Do you want to stand tall and have good posture?
Would you like to have improved body image
and renewed self-confidence?
Try this straightforward test to get you started.
You can wear stretch sports clothing or underwear. Stand straight on a flat surface in front of a large mirror. Close your eyes. Stand still in your usual posture. Breathe calmly. Do not try to improve anything. Open your eyes and look carefully at yourself in the mirror. It would be useful if you can ask someone to take four photographs of you — from the front, the back and both sides.
Let’s start with the horizontal body levels first.
Look at your feet. Are the right and left feet located on the floor in the same position? Look at your right and left heels, are they at the same angle? The correct position of the heels means the angle is the same, with the outer edges of the feet almost parallel to each other. Look at your toes, are they relaxed or tight? The correct position of the toes is relaxed, straight and extended. Mentally divide the space between the feet into two halves and see whether the distance from the centre to the right and left foot is the same. Sense how you distribute your body weight between your right and left feet. The correct posture is when you distribute the body weight evenly on both sides. Ask yourself which foot you might be leaning on more.
Look at your ankle bones, are they horizontal to the floor or pointing in different directions? For example, are the internal ankle bones pointing towards the floor, which is a sign of flat feet.
Look at your knees, are they visually on one horizontal line or is one higher than the other? The correct posture is when both knees are on one horizontal level. Look at your kneecaps, do they face inwards, outwards or forwards? The correct posture is when the middle of the kneecap is on one of the parallel lines of the leg and faces forwards.
Use your hands to feel the right and left hip bones. Place your hands on them and see if the protruding parts are on the same horizontal level. The correct position is on exactly the same line.
Place your palms on your ribcage. Examine visually and feel with your hands whether the ribs on the left and right sides protrude in the same way. The correct position is either the same way or with the left hypochondrium slightly curved forward in the heart area.
Look at the horizontal level of your shoulders, elbows and wrists. When positioned correctly, all joints are at parallel horizontal levels.
Neck and head
Look at the tips of your ears, are they on the same level? The same horizontal level means that your head is correctly positioned.
Next, test the vertical lines of your body.
Draw a vertical axis along the centre of your face and extend it to the floor along the midline of your body. See if the neck tends towards the left or right shoulder or is cantered on this vertical axis. Two parallel vertical lines go through the left and right shoulder joints, hip joints, knees, and ankles. Look at and sense whether the shoulder joints are above the hip joints, and where the shoulders are located — in front of or behind the hips.
The correct posture is as follows:
- Your body is stretched along the central body axis or the vertical line.
- Your head is above the body on the vertical line, and your chin is above the pubic bone.
- Your eyes and cheekbones point straight outwards.
- You move the ribs together to the centre and up, and keep them in front of the hip joints.
- Your knees are soft and slightly bent and your calves should not extend further than your heels.
- Your heels are positioned exactly below the hips and are lightly touching the floor.
- You distribute your body weight evenly on both legs and shift your body slightly forwards, resting your weight on the balls of your feet rather than on your heels.
- Your toes are free and you can sense a special place of contact with the ground at the point between the big and second toes.