18 Oct The triple s!
How do you optimize your posture and feel better in your body? The Triple S! Triple S describes the bony landmark alignment of the Skull (the back of the head), Scapulae (shoulder blades) and Sacrum (triangular shaped fused area of the low back) when these defined points are aligned vertically.
This is similar to the “back it up and stack it up,” reminder that our shoulder girdle should align over our pelvic girdle with a happy neutral spine in between. This form of verticality allows us to feel a sense of lightness and use energy effectively. The application of Triple S originates from the foundation of our primary curves in the thorax and sacrum that curve out, or in a convex manner. The development of the secondary concave curves of our cervical and lumbar spine is what allowed us to move from fetal position in utero into an upright bipedal stance with the ability to sit upright, stand, and walk. Movement variety is what makes us uniquely human, and it is essential that we move with integrity the way our spines were designed to function.
I prioritize the Triple S in every single yoga class, but I also take this alignment off the mat and apply it throughout the day when sitting at my desk, driving in a car, chopping vegetables over the countertop.
But, why does this matter???
Think of the A, B, Cs of life-saving resuscitation. Prioritize the airway and breathing. Alignment of the triple S optimizes the inspiration and expiration of the breathing cycle so that one can accomplish 360 degree breath with more efficiency and ease. I can think of no better time than living in the middle of a global pandemic to strengthen the quality of our respiration.
Combat the forward head epidemic! Our technology overuse is creating rounded and internally rotated shoulders with an excessive kyphotic curve in our thoracic spine. This causes so much tension in our bodies in the form of headaches, neck pain, back pain and an overall sensation of heaviness. And it’s just not aesthetically pleasing. A slight shift forward in your head of only 15 degrees (think of an ice cream scoop melting and tilted forward over the cone instead of stacked) can double the weight of your head over the cervical spine! I now have a headache just thinking about it.
Imbalance. When we don’t honor the physiology and incredible architectural design of our bodies we become maligned in mind and body. This can lead to chronic discomfort and an overall loss of freedom to move well. Hence always reset with optimal posture and Triple S alignment. Movement is medicine, and we should make it a daily priority to combat the forces of our modern lifestyles. Our brains have a massive mass of intellectual brain real estate dedicated just to movement. We were born to move. Optimal movement and alignment provides clarity and ultimately allows us to be more productive. We seek to work with the amazing vehicle of a body we were given in life so we do not become limited by our physical restrictions that can make us feel intellectually foggy and stagnant.
Better body mechanics. Spending most of our time with a neutral pelvis, spine, and shoulder girdles optimizes our movement and allows for variety and creativity. Variety is indeed the spice of life! It’s not that we don’t ever move out of neutral reaching for an object, playing tickle monster with our children or even indulging in a spontaneous dance party. But, we always reset. Find our Triple S and neutrality. It is indeed mindful awareness of this posture check throughout the day that reduces stress on our joints and bodies. We can develop osteoarthritis in our hips and knees from running, but NOT because of running in and of itself. It’s because we approach a run with poor postural habits that creates excess shear force and stress on our joints. We cannot move well when we don’t prioritize posture and alignment. Triple S.
Posture matters. My yoga mama hero, Lara Heimann, actually states posture “F…ing matters.” You all might have seen me wearing such a t-shirt with this explicit…but it is truly to make a point and hone on the impact factor of posture.
Come to yoga and explore on the mat. Find your Triple S and move radiantly with joy and ease.
See you on the mat!