You may or may not know this about me but , I started out on my creative career path as a fashion model. You can read about that here. While I didn’t go to a John Robert Powers or Barbazion School to learn how to be a model , I do think that those types of trainings can be most effective in the long run for developing our “muscle memory” for maintaining good balance and posture in the body. Now that your about to take that trip down the isle, where all eyes will be one you here are a few ideas to consider putting into practice now for a smooth and easy walk.
I developed my body awareness through studying ballet primarily and that awareness carried over into modeling.
Now as a makeup artist , standing 4 hours in a day , pretty much every weekend during wedding season I am grateful for the posture training that I’ve cultivated over the years. My clients often comment on how they could never stand that long and ” isn’t your back killing you”. Now I’m not going to say that my back never hurts but, I am in less pain them most because I practice good posturing on a daily basis and know what to do when my back starts to feel tight.
Believe it or not YOUR good posture matters to ME as a makeup artist! When my clients practice good posture in my chair it makes my job as a makeup artist so much easier and efficient. How you ask….
Well because I don’t have to break my back bending forward trying to get to your beautiful face because you are in a forward slump with your face to the floor.
I cant tell you how often someone sits before me all ready to be made-up yet their body language says entirely something else. Face down, shoulders slumped.. Hey I get it, slouching is way more comfortable than standing or sitting ram rod straight , however lets take a look at a few of the very real benefits of practicing the art of good posture.
Good posture is a key to overall health and fitness, but it’s easy to slip into bad habits. Here are 4 different areas to reflect on when it comes to good posture.
Stand with Good Posture
When you’re standing with good posture, your body should be aligned so that an imaginary line could be drawn from your feet through your head ( I learned this in ballet class as a kid.) Your back should be a little curved at the bottom, but project slightly outwards at your shoulder blades. If you’re slouching or hunching , adjust this by puffing out your chest dramatically by rolling your shoulders back, and lifting your chin to look forward . Practice these actions standing sideways in front of a mirror. If these adjustments feel completely awkward than you are doing it Right !!
Sit with Good Posture
Since much of our day is spent sitting, and sitting is touted to be the new smoking , maintaining good posture in a chair is crucial!
When you sit, and we’re talking primarily about a work setting here (but the principals can be applied throughout our everyday activities) place you feet on the floor, and bend your knees at right angles. Distribute your weight evenly , through your hips (I’m doing it as I write this) down through your legs and out through the soles of your feet. Place your arms on the sides of the chair or on your desk, or in your lap, relaxing your shoulders. If your chair swivels, don’t use your waist to move it as this could put unwelcome stress on the lower back. Instead use your legs and feet. Place your bottom towards the back of the chair where the cushion meets the back. I use a lumbar support pillow to help fill the space as my seat is rather deep. Then align your back with the back of chair or pillow as much as possible to maintain a straight line between your head and core. Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes. Remember, sitting is the new smoking...so get up and stretch things out a bit
Move with Good Posture
Now that you’ve been practicing good posture, and your standing and even sitting more erectly you may fell ready to go all in.
Consider engaging in a routine like yoga, karate, or tai chi, which promotes good posture. Some gyms even offer these types of classes in their group memberships with no additional payments required . If you lift weights, swim, bike, or run, ask a friend, mentor, or trainer to review your movements and your form. This single act can really help with maintaining a consciousness around practicing and maintaining good posture in the long term. Aside from planned exercise, whenever you are lifting objects off the floor, make sure you squat, by bending at your knees and pushing your butt back as if you were sitting in a chair.Use your legs and thighs to assist in the lift, instead of bending over at the waist, which is a surefire recipe for chronic and potentially debilitating back pain.
Use Tools for Good Posture
Orthopedic shoes are not just for elderly people or people with bad feet. For instance , I have a pair of Dansko shoes that I absolutely LOVE!! They are very nice looking ,comfortable and supportive. Perfect for standing 4 to 6 hours when I’m doing makeup or hair at an event. You may find that investing in specialized inserts for your shoes is something that you find intriguing ,vthis is something many athletes do in order to stabilize their posture and movement. At work, make sure you have a good quality chair, since you’ll be spending most of your day in it. If your on your feet a lot , invest in a good shoe with ample arch support. If you’re doing heavy lifting, you might want to wear a lumbar support belt, and when you sleep, make sure you have a good quality mattress and pillow. There are plenty of inexpensive ergonomic tools out there to assist in promoting good posture, so take advantage of them!
There’s no excuse for not practicing some form of Good Posture!