Below are 5 simple steps to improve your posture. Good posture and proper body alignment create a “polished” dance.
1. Identify Bad Posture: Take a moment to close your eyes and focus on your breath. Feel where your body holds on to tension. Maybe it’s in your neck, shoulders, back, lower back, etc. Take a look at our blog post focused on bad posture. You can use the pictures to help you identify problem areas.
2. Identify Good Posture: Roll your shoulders back and allow your shoulder blades to drop down away from your ears. Ensure that your head is floating above your torso, and that the pelvis is not tilted forward or backward. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your heels and the balls of the feet. The spine has a natural S-curve which allows us to balance when standing upright. Avoid exaggerating the spinal curves or trying to straighten them out completely.
3. Strengthen Weak Areas: Strengthening the muscles along the upper back and shoulders can improve a hunched posture. This website has great ideas for exercises to strengthen these muscles and create the “muscle memory” of good posture.
4. Remember Your Posture! It’s easy to forget good posture, and often times we don’t even realize how we are sitting or standing. Here are some tips to help you remember:
- Set a reminder alarm on your phone to think about your posture. It might be twice a day, or on the hour, or every half hour.
- Designate a specific time to focus on posture. It could be your commute to work, while cooking dinner, or during a commercial break on television. Thinking about posture for even a short time every day can be extremely useful.
- Wear clothing which accentuates good posture. Start the day off with a well pressed shirt and see how long you can go without wrinkling it by slouching.
5. Alleviate Stress: Our lives are filled with large amounts of stress, which can manifest physically in our bodies as tension, aches, and poor posture. This article has great information about how stress affects our breath and posture. Practicing yoga or doing breath exercises can help reduce stress and prevent bad posture.
Have more tips? Let us know in the comments!