Anatomy of Alignment:

Five Midline Markers.

Find these 5 midline markers on your body.

the anatomy of alignment. human figure from the front with 5 markers on the midline line through the middle, top to bottom, splitting the body into equal left and right halves. The 5 markers are part of our midline anatomy that should align on the median plane. from bottom to top: 1. The pubic symphysis between the top of the legs. 2. The navel/belly button. 3 and 4. The bottom and top of the sternum midline where the ribs meet at the front.  5. The back of the head, midline bump.

Touch them. Feel for where they are in relation to each other to increase your awareness of your physical state of alignment.

body alignment and balance

Markers 1, 2 and 3 (the pubic symphysis, navel and xiphoid process of the sternum) are connected by the linea alba.

linea alba

1. Pubic symphysis of the pelvis.


Where the left and right pubic bones meet midline at the front of the pelvis, joined by the pubic ligaments.

The pubic symphysis is where the clitoris / suspensory ligament of the penis is located.

the bones of the pelvis, sacrum and coccyx seen from the front. The pubic symphysis is where the pubic bones meet on our midline.
human outside seen from side view. Showing the pelvic floor and rectus abdominis muscles. The pelvic floor at the base of the body, like a basket of muscles. The rectus abdominis like a ribbon up the front of the abdomen from pelvis to chest, the body's central line. The pubic ligaments of the pubic symphysis are located between base and line.

The pubic symphysis is at the bottom of the linea alba and is the central point between the Base-Line muscles: pelvic floor 'Base', rectus abdominis 'Line'.

Base-Line muscles

2. Navel.

The human body seen from the front showing the navel, or belly button lies. Midline. In the middle of the body.  Part of the linea alba (white line) a strip of connective tissue from pubic symphysis of the pelvis to xiphoid process of the sternum. The navel should align with the sternum and pubic symphysis where the linea alba is a straight line.

The navel (belly button) is in the middle of the linea alba.

3. Xiphoid process.

 front view of the thorax showing the ribs and sternum. The xiphoid process of the sternum is highlighted, an inverted V where the bottom ribs meet at the front of the chest.

The xiphoid (zif-oi-d) process is at the bottom the breastbone (sternum).

Feel at the front where your bottom ribs meet in an inverted "V".

The top of the linea alba attaches to the xiphoid process.

4. Jugular notch of sternum.

showing the chest and face, throat, top of rib-cage when the jugular notch of the sternum is located on the midline. A V shape in the bone at the base of the neck.

The jugular notch of the sternum is at the base of your neck at the front.

Feel for the "V" of bone at the top of your sternum (breastbone).

The sternum is a long, flat bone on the body's midline joining the xiphoid process and the jugular notch.

5. External occipital protuberance.

The bony bump at the base of the skull, midline at the back of the head, is known as the external occipital protuberance.

Think of this bump as the top of your midline.

The occipital protuberance, the bump on the back of the skull on the median plane/midline

The nuchal ligament attaches to the skull at the external occipital protuberance.

nuchal ligament

Imagine these 5 midline markers as part of a thread that runs up and down the middle of the body. The thread should be free to fully extend from pubic symphysis to external occipital protuberance, aligning these markers on the median plane, with the body balanced either side.

the median plane

This alignment is possible when the body has a full range of natural movement.

full range of natural movement

Begin by focusing on activating your Base-Line muscles - stronger and longer with every in-breath - to align the linea alba and increase your awareness of the relative positions of markers 1, 2 and 3 - the pubic symphysis, navel and xiphoid process.

Base-Line muscles

human figure from two angles showing the baseline muscles. The pelvic floor, like a basket of muscles. A crescent-shape on midline.  The rectus abdominis muscles at the front of the abdomen. The rectus abdominis muscles are the body's central line from pelvis to chest. The body's core pillar of strength to support the movement of the rest of the body when fully activated and elongated. human figure seen from the front. The linea alba is highlighted, running up the front of the abdomen from pubic symphysis of the pelvis to xiphoid process of the sternum, with the navel located between these points.

The body can provide a lot of sensory information about its positioning and state of alignment and balance to help you work towards alignment and feeling how to heal.

midline sensory information

 Optimising the use of your muscles = Better health.

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