no mike wrote:daverupa wrote:...The trick is to get your knees to rest comfortably below your hips so that your back curves properly.
Any other tips on proper back curve? I catch myself slouching forward at times.
Some of that can be caused by having the front of the deltoids more developed than the middle and back of the deltoids, which leads to a resting state with a slight forward pull on the shoulders.
I have a few heuristics, and maybe they're useful. First, as above, I ensure that the knees are below the hips. Then, I make sure that my ischial tuberosities are pointing downward, making subtle adjustments here based on the sitting surface. This has a direct effect on the lower back.
In my sitting posture, at this point have considered three sections: the angle between the lower and upper leg to ensure knee alignment (it didn't really come up yet, but it's very important with cushions and lotus postures, while a bench largely avoids trouble here), the angle between the sitting surface and the hips, and the angle between the hips and the knees. I consider this the base.
Now the arms: the hands rest in the lap of the base, and the line from the ears to the shoulders is allowed to lengthen by relaxing the shoulders. It is here that I pay attention to what the deltoids are doing; shrugging in different circular directions can help loosen the area. This all has a direct effect on the upper back, but here as earlier, you'll notice that my attention is on the back only indirectly; mess with the peripheral ratios and the back fixes itself while staying relatively relaxed (but being upright means it's tense to some degree no matter what, so don't think that a relaxed posture is one without some muscle tone).
The head I treat like a bowling ball which I balance over the above base in whichever way requires the least muscle tone throughout the breathing cycle, while relaxing the jaw and smoothing the brow, and otherwise gentling the muscles around the ears generally.
I then do a pass where I relax my body from the head down, settling each body part as though they were hanging ornaments on a tree that's just entered a field of gravity. In this, the tree is the spine, and the ornaments the rest of the body, the first time I consider the spine and its tone in a direct way. (If you like, the breath can be noted as a somewhat bulbous ornament at this point, and if you were paying attention to the breath the whole time anyway, you're now well on your way through the first tetrad of anapanasati.)
Anyway, these are just some of my ruminations on it. Fiddle with your dials with patient joy, eh?