Stand up for your rights. Love me some good Bob Marley. Did you know that I sing that song to floppy toddlers when they are puddles on the floor? Playful parenting at it's finest, folks.
This post is about standing up. REALLY standing up. There are many different alignment markers. But for this post, in honor of the winter olympics, we're going to talk about one item in particular... BACKING UP.
And not being a ski racer all the time. Because, really, we shouldn't be standing like this:
unless we are actually in a ski race. In that case… lean down that hill baby. But otherwise…. back that thang UP.
Get something weighted. It doesn't matter what. A rock tied to a string (well that doesn't sound safe… beware, toes!), or a random kids toy tied to a string. Whatever. Next, find the midpoint of your hip. Hold the string on the midpoint of your hip and see where the weight falls on the ground. Note how I am pulling a "ski racer" and leaning forward. Also note that I just took a shower after being up all night at a birth. And that the photo is taken by a preschooler.
Now. Shift your weight back into your heels. Watch the weight move back over your heels. Note that you can lift up and wiggle your toes. Now… can you lift and lower you knee cap? If you can't, it could be that your quadricep is used to always be "on" and so it's trying desperately to be the one to hold you up all the time. So, lifting and lowering the knee cap is a way of seeing if the quad can stay in the relaxed (knee down) position. It's also a way of seeing if you're standing with your knees bent. You will not be able to lift and lower your knee cap if your knee is bent. So straight that leg, baby. Note how when I shifted my weight back into my heels, my knees bend and my feet came up. My quads were trying to say "hey wait a minute here, what do you think you're doing? I wanna WORK!" And then I told them to simmer down, that they get enough use and I'm trying to be a fair parent and give Hamstring and Glute a job too. And besides standing is really a job for Glute and Hammy anyway. Quad is like that big overachiever who does all your work for you before you actually get a chance to try. I'm sure my shortened psoas from sitting all the time and from stress didn't help matters either. But more on that another time. Psoas deserves her own post.
Here is another pictures of me backing my weight up onto my heels, from today's series of photos/videos compliments of the 4 year old:
You are now on your way to standing up/BACK better! And yes, my 4 year old took the video and the baby was very intent on being held. And what I really meant to say was that to hold our babies we tend to create a "shelf" on our bodies and thrust our weight forward. Or our weight simply gets pulled forward during pregnancy because of the weight of the belly. Or because it's just our "normal" or what we're used to doing all the time and pregnancy or baby carrying just exasperates it.
SO… THIS WEEK (and always) when you are standing… in line at the bank, while cooking, or WHATEVER…. check in with yourself. It's so easy to go back to our normal way of standing. It takes a lot of times of checking in with yourself and making conscious changes. Eventually you will start to just go to the backed up weight in the heels position without even thinking about it! But, in the meantime. Just consciously adjust yourself.
Keep a look out for Restorative Exercise group and private classes coming up at the space!! I am getting full length mirrors installed at the space TOMORROW which helps SO much so that we can SEE what our bodies are doing and help our brain figure out where we are in space and where we need to be in space. Pretty nifty.
Mama Aligned is Lindsay McCoy.