Posture in Four Takes
Take 3 – the lower body
The third area where small changes can make big differences is the lower body. In the head-forward posture, the arch of the lower back is often affected. In an attempt to stand up straight, many of us create exaggerated arch to the lower back. Some people will thrust the hips forward, others just reduce or reverse the curve in the lower back.
In the noble posture, there is a slight stretch of the lower back, including the lower ribs at the back, which very slightly reduces the curve of the spine in most people. The singer should have the feeling of a floating ribcage and a long torso. There must be an awareness of these areas that we don’t usually have during other activities.
Many people habitually lock the knees when standing. They brace, using the joints rather than the muscles to support weight. When the knees are locked, it is very difficult to release the lower abdomen for a full, low breath. Think of any athletic pursuit: swinging a tennis racket, throwing a ball, etc.; would you start any of these from a locked-knee position? No; the knees would be slightly flexed.. So we are looking for a very slightly flexed position while maintaining body alignment. It is more difficult to lock the knees when one foot is slightly apart from and ahead of the other. This is a position of readiness.
In your practice, experiment with these ideas. You should be able to shift your weight from foot to foot while maintaining alignment and low breath. You should be able to walk, sit, or stand while singing. In each case you will rely on the core muscles of the trunk to maintain alignment. This may be new to you, but it is good use of the body and well worth practicing.
In the next blogpost I will give some hints on how to find this posture.