Years ago, my brother gifted me a contraption to better my posture. It was a bra-strappy kind of thing to be placed around my shoulders to keep them pulled back. It seemed like a gag gift at the time. But the truth was obvious…my posture sucked.
My shoulders were always rounding forward which is odd because at a mere 5’3″ you’d think I’d be doing the opposite to appear taller.
Having poor posture goes deeper than just not looking good. It can impact your whole body and health. DH attributes his spine situation (the one that put him in the hospital for surgery) to terrible posture while playing drums.
When your alignment is off, it can create structural damage, injuries and pain.
You don’t have to do yoga to get good posture. (Though doing yoga is always a good idea!)
You can start right where you are… as in right this very second while reading this post.
Bring awareness to your body.
What’s happening with your stomach? Is it hanging out? Mine usually is unless I pay attention. Pull your naval to the spine.
And what about your shoulders? Are they creeped up by your ears? Rounding forward? Drop your shoulder blades down your back. And relax your jaw while you’re at it.
If you’re sitting at a desk, you want your feet flat on the floor.
Are you overarching in your lower back…jutting your rib cage forward? Soften your front ribs back into the body.
There’s a lot of controversy in the yoga world about tucking the tailbone, but I like to drop the tailbone–not tuck, just drop it so it’s not sticking out.
This home practice is easy to bring out of the house. Simply scan your body while standing in line at the store, watching your kid’s soccer game, reading a blog post, etc…
Exercising is also an excellent time to better your posture. While biking, I try to remember to keep my abs engaged and my spine long. Runners need to pay extra attention to their posture, or they’ll quickly end up injured. A physical therapist told me today the biggest population of her patients come from CrossFit…seems there is a lack of emphasis on proper form which lands many in PT.
Standing tall really comes down to the same thing I’m always blogging about…be mindful.
When you put attention somewhere, it grows (or in this case, gets taller.)
What’s your posture like?