An effortless, graceful posture may come easy to some, but for others it is an epic struggle to keep it up. It is never as easy as “putting your shoulders back”, the advice so often given from would-be helpers.
“There is a different posture for each person. We all have our own natural curves of the spine, “Posture isn’t just about the spine. It’s about the feet, knees, hips, shoulders and how we carry our head.”
Finding your unique posture is not about standing correctly and staying that way, it is about how you move, flex, sit, bend, sleep and everything in between.
What you can do
The first step to improvement is through simple mindfulness. “When you are standing, get a sense of what’s happening between the feet and head, allow the body to find its way into a comfortable place of balance. Feel the connection of the earth with the feet and the lightness of the head rising up from the shoulders.Feel how your shoulders automatically pull back and your stomach pulls in without you thinking about it.
- Neck stretch: Place your right arm over your head, so your fingers touch your left ear. Gently pull your right ear towards your right shoulder. Now stretch your left arm towards the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Upper-back stretch: Join your hands behind your back so fingers are laced, and then lift up as far as you can without bending forward, while opening your chest. This straightens the spine in the upper back.
- Lower-back stretch: Stand up, put your hands on your hips and bend backwards. This reverses the pressure put on your back when seated for hours. No need to hold but repeat up to five times.