, eyes drilled on my destination, belly protruding to form a shelf for the boxes. Nothing healthy about my posture. But, dear readers, THAT is the perfect time to revise your body mapping--when you’re in the middle of doing something distasteful or hurried. When you are charged with resistance. (See The New Rules pg. 133)
When the neutral lumbar curve is reversed by tucking the tail and is coupled with lax deep corset tone, you have a sure-fire set up for your back to “go out”. It’s almost abiomechanical certainty. The flexed position gaps the little joints between your lumbar vertebrae so that if you twist or turn even a little while you’re in that position—especially if you lack deep core support—one of those tiny joints can easily slip off its proper mooring (it's called subluxation). If the joint gets stuck that way, the nerves that exit the spine at that level easily become irritated, setting up a cycle of muscle cramping and pain.
Your impatient moments can become opportunities to renew your neutral lumbar curve (widen your sit bones, drop your pubic bone), to engage your pelvic floor and activate your inner corset, and to broaden your shoulders using your serratus anterior/latissimusconnection. Then whatever “heavy lifting” you might have to do can support rather than sabotage your healthy posture.
© 2013 Mary Bond