Poor posture is the posture that results from certain muscles tightening up or shortening while others lengthen and become weak. Oftentimes, these occur as a result of daily habits, work demands and recreational activities. The result is a ‘slouched’ posture which leads to imbalances. For example, a slouched and rounded posture can put abnormal stresses on the spine which can lead to nerve impingement. Poor posture can also affect breathing as the diaphragm can become constricted and not able to fully expand; hard to get a full, deep breath.
- Begin with standing in front of a mirror
- Stand equally on both feet and through the arches (most people stand on the outside part of their feet, so find the balance in the middle)
- Soften the knees and don’t straighten them too much (hyperextend) nor bend them too much
- Make sure the hips are aligned over the knees and feet
- Soften the low back and don’t arch too much (lordosis)
- Relax the ribcage down and don’t let it puff up forward too much
- Relax the shoulders down, create space between the ears and shoulders
- Align the head in the middle of the body and slightly tuck the chin so it does not protrude forward
- Create a slight lengthening in the spine by ‘growing tall’ through the top of the head
- Then re-check your balance over your feet
Take deep breaths in and slowly exhale to create an overall relaxation in your body. Focus on being in the present moment.
I highly recommend to all my clients to check their posture every day! The more you have awareness in your body, the faster you can heal. There is power in the mind-body connection! Pilates and Physical Therapy are proven to be very effective for improving posture, alignment and overall wellness.