Focusing on body alignment in fitness classes is great, but ideally, that awareness would not be confined to just workouts. SunstoneFIT’s vision is to become one of the world’s most influential fitness associations who transforms the very idea of fitness from isolated physical activity into an integrated body, mind and life practice.
Our classes bring awareness to the body and stimulate a mindfulness that is rooted in our yoga foundation, allowing students to take these lessons “off the mat.” Alignment of joints, muscles and bones affects the way you live in and relate to your body every day. An easy example? Learning how to sit.
Many people have bad posture and don’t know, don’t care, or don’t know how to change it. But active sitting is simple to learn, and though it requires a lot of discipline initially, it’s a subtle but effective way to tone your core.
Start by finding your sitz bone (sitting bones, ischial tuberosity, etc.). The sitz bone is the bony protrusions at the very bottom of the pelvis; you have them even if they have padding over them. Take a minute to find them. That is the part that should directly connect to the seat or floor.
Notice that when you relax your core, the angle of your pelvis changes and your sitz bone is no longer directly connected to the seat. This is what happens when you slouch. (The angle of your pelvis also changes when you over-arch your back.)
Re-connect your sitz bone to the chair. When you make that connection, your spine lines up over your pelvis. This “uprightness” requires a bit of core engagement, which is why most people slouch instead.
It’s a subtle core activation that you will barely feel, but if you have very poor posture or a weak core, it can require constant mental and physical effort at first. It will become second nature if you stick with it! Instead of slouching when you get tired, try reclining on your side, ancient Rome style. This allows your core to relax without putting pressure on your lower spine. Then get back to sitting as soon as you can.
Respect yourself enough to make the effort! Not only will it strengthen your core over time and help prevent lower back pain, it’s also a sign that you have truly begun to make fitness a way of life beyond the doors of the studio.