Why Good Posture Is Important For Your Health + Tips To Standing Stronger and Taller

Good posture is more important to your health than most of us realize. When you stand or sit up straight, your body lengthens, your intervertebral discs can breathe, and when you engage your core, you are protecting your spine. When you practice good posture, you also send the message to those around you that you are alert, confident, and someone of importance.

Tips on how you can benefit from good posture

Let’s start by learning how to stand with good posture. First, with awareness, go ahead and stand a half inch taller. Next, pull your belly toward your spine. Shift your shoulders toward the back and down your spine – not so far to squeeze them together, just bring them in line with your ears and slightly down. Open your chest. Next, take the arch out of your back by slightly tucking your tailbone down. Bring your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles in one line, as you feel your abs engage. Last but not least, make sure that your chin is slightly tilted up (as most people have a tendency to have the forward/down head posture). Now, look at your profile in a mirror. Your neck should be straight, not too far forward or back. Notice that when your head is correctly aligned on top of your spine, you will also feel your abs engage. The Bonus: Having a strong core equals better posture.

Yoga is also a great way to practice these alignments. When you inhale your arms overhead, make sure that your shoulders are back and down your spine, your chest is open and your tailbone is tucked. While standing in a forward bend, inhale to lift your chest up to a flat back. Focus on lengthening your spine out through the crown of your head, bring your navel closer to your spine, and again.. send your shoulders back and down the spine. By practicing these cues in all of your poses, from the warriors.. to your twists.. and into the ‘tree’, they will start to feel more natural. Bringing better alignment into your yoga helps bring it into daily life.

Last, but not least, go about your day envisioning a string going through all standing joints – from your ankles to your knees.. toward your hips and up the spine, through the shoulders and out the top of your head. If someone was to pull the string from above, that is how you should stand. When you are in a sitting position, imagine the string starting at your tailbone and going out the top of your head. Sit upright, and don’t forget to open up your chest.. so your lungs can have the room to really breathe.

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