If you are going to sit to work, here’s how to sit well
If you are going to sit to work, here's how to sit well, with ease and poise using the Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique teaches us the 'how to' of everything we do. How to do anything with more ease and poise and with less tension and strain, this includes sitting. Here are some easy to use tips to make sitting less of a strain.
Make sure that both feet are on the floor and that the whole of the sole of your foot (heels to toes) are on the ground. Just let gravity rest your foot fully on the ground. This allows our postural reflexes to work and makes sitting much easier. The foot wants to be directly under the knee, if possible.
Learn to find your 'sitting bones'!
These are the two knobbly bits at the bottom of your pelvis. It is where it is most easy to balance and sit upright from in an easy way. The pelvis is anchoring you to the chair and your sitting bones are evenly sharing your weight.
Release your legs!
Think of releasing your legs away from your pelvis rather than pulling them into your body to help hold you up. Pulling in is tiring and tightening!
Have a soft and tall body!
People tend to alternative between the two extremes of either slumping/ collapsing forward or pulling themselves into a military style 'shoulders back, chest out' posture. We need to find the middle ground to make life easier. Think of the support for you torso coming up though the centre of you and release your tummy muscles. Imaging that your head is very lightly balancing on the top of your spine. Your whole torso can then lengthen and widen.
Let you shoulder rest!
Allow your shoulder girdle to rest on the top of your ribcage. Don"t pull your shoulders back or forward, up or down. Let them flow away from one another, outwards.
When you release your tummy muscles, you can breathe more freely, feeling movement in your rib cage and tummy. This also allows the springy elastic support of your spine in its natural and appropriate curves. Breathing freely in and out is also very relaxing
This short animation demonstrates what I have described
With a bit of practice, this way of sitting looks graceful and easy, and is comfortable for long periods of time when you are use to 'Alexander' thinking and practised at it. However, to be healthy I would suggest sitting for no longer than 30 minutes without getting up and moving around for a while.
If you want to learn more and get a real feel for how the Alexander Technique can give you the skills to make everyday living easier and less stressful its always easier to get the fully experience from a qualified teacher like myself.
If you must sit for long periods to work, then lear to sit well. Esther Miltiadous provides some very helpful hints. Are your feet grounded when you read this? How is your breathing?