Posture & Yoga
How does posture and yoga tie in together? I mention posture many times in the classes that I teach. When we talk about it, we think about it more and often start addressing it. The thought may become an action. Poor posture affects our digestion, breathing, confidence and the way we view the world. Genetics, injury, habits, lack of confidence all play key roles. We live in a very forward fast-paced world. Most situations seem to pull us forward in life.
Posture in School
Today, technology and cyber-bullying affect most children, teens and young adults. However, many communities have zero tolerance for bullying and others’ are still in the works. The subject is talked about,enforced by the school administration, police and our community. It is posted and addressed, but still rather controversial across the country.
I think back to when my own posture began to change long before technology. I recall, it started with not making eye contact to some of the older girls in middle school, which became far worse in high school. Making eye contact meant that I was willing to challenge someone older than me. To stand my ground and as a young high school student, I lacked that confidence so I looked down. It made me feel invisible. Thinking back, I was turning inward, but at the expense of my posture. In yoga, turning inward usually comes with a tall spine. As I grew up in high school, I began to stand tall and never bullied anyone. I made it to graduation and held my head high.
When it was time to go to college, I decided to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. Leaving a smaller town in NJ to a big city was a huge change. Early on, I discovered that hardly anyone made eye contact and had poor posture because we were looking down at the ground The big Apple, certainly wasn’t a place in the early 90’s to make eye contact, so as a society we were all leaning forward trying to get to our destination. A protective shield.
Jumping ahead from the 90’s into almost 20 years past the millennium, add on a huge layer of driving, sitting and the use of technology. I announce a POSTURE CRISIS! Not only a topic to talk about, but it’s also a topic that needs to be addressed.
Circling back to previous posts, I usually share a tool from my yoga toolbox...and this tool is the bright and shiny tool of “Awareness”. Yoga has taught me to become so aware. I practice being aware of each and every day. Becoming aware of how I feel, taste, touch and best yet, think! How I interact with people. Now I combine “poor posture and awareness” into the pot and WHAM! I am practicing yoga.
Sprinkle a little bit of awareness into a pot, and stir in poor posture and walah...you are practicing yoga. Practice being mindful, and your attention will shift toward awareness. The awareness that you cultivate will be in that moment, in that period of time and move into your day. Catch yourself. Sit taller. You will certainly stand in this world with a little more height, better posture and a sparkle in your eye ready to celebrate the day.
Here is a brief Youtube video that has some simple posture correction exercises. If you chose to try some of them, do so at your own discretion under the supervision of your instructor or Dr.