Take Your Seat – This does not refer to finding your seat and row number on a plane, but is about placing your butt properly in your seat! To take your seat correctly, stand in front of your selected seat (butt facing the seat obviously) and bend forward slightly at the hips*. Your butt will now be sticking out somewhat enabling you to “lead with your butt”, pushing your butt back and down while bending your knees and increasing the forward bend at the hips. Your knees must remain over the feet (never forward of the feet) while the muscles in the thighs engage. Your torso will be bent forward, almost touching your thighs. In other words, your head is moving closer to your knees as you bend at the hips while the butt is moving backwards and down into the seat.
Taking your seat by “leading with the butt” should not be restricted to just travel times: it can be used for any chair or seat, including the toilet seat. Women often tell me that they won’t, in fact, sit on a toilet seat, but poise their behinds above the seat. The only way to do this skillful manoeuvre is to bend forward at the hips and engage the thigh muscles, exactly what you want to do when “leading with the butt”. The only difference is that, with the toilet procedure, one holds the position rather than continuing to push down into the seat. Incidentally, the toilet manoeuvre is a great way for strengthening the thigh muscles!
Taking your seat correctly on an airplane can be a little more challenging, especially in economy class where the seat in front of you is often too close, thus limiting your range when bending forward. In this scenario, you can grasp the seatback in front of you with both hands. While “leading with the butt” and pushing down and back into the seat cushion, slide your hands down the seatback until your bottom is engaged with the seat cushion.
For seating in a car, obviously you cannot stand in front of the seat. What you can do is stand at the side of the open car door, again with your back facing the seat. (Your body will be parallel with the side of the car.) Lead with your butt back and down into the car seat, then lift the thigh** and swing one leg forward, followed by the other leg, as you rotate the pelvis and torso forward.
Now that you’ve taken your seat, you need to maintain a seated position that is back-friendly. Read how to do this, even when modern seats are not designed to support us correctly, in Travel Tip #2!
* Can’t Do This? (Bend forward at the hips) – Bowen Sacrum Procedure is indicated for general stiffness, arthritic hips and lower back pain. After the procedure, clients often say they feel as if they are walking straighter or that they feel taller.
** Can’t Do This? (Lift the thigh when seated) – Bowen Quadricep Procedure is indicated for tight, painful or weak quads (muscles at the front of the thigh). Mercury toxicity can also lead to weak quads.