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Sway back

Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Sway back
Dear Esther,

It seems to me only a tiny difference exists between flat back and sway back.

How can one tell how one is standing/sitting without a mirror?

Can I use the "too far back, just right, too far forward" method of analyzing where my hips are?  Or my other method of putting my palm on my lower back, keeping it stiff, and bringing it to the front so I can see how curved (or flat) my back is?

I wonder if I'm sway backed while standing and just can't tell.

Last seen:
10 hours 27 min ago
09/10/2008 - 8:36pm
The best way to read your back is to put your fingertips on the contours of your back lightly and move your hand up and down and side to side. In the beginning you may not be able to tell much, but you soon will. Remember, blind people somehow manage to learn to read Braille!

The other way to know if you are swayed or not is to check for a lengthening of your spine with inhalation. This can happen only if the muscles alongside the spine are relaxed, which can happen only if the bones are well stacked (no sway, example). Again, it takes a little practice to know if your spine is moving or not, but keep trying and you will succeed.

You shouldn't try to fix a sway by moving your hips, but rather your ribcage. Follow the steps in the tallstanding chapter again with what I have written in mind and see how it goes...keep us posted!
nagle's picture
Last seen:
15 years 3 months ago
02/28/2009 - 5:53pm
I used to have an extremely swayed back before working with Esther. Something I've noticed since working with her is that female pop stars often have extremely swayed backs.

Kylie Minogue is a great example. Do a google image search on hers and you find all kinds of pictures of posture like this one:

I've noticed it in Jennifer Lopez and Nelly Furtado -- and I'm not even looking for it!  I suspect it's an unfortunate consequence of selling sex (stick your butt and your chest out.)

Why this is helpful is

a: with an extreme example, you get a way to train your eye for what a sway is, and can start to internalize what that would feel like physically (where that's got to pull really hard on your back and crunch your discs.)

b: You can also pick out less extreme examples in daily life, from yourself in the mirror and people you see, as you first take a look at extreme cases. The more you train visually, the better you understand the posture, and the more you can watch out for mimicry (I think the way that catchy songs get stuck in our head and replay without our conscious control, powerful or popular people's posture can get stuck in our bodies too...)
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