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Pictures of my posture to critique

sieren
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Pictures of my posture to critique
Here is a picture of me standing, and me carving. Please critique my posture, suggestions welcome for improvement. :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4684915737/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4684910821/

Thank you! :)
एस्थर गोखले की तस्वीर
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You have a sway in your low back and excessive rounding in the upper back. Here's the order in which I suggest you work on these issues - it is going to take some patience.

Begin with lengthening your sway (stretchsitting, stretchlying, and inner corset).
Simultaneously focus on shoulder rolls and neck elongation.
Next work through 8 Steps and develop some degree of mastery of the basic concepts there.
When you're succeeding in remembering to elongate your neck and roll your shoulders throughout the day (and I don't mean every 10 seconds, but periodically), make an online appointment with one of our teachers and we;ll show you how to mobilize your upper thoracic spine.

In the meantime, enjoy all the lovely things you have going for you in your body! Try not to get frustrated with what isn't "right."
sieren
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Thank you so much Esther!  ;
I will start following your reccomendations right away!  

I have been going through the 8 steps book for a few weeks now, and I think I finally have stretchsitting, stretchlying and inner corset down pretty well now.  I made my own kind of DIY verson of your stretchsit cushion for my car, and it is working well.  
I do have a couple of questions for you:  

1.  Since I do have a sway in my lower back, how much do I need to worry about tipping my pelvis?  I do make sure that I don't activly tuck it, but do I need to worry about anteverting it more, or is it already tipped enough?

2.  Its kind of hard for me to figure out how to not sway my lower back, while simultaneously keeping my shoulders rolled back.  For instance, if I "tip" my ribcage forward (kind of like you say to do when you are lengthening your torso for stretchsitting), I feel like the sway in my back is less, but then I am rounded forward! :(  How do I find a balance here?

3.  Is there anything else I can do to help with lengthening my neck, besides the things (like pulling at a clump of hair at the base of your scalp, or pressing up against an imaginary object on the crown of your head) shown in the book?

4.  Regarding mobilization of the thorasic area, I read a post on Marksdailyapple.com that had  couple exercizes for this--the one I've been using so far is the tennis ball one...I plan to get a foam roller and try that other one, too.  When I am doing the tennis ball exercize, my neck tends to get tired really quickly from trying to hold it straight...does this just mean I need to strengthen my neck muscles?
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-improve-thoracic-spine-mobility
Do these exercizes sound like a good idea to you?

Thanks again for the help and words of encouragement! :)
एस्थर गोखले की तस्वीर
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1. We are talking about different pivot points here - you have a sway and a tuck. It's true that many ways of increasing your L5-S1 curve tend to also increase the sway, but not all. See the post here about a way to increase your L5-S1 curve while maintaining your upper lumbar length: http://egwellness.net/forum

2. This is a problem for almost everyone. It's like pulling at both ends of a bungee cord. Keep working on both, compromising the shoulders sometimes and the sway at other times until it all comes together.

3. Stretchlying on your back with your neck lengthened against the pillow is good. Also elongating the back of your neck against the headrest of your car.

4. I teach similar thoracic mobilization exercises, but wait for people to first get their postural habits in order. Otherwise there is danger of hunching more. I always teach all these type of exercises with the fingers or hands interlaced behind the head. You don't want to strain your neck - this is not the way to strengthen it.
sieren
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Awesome, you answered all of my questions perfectly! That post you linked to is exactly what I need to do--what type of a yoga bolster are you talking about, though?  Could you post a link to a picture of one?

When doing the thoracic spine exercizes, I did try with my fingers interlaced behind my head and that did feel more natural--glad to know that is the right way!  Do you reccomend that I wait a bit before trying those again?  I wouldn't want to do something bad to myself by doing them too soon!

Thanks again for your quick and informative replies!!!  ;
एस्थर गोखले की तस्वीर
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Call the office at 650-324-3244 about the bolster. We had them custom made for adequate firmness.

I do recommend waiting before you do very much thoracic spine mobilization. Make sure you have your habits in place so your extra mobility will get used for extra length, not extra curve.
sieren
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Thank you for the tip about the yoga bolster--I will give your office a call! I think I will hold off on the thoracic spine exercizes, then, because I do not want to increase the curve there!   :-

So far I have been doing well with my stretchsitting, lengthening my neck, using my inner corset and rolling my shoulders back frequently throughout the day! I have been working on side stretchlying for a while now, and I am finally able to fall asleep in the correct position  :D ...one question on that, though:  

For the arm that you are laying on, is it best to have it up under the pillow like you show in the 8 steps book?  I typically have slept with that arm sort of curled next to my body, with my hand curled under my chin--is this bad?  I am starting to get used to sleeping with my arm up like you show, but it doesn't quite feel natural yet.

And one question on the inner corset:  is it typical to have to frequently re-engage it at first?  I've got the feel of which muscles I need to use pretty well I think (when I do inner corset I feel the long muscles up the sides of my abdomen, the upper ab muscles and rib anchor muscles working) but I find myself accidently "letting go" of them every so often.  When this happens I usually just make sure I am finding the right muscles and re-engage them...is this the right thing to do?

P.S.  Lately, I have noticed a kind of achy pain in my thoracic spine area that comes and goes--what do you think is causing this?  I have been following all of the things from the 8 steps book to the best of my ability, and also focusing on the areas you mentioned, for the past few days. 
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