By Renee’ Fulkerson
I recently was on a work trip with my husband and pulled him away to spend some time down at the pool. As I looked, around I saw various forms and figures of bodies in bathing suits. I know just the thought of putting on a bathing suit can create anxiety and fear. I am no stranger to the harsh criticism I can direct towards myself when looking in a mirror in my bathing suit. But what caught my attention was the posture of people’s bodies. I wondered if their standing and sitting posture are the same in their bathing suit as their regular clothing? I began to see some signs and symptoms of poor posture. Not only to the bathing suit but the lack of confidence in wearing the suit. The most common posture challenge for women when wearing a two-piece/ bikini was a collapsed frontline. This shoulder-rolled forward posture occurred in both curvy and non-curvy women. For men, the challenge seemed to be a difficulty of a full breath while holding in their stomachs to appear slimmer.
As I studied other postural challenges, I saw that bathing suit straps on women were problematic. The tieing around the neck almost always created forward head carriage and rounded shoulders. And the back strap creeping up to the shoulder blades also contributed to forward head carriage/ rounded shoulders. Like men, women also sucked in their belly buttons to their spine trying, to appear slimmer only to inhibit a full breath.
And then we go to the baggy men’s board shorts. All the men I saw wearing baggy board shorts needed to widen their leg distance and stance to keep their shorts up/ on. Their pelvis thrust forward, knees spread wide and, their feet rolled outward. Baggy bathing suits did not seem to be a problem for the women.
There came relief for these aching bodies in the form of a lounge chair. After all, getting to lay by the pool is a vacationer’s dream. Once they were all stretched out on their backs, they could breathe again and rest those rounded shoulders and heavy heads. It took me back to the question is their standing and sitting posture the same in their bathing suit as their regular clothing?
I began to think about my posture before I started teaching and practicing YogAlign. I am a curvy girl and had forward rounded shoulders and sucked in my stomach. Which I am sure was the same posture when in my bathing suit or any other clothing for that matter. Fast forward to today – I am still a curvy girl at 52 but, my posture has completely changed for the better. I now stand confident and tall in my two-piece bikini shoulders in alignment and, I can breathe without restriction.
It is hard to enjoy yourself when your body is in pain and breathing is restricted. For some, living in pain has become the new normal. And I am here to tell you being in pain is not normal. So we ask ourselves did the clothing create the poor posture, or has the poor posture always been there? It takes more effort to hold your body in a poor posture than it does to be in a proper posture. Once you can live your life pain-free in alignment, you might notice your clothes (bathing suit) looks different in a good way. And when your breathing becomes less restricted, you may also feel your mood improve. In YogAlign, we call that reprogramming the motherboard.
When you feel good on the inside everything, seems to feel better on the outside.