So, I have a question for you...
I'm curious: how do you feel about your posture?
If you practice yoga regularly, chances are you're pretty aware of your spinal alignment and stance during standing poses, and things like whether you're lifting your chest, rounding your back, or lacking muscular engagement in a pose.
But how is your posture while you're off your yoga mat? Do you notice your posture when you're working, watching TV, driving in the car, or otherwise moving about your day? Do you spend a lot of time on your feet, or seated at a desk?
And do you have friends, family, or colleagues who suffer from discomfort or pain which might be related to poor posture?
This post is for you! I believe this post is for every one, actually... we all have moments where we forget to notice our posture, and it can lead to feeling stiff or uncomfortable, straining our bodies unnecessarily, or aggravating old injuries. Here are some simple ways to improve your posture, starting today.
5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Posture
1. Notice your body. Check in with the following areas: your head, neck and shoulders; your arms and legs; your torso; your hips; your upper, middle and lower back; your feet. Where do you notice pain or discomfort? Where do you feel most stable, or unstable? Which areas feel tight or like they've been neglected? Start paying close attention to these areas, and noticing your body alignment.
2. Increase your daily movement routine. Posture is linked to your overall health, and so is the amount of movement you're getting each day. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, whether it's walking, running, biking, yoga, swimming, or whatever other activities you enjoy. By improving your mobility and flexibility, your body will become more comfortable in standing and sitting positions, and you'll have a stronger sense of body awareness.
3. Try LumoLift. I've been using this amazing posture coach tool and I love how effective and simple it is. I simply clip the little magnetic device to my shirt or collar and wear it around throughout my day; if I start to slouch for 15 seconds or longer, the LumoLift vibrates for a moment, reminding me to sit up straight. I find this is especially helpful during my workday, so I remember to have great posture while I'm in front of the computer. What's awesome is that I can also track my daily steps using the LumoLift app on my phone! I'll definitely be suggesting the LumoLift to my yoga students and highly recommend checking it out. It would make a wonderful stocking stuffer this year, too (and it comes in a ton of different colors)!
4. Talk to your yoga teacher, fitness coach, chiropractor, doctor, or other health professional about your posture. Ask for information and insight from those you trust.
5. Track your progress. Keep a checklist or small calendar with you, and mark down some notes each day about how your posture is improving. Set specific goals for yourself, and ask others to help you stay accountable. You could also consider having a friend take a daily or weekly photo of you, so you can see how your posture is looking.
Do you have any tips for improving your posture? I'd love to hear!
Photos by Ken Johnson of CKCImage.com (1, 5), Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography (2, 3, 6), and Lucid Reflections (4).