What’s one simple way you can benefit your yoga practice and your life? What can engage your core muscles, alleviate lower back and neck pain, and give you a confidence boost?
As simple as this may be, most of us are so used to slouching (at our desks, over our cell phones, on our couch…) that it’s going to take a little work to get there. Not to worry, here are 3 ways you can work your posture!
1. Awareness: Yoga teaches us to notice the nuances in our body and the world around us. This is what sets most yogis on a path to live a more healthy and natural lifestyle, not only for themselves, but for everyone on this planet. The same applies here. Once we become aware of our posture we can use those opportunities to work on making it better. Do you slouch? In which situations are you more hunched over? Start to notice when your posture if off and you’ll be empowered to take the following steps.
2. Hip Placement: Standing or sitting, place your hands on your hips with your thumbs reaching towards the back and your other four fingers on the bony part of the hip that’s pointing straight out in front of you. Are your thumbs higher than your fingers? If so, gently move your tailbone down until your thumbs and fingers are in the same plane. Be careful not to tuck the tailbone too much, causing the fingers to become higher than your thumbs. Are your fingers higher than your thumbs? If so, gently bring the tailbone out slightly until your fingers and thumbs are in the same plane. Again, be careful not to move the tailbone back too much.
3. Core: Engage your lower belly by bringing the muscles in and up. Depending on your current core strength, it may take practice before you feel the engagement. No worries! Keep practicing as you are building strength in the process. With good posture comes a stronger core. Who knew you could build those muscles so much by simply standing up straight? Count me in.
Remember, this is also a practice. It’s not about judging ourselves, but noticing and growing from that experience. Overtime you’ll notice all the benefits that come from standing up straight!
Do you have any tips on how you keep good posture? How has it changed your practice, or even your day to day life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.