Check your shoulders; are they bound up tight to your ears, rolled forward over a keyboard or phone, or pulled back enough so your chin is forward?
Our posture can say so much about us, physically and emotionally. Many things contribute to an altered posture: technology, cars, bad shoes, beds, and so on. One of the best tests you can do is stand barefoot, hip-width apart feel how you are standing
Where is the pressure on your foot (middle, outer, heel, toe)?
Does your back naturally have an “S” curve?
Do your eyes naturally gaze straight ahead?
Is your ribcage pulled down and your pelvis tilted forward?
Does your low back feel tense when you try to rotate your trunk?
Correct posture is necessary for proper and healthy flow of blood and breath. Without breath, our organs suffer and cannot thrive the way they are built to; just think of all the feedback we are getting every second from the way we sit, lay, and stand! Overtime, these postural imbalances can impact more than just slouching shoulders and a forward-tilted pelvis. Your feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, abdomen, diaphragm, chest, back, shoulders, neck, and head will all be affected.
Our body is linked together beautifully and when one chain is slightly kinked, the rest of the chain is shifted.
For example, if your foot has a low arch, your ankle is more prone to roll in leaving the outer portion shortened and tight. This can pull your knee inward and your upper hip socket outward, causing multiple aches and pains, and even some tension on your opposite shoulder thanks to your fascia! Fascia is fascinating (ironic?). It is the outer layer of fibrous tissue that covers our muscles/organs… Here’s a site if you want to nerd out and see why it’s so important!
I am 110% for exercise in any form, BUT, if you don’t address your posture, you may be creating more issues rather than helping fix them. You can’t expect to run a car smoothly if they’re rigid and full of gunky, hard fluid! Our muscles and bones are no different.
How can you work on your posture?
Practice some Qi Gong, check out some simple Egoscue Method exercises, practice keeping your chin up and shoulders rolled back, strengthen your core, and wear shoes less. Our feet need attention and shoes dramatically shift the way our feet form. Give your toes a good stretch (they even sell toe straighteners!), put a lacrosse ball under the sole of your foot, and let your feet spread!
There are numerous (free) exercises available online to help with your posture. The most important thing? Be conscious of how you move. Our posture is a form of communication to others about how we view ourselves. It also can be a sign that we are holding onto old feelings that are weighing us down; do you feel like the weight is on your shoulders and you carry everyone’s junk around with you? Check your posture. If you create a new physical awareness, the load might just lighten.
The body follows where the head leads. We don’t want to stay stuck in the past (slouched down, hips tilted under, usually sad/angry) or looking too far in the future (chest too forward, hips tilted back, usually anxious). Stay present with your eyes forward, ears above your shoulders, shoulders above your hips and hips above your ankles. A straight posture is a gift to your body… a present for your presence.