To follow this post I suggest that you get good and acquainted with your hip joints—where your legs connect to your pelvis.
Alexander teachers are very interested in the head-spine relationship. I would go so far as to say that the head—spine relationship is the primary relationship in your body. It is the first relationship you want to pay some attention to but not the only relationship. Another very important relationship is between the pelvis and the legs.
What you are habitually doing with your pelvis will affect your head—spine relationship and vice versa.
When you stand what do you do with your pelvis? Where do you park your hip joints? Do you even know?
Do this little experiment with me. You will need a chair with a relatively high back that you can place your hands on. Like this one:
I have taken the following pictures outside (I couldn’t resist the beautiful day!) but it will be best to do this experiment inside with a full-length mirror at your side.
Stand behind the back of the chair and review where your hip joints are.
Now place your hands on the top rail of the chair like this.
Tip the chair backwards (toward you) and at the same time push your hip joints forwards.
Place the chair on the floor and now tip the chair forwards (away from you) and at the same time allow your hip joints to move backwards. This will cause you to fold or bend.
Try this a few times going back and forth, coordinating the pull of the chair backwards with pushing your hip joints forwards and the push of the chair forwards with allowing your hip joints to move backwards.
As you move through this range of motion is there a place that feels familiar? If so, stop in that place. Look in the mirror. This is probably how you tend to stand.
If the familiar place is with your hip joints pushed forwards you are in good company. There are lots of you out there. It seems to be a more and more common way for people to stand. But definitely not something to imitate.
For now I invite you to watch your family, friends, co-workers and just plain strangers and see where they tend to park their hip joints when they are standing. If you happen to be in a mall in the next two weeks, take a look at the mannequins as well.