Good posture is seen to have many advantages. From an aesthetic point of view it can enhance image, sending out the right signals (body language). For an athlete it is seen to be essential. But what is a good posture? We recognize poor posture when we see it, as it is evident in the majority of adults regardless of athletic ability. But just to confuse the matter, people with an ideal ‘plumb-line’ posture can also have poor movement patterns.

We lobbied The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), a major provider of European Standards and technical specifications based in Brussels, to reassess the proposed update to the Standard which would have further increased the backward angle of school chair seat to minus 10 degrees.

“Have a seat,” the receptionist says, thinking she’s being polite by offering you a place to sit while you wait for your appointment. What neither of you probably realize is that she’s asking you to take years off your life, weaken your body in general, and stress your back in particular. We look at chairs in terms of style and color and maybe even comfort, but we never think about the impact of this piece of furniture on our health.

Modern living means we probably are not as active as previous generations. We spend long hours sitting at desks, in cars or when relaxing, slumping in front of the TV. In these situations you are not using your muscles as nature originally intended. Parts of your body get overworked such as your neck and shoulders whilst others will get weaker, invariably the lower back. Poor posture has been recognized as a factor in health for many years resulting in the development of posture exercises to correct it.

Relaxation is a state of body and mind sought by many people. One of the most common reasons that people tell me that they are coming for yoga or Alexander lessons is that they are too tense and wish to relax. In fact I am not very interested in relaxation. If people are tense it is the result of a whole approach to life and manner of using themselves, and it is only when these areas are dealt with that “relaxation” is a possibility. Otherwise whatever method or technique we may choose to do, it will only be dealing with the symptoms of the problem.