Let’s look at a typical week and see what happens:
1. It’s Monday morning. You’re about to set off for work. A feeling of ‘glum’ comes over you. A long week stretches ahead of you before the next weekend. So let’s get into work mode. Are you hunching your shoulders? Is your head disappearing into your neck – like a tortoise pulls its head into its shell when it’s defending itself? Are you putting on your ‘work’ armour in preparation for the challenges ahead? Is your head going down to the floor? This is your natural defence mechanism when facing uncertainty or pressure.
The ‘fight or flight’ reaction.
Your head is going down to the floor. You feel heavy and fed up. But what would happen if the crown of your head pushed gently upwards to the ceiling? You aren’t looking down at the floor anymore. You are looking a bit higher. You are growing upwards. Your head is now on top of your neck and spine. Your head seems lighter. There is a spring in your step.
Your Head balances on top of your spine between your ears and behind your eyes
2. You get to the office and go to your desk. Are you already thinking about the pile of emails waiting for you? Is your head poking forward towards the computer? Does it seem VERY heavy? Well, imagine that you’re holding 5 kilos of potatoes in front of you with arms outstretched – that would be very awkward and you wouldn’t be able to do that for very long without dropping them. Well, when you’re poking your head forward at the computer – that’s exactly what you’re doing!
Your head weighs five kilos (or five bags of sugar)
which is pretty heavy and if it’s poking forward and hanging down then your neck if having to hold on to it for grim death to stop it falling! Your neck begins to ache and your back hurts! You’re hunched over your computer longing for the end of the day. What would happen if the top of your head pushed gently up to the ceiling? It’s drawn upwards so you’re looking higher at the screen – your five kilos of head are floating on top of your neck/spine (your neck is simply an extension of your spine). You come more upright. You are no longer being drawn into the screen. You are simply looking at the screen.
You have taken charge of yourself and the computer!
3. Are you sitting comfortably? Or are you slumped in your chair? Let’s find out.
Slide your hands under your ‘bum’. You will become aware of two bones – your ‘sitting bones’. Keeping your hands where they are, under the sitting bones, sit up straight in the conventional way – you will probably arch your back, stick your chest out and push your head backwards. When you do this, what happens to the sitting bones? Do they move and if so in what direction? Do this once or twice. You may notice the sitting bones moving backwards. So you’re now sitting on the tops of your thighs. Hard work! You feel tense.
Still keeping your hands under your sitting bones, now slump backwards to the back of the chair. Notice what happens to the sitting bones. You will probably notice that they move forwards this time. So you’re now sitting on your coccyx (ie on the bottom of your spine)! Not very comfortable!
Sitting bones are designed to be sat upon!
Roll forwards gently, hands still underneath you, and then roll back again two or three times, and you will find that you are now sitting on the sitting bones!
YOU are supporting yourself!
4. It’s the end of the week. Half an hour to go. You’ve cleared your intray. Then you notice your boss approaching. “Darn it!” You think. “I’ll be late leaving!” You’re fed up. Your head pushes down into your shoulders. Your shoulders tighten. Your breathing is restricted. What’s going to happen to your weekend plans? Is this you? Do you see your colleagues going through this scenario too? Or can your head push upwards gently and balance on top of the neck/spine so you can sit on your sitting bones, and breathe more easily. No matter what happens, the weekend will be fine.