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Your Sitting Posture & Pain

Updated: Feb 9, 2019

Does your posture, the way you sit, stand and walk, matter to you? If so read on. 

I just completed the Gokhale Foundations Course in Toronto this weekend. The Gokhale approach is based on spinal alignment and healthy primal posture in every day activities to eliminate back pain and musculoskeletal pain. It was a great addition to what I already teach and I'm excited to share some of the info with you. 

Tip #1 : Stop Tucking Tailbone Under.

Brief summary: When sitting, hinge at the hips, stick butt out, sit down (pelvis is anteriorly placed), drop the chest by drawing the ribs back to reduce arch in your back, do a shoulder roll (backwards) one at a time and bring head up and back over the shoulders. Then relax. Stay in this position for a few minutes.


When sitting and standing up, fold at the hips without rounding your back.

The L5 and S1 vertebrae is shaped differently than the rest of the spine and forms the bottom of the J curve in the spine. When pelvis is tucked under all the time, it will lead to nerve compression at this juncture (L5-S1).

A simple way to relieve nerve compression at L5-S1 is to stop tucking the tail under (known as a pelvic tilt) if that is what you commonly do when sitting or standing.

Instead place the tail behind you. Tail? you ask. Imagine you have a tail at the L5S1 where the pelvis begins.

Stiffen your back and your bum out and bend from the hips (hip hinge) as you sit down. When you're seated the pelvis will be anteriorly placed (tilted forward slightly) and tail will be behind you.

In this position the L5-S1 is happy and the pelvis is perfectly placed to stack the remaining vertebra above it.

There are a few more cues involved but priority is to stop rounding the low back by tucking tailbone under.

Careful that you don't exaggerate the curve in the rest of the low back- to avoid that, bring your rib cage back slightly to "flatten" the thoracic spine - or try drawing your abdomen in just under the breast bone. This actually stretches your low back. Extend head upwards and back to align the ears above the shoulders.

Would you like a private lesson on healthy posture and movement? Give me a call at 705-888-9686 or email

When you sit - anywhere - place the tailbone behind you.

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