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Today – how to sit differently!

First of all – if you have to sit in a chair, this is how you can do it so that you aren’t squashing your tailbone into your pelvis and overflexing your poor lumbar spine:

  • Sit on your sit bones (correctly termed your ischial tuberosities) – the bony bits you can feel deep under your gluteal muscles – and not on your tailbone. This is hard to do in a chair with any kind of bucket seat. Try sitting on the edge of a flat chair and rocking forward until you can feel your bones connect with the chair, or try sitting on a half-dome. In a car, a rolled-up blanket can help put you in a spot where you’re able to rock your pelvis forward.
  • Ideally when you’re in a chair,  your hips are higher than your knees and your feet are about hip-width apart and flat on the floor.
  • Also – easiest sitting improvement ever – stop crossing your knees or your ankles. Bam! You’re already healthier.

See how my lower spine is curving towards the chair? I’m squashing my tailbone and my entire pelvis right now.

Now I'm on my sit bones and my lumbar spine has flattened out. Still not ideal but a lot better.

Now I’m on my sit bones and my lumbar spine has flattened out. Still not ideal but a lot better.

This is about as good as I ever get - now I actually have a small concave curve (called lordosis) in my lumbar spine. This is pretty much what I'm supposed to have.

This is about as good as I ever get – now I actually have a small concave curve (called lordosis) in my lumbar spine. This is pretty much what I’m supposed to have.

When you can, it’s ideal to sit on the floor instead of a chair. This helps you get into lots of different positions instead of forcing you into the same 90 degree knees, 90 degree hips, convex lower back ‘C’ curve that we all do so often.

  • Try using props like cushions and bolsters to make sitting on the floor more comfortable. Just like when you’re sitting in a chair, you should try to be on your ischial tuberosities and not your tailbone, so that you can see a lumbar curve. As you get more mobile, you’ll need fewer props.
  • To your body, even a small change is meaningful. So you can vary the angle of your hips each time you try a different position. Which you should try every 20 minutes or so.
  • Here are some possibilities:
Legs crossed

You can cross your left leg over your right or your right leg over the left, and/or change how far your ankles are away from you. Lots of options here. Not really bolstered high enough for me here though – no lumbar curve

Supported squat

If you have the right bolster, this is really comfortable. You can probably see that my bosu isn’t quite high enough for me – I’ve lost my lumbar curve again.

This is my favorite, mostly because it's easiest for me to get my pelvis to roll forward and I love the stretch.

This is my favorite, mostly because it’s easiest for me to get my pelvis to roll forward and I love the stretch in my inner thighs

actually pretty comfy

This is much more comfortable than it looks, and makes you feel kind of invincible. No lumbar curve for me though – can you tell it’s something I’m working on?

Kneeling

With lots of bolstering, you can kneel very comfortably and give yourself a nice quad stretch at the same time.

 

Of course, you can also rest in totally different positions, like lying down, or you can do some stretching once you’re down on the floor. That’s what’s so great about the floor – unlike a chair, it gives you a lot of options. Options mean variety and variety is one of the keys to health. Not to mention the spice of life. Give some of these a try and find the ones that work best for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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