Why Do I Care About Posture?
Some years ago I began studying how to adapt Yoga for the person in front of me. In the course of that study I became a Professional Yoga Therapist. Maybe you have practiced with me in a class, have come to a workshop, or a talk. As a Yoga Therapist and Educator I learn so much from you. Your life experiences have shaped you differently from anyone else. I feel privileged to support you on your journey of connecting with your body.
Learning how to care for your unique body is about building a relationship with yourself. Like any relationship to succeed it takes time, patience, understanding, listening, and letting go of what I think is “right.” It takes showing up and starting over again. With each change in life you can get wise about taking care of yourself. You can move achy joints, learn to manage stress, learn what isn’t helping and explore what might. You can give yourself the care that you would give to your friends and family, pets, cars, and gardens.
And a great place to begin is with your posture! Any building that stands tall is built intentionally with a solid foundation. It’s true about the building that is your body.
Here are 3 reasons to grow a better understanding of posture:
1. You like to stay active. Maybe you like to workout at the gym. Maybe you’re a gardener or landscaper. Maybe you spend time with young children.
How your body organizes itself in posture carries over directly into everything you do. If you stretch without taking into account postural, habitual patterns of tightness and weakness, your stretching is not apt to address underlying imbalances. If you pick up a small child or garden in a static position for an afternoon, your posture matters. Are you engaging support or relying on patterns that contribute to imbalance?
2. You want to age well. A wonderful potential of aging well is to grow a flexible mind. Rather than primarily being fixed and rigid with strongly held opinions or beliefs from the past, being open to new learning experiences helps the brain continue to grow its amazing potential. One of the ways to do that is to train attention by focusing on the body. Learning to develop new postural traits, you exercise the mind’s faculty of attention. Repeatedly engaging attention strengthens the brain’s capacity to focus. Learning to focus attention in a variety of ways builds novelty, a key point of rewiring the brain.
3. You have aches and pains. Wow, it’s easy to overcompensate. Your foot hurts so you adjust your gait. Then your knee hurts and before you know it you have an aching back. One way to measure whether your posture is supporting you as optimally as it could is to do a simple inventory. Do you experience back or neck pain? Do you have chronic pain? Studies have shown that there’s a 15 -20% increased risk of pain in these areas when you aren’t aware of your head position in posture.
The good news is that making a little shift in the right direction makes a difference. The body learns really well from repeating simple things over and over again. Each shift toward what is positive helps secure the foundation so that this building wears well. And now is always a good time to begin.
Want to learn more? Come join me for a free talk, Three Things You May Want to Know About Your Posture, Monday, August 8m, 7 – 8 pm. I’ll cover some additional pointers that really make a difference for me. Click here.
I hope to see you at my talk this Monday night. I’ll be giving away a free 30-minute Postural Counts! session.