By Jennifer Kelleher
The physical, mental, and emotional aspects of us are very interconnected. Think about when you are experiencing discomfort or pain in your body. Does it put a damper on your mood?
This leads me to the great importance of having good posture. The benefits that come from proper body alignment play a monumental role in one’s overall health and sense of well-being. If you suffer from back pain, joint discomfort, headaches, difficulty breathing, fatigue, or low confidence, this article is for you. Let’s dive deeper!
As mentioned, good posture comes with a multitude of physical and psychological health benefits. By simply improving your posture, you can alleviate back pain, dissolve muscle tension and headaches, increase lung capacity, improve energy levels, boost athletic performance, and raise confidence. As with everything, improvement starts with awareness. Becoming conscious of the impact your posture has on your life is the first step towards healing the wide range of unpleasant symptoms that can arise from a crooked stature. Once aware, it is important to support your knowledge with applied action steps. Below are some tips to get you started.
First, bring awareness to your posture throughout your day. Whether you are sitting or standing, think about keeping your back straight. Imagine there is a string attached to the crown of your head and someone is gently pulling it upward. Use your core strength to keep you stable, balanced, and aligned. When sitting, do so with your legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor, and ankles in line with knees. Keep your knees below the hips, or at hip level away from the edge of the chair. Relax your shoulders and choose a chair that supports your middle and lower back.
When standing, keep your knees slightly bent, let your arms hang naturally at your sides, and engage your lower abdominals. Keep your legs shoulder width apart and balance your weight slightly forward on your feet. Hold your head level and think about lining up your earlobes with the middle of your shoulders.
Next, exercise regularly and consciously. Yoga and Pilates are incredible modalities for improving posture. Both of these practices focus on building strength and flexibility with proper alignment, which results in a balanced, supported, and happy body that feels (and looks) good! No matter your movements of choice, it is important to be present, breathe, and focus on form as you engage. This might mean initially slowing down, choosing a lighter weight, or doing less reps so that you can build lasting strength and increase your stamina sustainably. For example, if you’re used to running on the treadmill at a certain pace, but you do it with hunched shoulders and a heavy step, try slowing your pace, engaging your core, dropping your shoulders back and down, and finding a smooth, fluid stride that is paired with the breath.
Finally, notice things in your day-to-day life that might throw off your posture and correct them. For example, adjust your computer height so that it is at eye level, switch from a shoulder bag to a backpack, and prop yourself up on pillows when lounging on your couch or chair.
I invite you to come perfect your posture and improve your life at Ocean Bliss Yoga Studio. We offer a variety of daily classes and monthly workshops taught by a dedicated staff of highly skilled, professional instructors.
Register at oceanblissyoga.net.