We were going through the Yogea’s play list with our creative director Ana Atanassova recently, brainstorming what to shoot next. Until she exclaimed: “We need a yoga routine for postural alignment.” Ana had seen some of her close friends walking hunched or slouching while sitting and wanted to offer them a yogic remedy. And here it is – a very basic and beneficial routine that will teach you all the tricks about how to sit up straight, and offer you the tools to keep up your good posture. And yes, with our sedentary culture that revolves around our desk job, our daily commute and our couch potato leisure time, it is a must to get that spine straight!
You would be surprised why good posture is so important. Not only because it portrays a better and more confident image. It allows you to work in with gravity and to maintain a proper balance and weight shift. Whether we are standing, sitting or lying down gravity exerts a force on our joints, ligaments and muscles. Good posture entails distributing the force of gravity through our body so no one structure is overstressed. More importantly, when your spine is curved you are not channeling the energy through your body, thus your organs, glands and all body systems underperform and remain undernourished.
If we have a straight spine with your chin parallel to the floor, and our joints stacked up your breathing becomes easier and deeper. When we slouch we tighten up the already over-shortened frontal muscles and tendons we constrict our breathing capacity. Our intake of life force becomes shallow and our lung function is compromised.
I struggled with poor posture in my teens, and most of my lower back pain was due to an overarching of the lumbar spine. That added strain to my muscles and put stress on the spine. The doctor told me that over time, the stress of poor posture can change the anatomical characteristics of the spine, leading to the possibility of constricted blood vessels and nerves. I got really scared, so I worked hard on sitting and standing straight.
As soon as I fixed the posture my core got stronger, and my gait changed because all the joints, tendons, ligaments and fascia were working together to support my structure. I felt lighter and freer in my mobility range. I started using the muscles correctly and relieved the joints from extra pressure and potential wear and tear. My ligaments were supple and strong, holding my spinal joints correctly and minimizing the likelihood of injury. I learned how to use the muscles more efficiently, using less energy and, therefore preventing muscle fatigue. All the muscle strains went away because I was using the muscles to hug the bones, while creating space in the joints and buoyancy in the pelvis. This changed my yoga practice and my movements got more fluid and synchronized with the breath.
And believe it or not, my health got better. From a digestive perspective, proper posture allows the internal organs in the abdomen to assume their natural position without undue compression, which can interfere with the normal flow and function of the gastrointestinal tract. Once the GI tract gets inflamed the body looses its PH balance and acidifies. It takes ages to alkalize the body again and it’s a no-brainer why good postural alignment is of paramount importance. An acidic flora breeds toxic and negative thoughts. The whole body blocks energetically, and emotionally and you loose the joy of life.
To prevent depression of any sort work hard on your posture, even if you catch yourself slouch. Good posture translates into a good frame of mind. And it’s common sense, sadness and depression makes you sit or stand slumped.
Next time you feel depressed or you’re anxious about something try changing your posture, stand up straight and breath deeply. You will feel both focused and relax, at ease with your self and ready to take on the challenges in your life.
And don’t you want to look slender and younger. If you are properly aligned you minimize the effect of spinal compression due to ageing. You will look slimmer and more youthful. So don’t wait, roll your mat and get that spine straight!
Yoga Routine for Good Posture: Taller Stand (open level)
This Yoga sequence contains all the vital poses and fluid transitions to make your spine straight your tendons supple, your joints limber and your body taller and youthful. It combines shoulder openers and side bends to help you elongate through your ribcage and widen across the collarbone. The alternation between standing and seated hip openers and twists will eliminate spinal compression and teach you how to stack up all the joints to hold your build – making you look taller, youthful and confident.