Information & insights for graceful living.
Tame Your TailJanuary 22, 2016
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Controlling how you hold your lower spine is fundamental to radiant ballet posture and it’s especially good for staying comfy in heels! Proper alignment of this often neglected part of the back not only makes you feel taller and more balanced, but it can also ease back tension.
As the largest and heaviest part of the skeleton, the pelvis is the center of gravity in the human body, making it the place to start when you want to control your movements. Ballet dancers’ control over this part of their bodies forms the basis of their immaculate posture and graceful movements. Taming your tailbone provides proper support of the spine’s natural scurve without exaggerating it. The goal is a “neutral” tailbone. But what does that even mean?!? Many of us walk around with the tailbone arched backwards and lower abdomen hanging forward. This exaggerates the natural curve of the lower spine, allowing stress to accumulate.
Others tuck or press the tailbone toward the front of the hips. This causes an exaggerated curve or hunching in the upper spine and shoulders. In ballet, the tailbone gently descends between the heels neither tucking nor arching. Neutralizing the tailbone creates length in the lower spine and encourages the abdominals to hug in slightly. The result is light support around the pelvis that takes the edge off of standing for long periods of time.
And taming your tailbone is especially good for helping you to feel extra fab (and balanced) in your Manolo’s well past midnight! Whether you are sporting a backpack at the bus stop or holding a glass of champagne at a gallery opening, taming your tailbone will instantly help you feel more poised AND comfortable.
So how do you get in touch with your tail? Here’s what you can do:
Tame Your Tail Exercise:
1. Stand comfortably on 2 feet approximately hip distance apart.
2. Place your hands on your hips.
3. Now stick your butt out. Notice how your ribs and stomach protrude forward.
4. Begin to draw in your abs as you bring your tailbone to hover over the space between
5. Keep drawing in at the lower core as you imagine your lower spine lengthening towards
the floor between the heels. Take 2 breaths.
6. Release and repeat for a total of 4 times.
7. Now place the heels together with toes gently apart in a V shape (1st position) with
hands on hips.
8. Repeat exercise 4 more times.
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