I know – standing in line is such a riveting topic of discussion. Stick with me for just a couple of minutes though, I promise to add value to your stance.
Oftentimes we use every opportunity to rest and make things easy on ourselves. Biologically the human body is trying to find efficiency basically all the time, so it only makes sense that in our automated world, we get lazy. We all do it, so this is not a judgement – it’s more of a comment on how we can change our mindset around some of the more mundane situations in life.
How many of you, when standing in line, rest in one hip and hang it out to the side? How often is that happening on the one side of your body? Do you ever even really think about it – or do you think about evening it up by doing it on both sides?
We could be more balanced by alternating sides. But then again, would that really balance us out or just take us further out of balance on both sides? For more thoughts on what achieving balance means, check out this blog.
Better yet would be to remove it altogether! We would want to remove it from our standing-in-line experiences because posture is so incredibly important in the development of those everyday aches and pains that you might think are permanent fixtures in your body (PS. they’re not…habits just need to change).
So how can we do that?
The main thing we need to do is to alter our mental approach. You know the mental state you’re in when you go to the gym, play sports, go to fitness classes? (the mentality of wanting to work hard… or at least choosing to work hard to develop strength / endurance / tone / insert reason here). Essentially we want to hijack that mentality into more mundane daily tasks.
What can we do in line to build better posture?
Here’s a short list of some of the things I’m personally working on. And don’t worry – you won’t look like too much of a weirdo doing these… or at least you won’t see those people again. Either way, it’s worth it 😉
- Balance on one leg – this could be a tiny, almost immeasurable lift of one foot if you want to be discrete, or you could be more obvious and lift it a good distance away from the floor.
- Hamstring strength – oddly the hamstrings tend to be pretty weak… try to keep your knee pointed towards the floor (basically in its original position) and lift your foot behind you, pointing your toes. Hold it…it’s harder than you might think.
- Squat – yes, you’re right, there’s no discrete version of this. But after a while, everyone will be doing it when they see your killer-sexy thighs. You’re welcome, trendsetter.
- Calf raises – you can make this more about balance by moving slower, or you could make this more about power by moving faster. Or why not do both – especially if you have a long wait in the line.
- Standing tall – trying to find the perfect stance can also be a lot of work – try it out. Evenly distribute your weight between your feet, press into all areas of your feet evenly and pretend you’re pushing the floor away. Lift your chest, your gaze and draw your scapulae slightly towards one another.
I won’t go so far as to suggest that standing in line could be FUN, but stopping short of that, it can at least be USEFUL and part of your mindful movement practice.
Let me know how that feels!
Speaking of standing, if you have plantar fasciitis, you might want to read this: “Thai Massage & Plantar Fasciitis“. Building on the conversation of standing, to make your view of the body more complete, take a look at this: “I Have Low-Back Pain But My Massage Therapist Worked Everywhere Else“.