Thinking of our body and how well it currently works immediately brings about thoughts on our alignment and posture aswell. Also no matter if you are going to a doctor, physiotherapist, a gym or your Yoga instructor, alignment of the body will most likely come up at some point.
The question now is: “What is natural alignment?”
“Natural alignment is the body’s ability to adapt to any circumstance in such a way that any physical action can be performed at best possible efficiency no matter the current body position.”
This might sound complicated but I ensure you it isn’t.
For the untrained “eye” it might seem odd to use the word “natural” as an adjunct to ”alignment”, but there is in fact a valid reason for that.
the current mainstream
Nowadays the word alignment is mostly used to describe how to position different body parts in relation to each other AND how to “uphold” this structure.
An example would be how each vertebra is positioned to its neighbouring one in order for the spine to have a desired shape.
Mostly the ideas that are promoted and spread by the fitness industry and are currently even mainstream in therapeutics, are suggestive of the need that we as humans are actually in the unfortunate position to constantly and actively have to uphold our structure.
This is in fact quite far from the truth, but it is an easy way to sell products like training equipment and regular gym memberships etc.
facts to alignment
As humans we are physically a complex web of different structures like bones, muscles, connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels etc. and they all play a major role in our postural alignment and structural health.
All of these structures are of course living tissue and they are best nourished if they are used properly.
So basically our alignment depends to a large degree on the health of the afore mentioned body structures and their ability to work together perfectly.
“Every normal healthy person has enough strength to spend a whole day out of bed with good postural alignment just by learning to coordinate the muscles correctly.”
influential factors on our alignment
The body is an incredibly complex but also incredibly alive combination of parts that work together. In the following is a list of the most important factors that influence it’s structural health.
- our movement (both type and intensity)
- our diet
- our sleep patterns
- our surroundings
- our work-situation and workplace
- our emotional wellbeing (as it influences our hormone- and neurotransmitter- levels)
- our thoughts
- our habits
All of the above mentioned aspects influence our ability to posturally align our bodies in the way they work best.
It’s really about two things!
1) having the structural integrity and strength to facilitate a healthy body structure
2) knowing how to coordinate and use the body
Point 1) is relatively easy for most people unless they have had injuries or suffer from series degenerative diseases.
Point 2) is mostly unknown, and yet also the most important aspect to consider when trying to regain a natural healthy body alignment.
This second aspect is also the reason why a gym is not necessarily needed in order to gain a healthy posture.
“What is most important is to learn how to properly use the body (muscles, fascia, joints, synapses etc.) so that internal coordination allows for the self-regulatory ability of our human form to kick in again.”
how to achieve “natural alignment”
One of the best ways that are out there to shift your movement and posture from suboptimal to great is to use conscious isolated movement to show the body exactly which muscles to use when.
Our habitual patterns (there will be a separate article about the inner workings of patterns) also store the way our mind interacts with our body. By making simple movement conscious again, we can change the way our brain is wired to our muscles and create lasting change in our posture and movement.
Such a “training” can be integrated in your regular day life easily without taking up an enormous amount of time.
The effects this can have on ones life go far beyond posture or movement, and include increased overall health, agility, joy and energy.