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Tall, Long & Lifted from the Bottom Up Print E-mail
Gina Jackson   
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Tall, Long & Lifted from the Bottom UpHow can you get and stay tall, long and lifted from the bottom up? What might you be lifting to get there? Can it be maintained without a lot of effort? The answers are Easy! Everything! and Absolutely!

Let's start by talking about how you stand and how you sit.

While standing do you lean from one hip to another? Are you aware whether both feet are firmly planted and rooted in the ground beneath you. Is your torso twisted or shifted to one side as a result of your weight shift to one hip?

Moving further up, do your shoulders curl forward or are they open? Is your chest caved in or lifted and open? Does your chin and neck protrude forward as if looking for something in front of you? Are your eyes facing along the horizon in front of you or cascading down toward the ground?

From a seated position, in what position would you say your shoulders are placed vis-a-vis your hips? Are they leaning forward or behind the pelvis? Do you feel cramped, slouched and crumpled while sitting?

Lifting Tall from the Bottom Up

To make and keep your consciousness about your posture,in all your activities, I recommend using a postural realignment check as follows. Keep in mind, you want to find and hold each step as you move thru the list successively:

Standing Position

  • Firmly ground your feet; placing the heels directly underneath your butt checks; plant and feel all ten toes connected to the ground.
  • Align your pelvis, from the bottom up by tucking your tailbone under, as you "zip in and up" the abdominals. This is best felt as if you were zipping up a pair of tight jeans, for example, taking hold of the zipper at the pubis and zipping up till you reach the waistband.
  • Align your torso, from the bottom up by stacking each of the five bones of the lumbar spine one on one and continue the sensation of lifting each one "up and off" the other. You will and can actually feel your body lifting taller in the process.
  • Continue the alignment thru the twelve thoracic vertebrae. This will lift the chest.
  • Open the collarbone by rolling the shoulders up and back, dragging the shoulder blades down the back, as if to "sit them on a shelf."
  • Align the neck, or the five bones of the cervical spine, with the same lifting up away from your grounded center. Think of lifting the top of your head up.
  • Align your eyes with a horizontal line in front of you and take a breath into your ribcage; as you exhale, see how taller and longer you can lift each bone off the other.

Seated Position

Aligning the body for a tall, long and lifted posture is similar from the seated position, except that the distance is shorter from the bottom up.

Start by tucking the tailbone under, wrapping the glute cheeks together, drawing the abdominals in and up to lift the vertebrae of the lower, middle and upper back. Draw the shoulders down the back to their natural "shelf" placement and stack up the cervical spine, lifting your chin and eyes to a horizontal position.

Keeping your legs and/or ankles uncrossed, such that your feet are firmly planted on the ground, will help you find your lifted alignment at any time and in any place.

Using the Tall, Long Lift in Exercise

In a matter of seconds, a good fitness instructor, yoga of pilates teacher will be able to cue and train a student or entire class to find, hold and keep this tall, long and lifted posture whilel performing an exercise on the mat or with specific equipment. Postural and structual alignment as well as abdominal "core" engagement are crucial to walking, working and living tall, long and lifted.

Gina Jackson, MBA, CPT, holds Advanced PFT recognition as a member of the International Association of Fitness Professionals (IDEA); is certified as a NY Power Pilates Teacher and a proud Business Member of the Pilates Method Alliance. Gina made a conscious career and lifestyle change to fitness in 2000 and assists clients in lifestyle fitness training programs; she is the Fitness Consultant, creator and energy behind the successful stories of a myriad of clients featured at, and, all of which provide fitness resources, tips, articles and MP3 downloads designed to assist all realizing their fitness goals. Please Note: You are granted permission to republish this article on your site only with maintenance of the credits, links and author's bio intact.

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