The sit bones are two bony bits deep in our buttocks and as their name implies, are designed to take our body weight in sitting. Simple enough I hear you say! Well, yes and no. The sit bones are only given the chance to take our body weight when we sit up properly as the old school would have us do, with the head perfectly balanced atop a spine with its natural curves in place.
Sitting well in this way is a dynamic activity, with continuous adjustments necessary to accommodate function. Think of sitting on the edge the front seat, upstairs on an old London bus. Your head turning this way and to look at all the goings-on outside. The bus driver jams on his brakes as a traffic light turns red… Now accelerating away and a sharp left turn. Oops, and now minding a wayward cyclist. Get the idea? This is a true workout for the core muscles of the trunk and while sitting upright on a dining chair eating a meal will be less active than a hairy bus ride, there is still considerable muscular coordination and control required. For many people this ability is weakened due to poor sitting habits – as the saying goes, use it or lose it! And for others sitting is made difficult by conditions affecting the nervous system and muscles, for example strokes, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
The ergonomically designed Buttafly can be used as a unique prop for exercises aimed at improving sitting balance. Firstly its shape means that body weight is supported directly through the sit bones, the buttock flesh falling away in the indent at the back, off-loading the base of the spine. Secondly, the sloping upper surface supports the pelvis in a neutral position, facilitating the natural alignment of the spine.
Yesterday I had great pleasure in meeting a lovely group of ladies all presenting with Multiple Sclerosis and attending a bi-weekly Yoga class in Gosport. One lady who was initially very insecure about her ability to sit unsupported was very encouraged to be able to find her own balance in sitting – and after a few minutes felt that she was able to stand up with much greater ease than usual.