Walking tall: Kat's top tips for good posture
In the first of her regular guest posts, #Bthoughtful contributor Kat of Movement for Modern Life recently shared with us how to weave mindfulness and meditation into everyday life with her ‘5 easy ways to mindfulness‘.
This week, Kat talks us through how to perfect your posture and feel the difference. Read on to discover her top tips for good posture and helping you stay healthily aligned. Over to Kat…
Have you taken a look around lately? Everyone is stooped forward, their eyes focused on their smart phone. And now check out where their head is in relation to their spine? Quite frightening, now we look at it! And your head weighs somewhere in the region of 5kg. That’s five bags of sugar perched precariously on top of the spine and at a terrifying 45 degree angle to it, to boot. And we wonder why we have a sore neck and shoulders? More like we should be amazed that our head isn’t falling off with the sheer weight!
So first things first, the head goes above the spine. Our bodies have a really rather amazing biomechanics, and they are function so beautifully. But we must really be a little bit careful about how we use them. Surely it’s inevitable that walking round with our heads 2 inches in front of our bodies will cause a deal of wear and tear?
And what about the impact of stooping on our minds? We all know the feeling that when we hunch over from the cold, if we weren’t already feeling miserable, life will seem a little more down. When we’re in pain, receive bad news – all hunch-worthy events.
I think that now, more than ever, now that we are all tied to our smart phones as we walk, wait, queue, – our posture and mindset will suffer. We know that the impact on our back and shoulders is enormous, we know about our neck strain and sore spine, but what about the way we feel about the world? In a world full of anxiety, stress and doubt, our stooping may well be reason why we are losing a spring in our step. Think back to the times you felt amazing. Remember that time you took the trophy at school. Or you achieved something you always thought impossible? Clearly visualise it. And when you see yourself, you see yourself standing tall. Maybe even in that classic victory pose of chest out, arms outstretched to the sky. And as you remember it, your posture might even change?
We shouldn’t underestimate the power that our body has in the world. The power to feel great, pain-free by being bio-mechanically aligned, by taking our head back in space and opening up the shoulders, the chest, breathing deeply into the space created in the chest. But also the power that our body has in our daily posture to impact how we feel.
I watched a fantastic TED talk about the power of walking tall in the world as a metaphor and an embodied reality. And Lucy Brueggar, one of my favourite yoga teachers on Movement for Modern Life (although it’s always tricky to pick a favourite) was so touched by it that she created a three part series of movements to change the way you feel. So for those days when you really matter – like a job interview, a wedding, you’re asking for a pay-rise, or you’re going through a tough time with your family and you’re feeling embattled. Lucy has the perfect antidote in her Power Poses series.
Lucy’s Power Poses Series
1. Yoga for when you matter.
The first video is a grounding practice, you will feel more powerful in yourself, more grounded, more like the best version of you.
2. Relax into the big day.
The second is the all important relaxation into your power. This is great for before you go to bed, to remind yourself of your inner power and the knowledge that you can relax into that power.
3. Big day 3: the power poses.
And the third video is the classic power poses series – great for just before you go into that interview. Strike a pose and you will rock it!
When we stand tall, walk tall, we suddenly feel transformed, capable of anything. So open your chest, breathe deeply, drop your smart phone, take your hands up to the sky and take this day on like it’s the last chance you have. And now be brilliant.