By Joanne Pineau, Certified Yoga Therapist
Private session by appointment.
YOUR SITTING POSTURE
Have you ever sat in a chair that was SO uncomfortable you wondered what were they thinking!? when they designed this chair? I have and with some maneuvering figured out that the best way to sit on this particular chair was on the edge of it and I did - for hours - with no back pain! I was taking a 5 day training where we sat all day in old school house type chairs. And I had to sit on this chair for 4 more consecutive days of training.
Seems amazing doesn`t it, that I didn`t need back support. I learned a long time ago that if I tilt my pelvis slightly forward my back would be fine. Another way to tip the pelvis forward is to sit on a wedge which requires a little less effort and concentration than trying to balance on the edge of a chair.
Sitting on a wedge is great if you have no back support on your chair or if the chair seat is angled down and back like the one I experienced.
You can actually buy a wedge at Canadian Tire in the car department. But carrying it around is not very practical; great for the car seat though.
Instead of carrying a wedge around with you, use whatever you have: a coat, sweater or even a purse. Place it under your buttock to tilt the pelvis slightly forward (anteriorly).
Why sit on wedge?
Sitting on a wedge elevates your buttocks just enough to position the pelvis slightly forward which sets a foundational support for your whole spine and allows you to sit without creating excessive muscle tension in your back.
It also allows your legs, the thighs and knees, to slope down slightly, allowing your hip flexors to soften and relax and places your "tail" bone behind you (see my last post about the tailbone).
Lastly, when you sit in this way you're engaging your spinal erector muscles plus other back muscles that support your spinal column which also strengthens them.
One more tip: allow your legs to angle out and cross the ankles ahead/in front, not under, the chair. Your hips will benefit from it. Like a chiropractor once said to me "sit like a man." In other words, take up more space with the legs when you sit and go wide.