"Body alignment" and "a balanced body" are common phrases in many disciplines, but what do they mean?
Balance and alignment both have multiple definitions, the ones most relevant to the body are:
For body alignment - What should be arranged in a straight line? What should be in the correct relative positions?
For a balanced body - What is equal amounts? What is in equilibrium?
The body is balanced and aligned when:
When our midline anatomy is aligned, so are the hips, shoulders and spine.
When your midline anatomy is correctly aligned it creates the median plane (the slice through the middle of the body). The head and limbs are in the correct relative positions and the body is balanced, either side of the median plane.
Our midline anatomy that should align on the median plane includes the linea alba and the nuchal & supraspinous ligaments.
The 5 (paired) main muscles of movement are the key muscles to focus on to improve the body's state of balance and alignment.
When used correctly, the main muscles of movement allow the head, shoulders, hips and knees to be in the correct relative positions, and for the body to maintain a good posture.
Work with the 5 main muscles of movement, starting from your Base-Line muscles (pelvic floor and rectus abdominis), to balance and align your body.
Your body is constantly generating information about its positioning (posture), motion and balance. By focusing on the relevant anatomy you will become more aware of this sensory feedback - your sense of proprioception, which will allow you to feel how to move in order to improve your state of balance and alignment, building the connection between body and mind.
To start, find these five midline markers on your body:
From bottom to top:
Touch these markers to help focus your attention on their location and feel for their relative positioning as you breathe with your Base-Line.
Having a body that is imbalanced and misaligned means experiencing:
For our midline anatomy to be able to align on the median plane it needs to be free to fully extend. This is possible when the body has a full range of natural movement and no physical restrictions to apply tensions (and cause pain).
Achieving a body that is truly balanced and aligned takes a lot of time and work. It's a journey back to better physical health.