I was talking about the benefits of dynamic alignment with Michelle MacDonald one of the great chiropractors I work with. She is an impassioned woman and her response was so infectious. “Oh! This is the essence of life, it does so much, it allows your nerves to breathe so your organs can function properly.”
This really got me to thinking about the essence of life, the multiple layers of health that occurs with alignment and how to easily access and connect with our posture. Alignment infers a connection, or configuration along a line.
When standing or sitting, it is ideal for our bones to be in an orderly arrangement and relationship with the vertical fall of gravity. This positioning allows for proper performance of all our body systems. Healthy postural alignment builds a bridge to our energy centres (chakras) and supports our spiritual being.
The pelvic region is home to our root chakra and sacral chakra, places of belonging and creativity. Having a strong connection to your foundation is stabilizing so you can move through life with confidence in your being.
The chest region is home to your will centre, your place of personal power, and your heart chakra, place for love and compassion. Keeping our upper body in healthy vertical alignment keeps this energy available to you.
Zip it up
Using our imagination is a simple way to connect to our physical alignment with the vertical fall of gravity.
Imagine a zipper starting at your pubic bone, and sliding it upward to your breast bone, connecting your lower body to your upper body.
Often people puff their chests forward against the zipper, slump over, crushing the zipper, or hold this area rigid. In so doing they are inhibiting optimal function of energy centres as well as our lungs, heart, liver, stomach and intestines.
If you continue to zip up, just under your chin we have this amazing little bone that “floats” called the hyoid bone. Often people jut their chin forward (to peer at a computer screen). Having a long neck with your head resting atop creates an open throat chakra and allows us to speak our truth. It also relieves muscular strain common to this region.
Slide the zipper over your chin and up to the spot between your eyebrows, pausing at your nasal bone to align this area above your throat. This is the house of your ‘third eye’ energy centre. As the name suggests your ability to see clearly and have a vision for your future occurs here.
Finally slide the zipper to the top of your head, the crown; this is the place where we experience a feeling of unity where all is one. Imagine a sky-hook coming down and connecting with the zip and aligning the place where our spiritual higher self connects with the universe.
So the vertical trip up the front of your body via your bones is pubic bone, sternum, hyoid, nasal bone, to the crown of your head. To complete this vertical circuit, slide the zipper down your spine to rest at your tailbone.
The dynamic model of alignment refers to the subtle and fluid sway up and down, side-to-side, and forward and backward available to a person who is aware of the flow of breath running through their body. Connection to our breath and how it moves through our body is what puts the dynamic into dynamic alignment.
An easy way to make alignment shifts to optimal function is to connect your breath to the above bony landmark vertical zipping experience. Play with inhaling as you zip up the front surface of your body and exhaling as you zip down the back surface of your body. Or reverse the breath pattern: exhale as you zip up the front surface and inhale as you zip down the back surface.
Ancient wisdom traditions all seem to have some form of aligning our physical selves in order to connect with our energetic, spiritual self. Our awareness of body alignment is easily found when we do as these traditions ask and contemplate our breath moving through our bones. When we do so we are enhancing our sense of well-being and thus connecting to our divine spark, the essence of life.