Mama always said, “Stand up straight!” But why did she care so much if you slouched?
Good posture is even more important than we realize.
The benefits of standing tall have an impact on our physical and emotional well being. When we stand tall, we announce to world: HERE I AM!
That confidence creates a feedback loop: you feel confident and others’ confidence in you is projected back onto you. Standing tall even looks good!
Most people slouch due to poor body mechanics or the strain of activities of daily living— like hunching over computers, constantly looking at a cell phone, carrying heavy groceries, having weak core muscles, or sitting improperly.
Women may round their shoulders and droop in the upper body as a defense mechanism or to draw less attention to their chest.
Or it could be bad habit.
Rounded shoulders, neck strain, low back pain, being overweight and/or weak all lead to bad posture. The most essential part of improving how we stand and how we sit is to be vigilant and pay attention until it becomes rote.
Stand in front of a mirror and observe. Look at your body from the front and the sides. Notice if your shoulders are rounding, if your low back arches, if your hips and pelvis are out of whack.
Any one of these imbalances can make the simple act of standing up straight not so simple.
Here are a few ways to find alignment and maybe gain a centimeter or two for your next physical.
Start with a plumb line. Keep this imaginary line straight, from the crown of your head down to your toes. Think crown chakra, a light BEAMING out of the top of your noggin!
Open your chest wall by holding the shoulders ever so slightly back. The front of the arm bone, or head of the humerus, rolls up and back, effectively helping you stand up taller.
Engage your low-belly muscles. By ever so slightly drawing your low abs in, the low back won’t overarch.
Find your SIT bones, conveniently located at the base of the spine. When you sit on your ischial tuberosity, or the bones at the bottom of your bottom, and stack your shoulders over your hips, you can sit taller, too!
REPEAT ALL OF THE ABOVE NO MATTER WHAT!
You will feel better when you stand taller. AND make your mama or grandmama happy!
Were you able to notice the misalignment in your posture when you looked in the mirror? Monitor how many times you have to reset your alignment today - it might surprise you how frequently you sink into bad posture! Don’t lose faith, though! A healthy posture will become your new normal soon enough.
Share your discoveries with me in the comments below!