Your posture says everything about you; how healthy your spine is, how strong your back is and how high your self-esteem is. Yet, the stance we take daily seems to be overlooked. Personally, I have been a big advocate on correct postural alignment, which was brought to my awareness thanks to Yoga. I didn’t realize, however, that the conscious efforts I had initially put into my posture had actually become a natural occurrence beyond my cognitive intention until a colleague at work repeatedly pointed out my perfect posture as I sat at my desk. Many others in my life have gone on to share their admiration of my posture. I’m here to share with you exactly how easy it is to attain and turn your admiration toward yourself and your own stance in this world. Perfect posture shows both strength and confidence – Live it with these simple tips.

  1. Sit Straight

    Most of us spend our day sitting in front of a desk and computer screen. You’re probably sitting right now as you read this article. How is your posture? Are you hunched over and forward or twisted in any way? Stop it. Here’s How:

    • Bring your shoulders up and then squeeze and release them, letting them roll down your back.

    • Tuck your chin in toward your neck. This will force the cervical spine to straighten.

    • Notice if your stomach and rib cage are protruding forward. If so, draw them back while maintaining the shoulder blades together and the chest open and facing upward. This straightens the thoracic spine.

    • I know it’s comfortable and I know it’s a habit, but don’t cross your legs! Crossing your legs instantly throws any chance at sitting properly away. Instead, if you must cross, cross your ankles. Ideally, however, you should sit with your feet planted on the ground about hip distance apart with your legs bent at a 90° angle.

  2. Stand Tall

    • Don’t cross your arms. Crossing your arms is a sign that you are feeling reserved and/or insecure and therefore taking a protective stance. It’s almost as bad as crossing your legs and tends to be partnered with a slight slouch.

    • Leave your arms at your side and let your shoulders roll down your back. Again, follow the same advice given for sitting upright – Tuck your chin, ribs and stomach in with your chest out.

    • Tilt your tailbone inward to aid in achieving proper alignment.

  3. Set an Alarm

    It may be difficult to constantly keep your posture in check, especially when we are distracted by duties at work. Eventually, we want to come to a point where we don’t need to be reminded and we can focus both on our posture and the task at hand. For beginner proper-posture-seekers though, go ahead and set an alarm for every 30 minutes to check yourself before you (quite literally) wreck yourself.

  4. Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Lucky for us, we all have a live-in posture Guru – The walls in our home. Assuming that we all most likely live in a house with straight walls (I haven’t seen very many curved, slouchy walls lately,) then you have the perfect tool to train and track your progress. Sit and stand against your teacher-wall of choice and check if all parts of your back, neck and head are pressed flat against the wall. There should be just enough space for your arm to fit through the arch in your lower back. Check back in for daily wallflower lessons.

  5. Switch Your Purse

    You may think that those oversized bags of yours are fashionable but your shoulders and spine are not big fans. If you must carry your entire life around in your Mary Poppins bag, please, for the love of posture, remember to switch sides often and distribute the weight evenly. Should you survive parting with your purse, backpacks are a much better option for your back – and they can be just as cute too.

  6. Strengthen at the Core

    Most back pain comes from sloppy posture, and sloppy posture mostly comes from a weak torso. Fix the issue at its core (pun intended) by strengthening the muscles with a set of consistent crunches for an expedited approach. Alternatively, you can build core strength and awareness of your posture gradually and gently with Yoga.

  7. Do Daily Yoga

    The number one tool for gaining perfect posture is Yoga. With countless additional benefits, Yoga is the way to go. The following poses in particular are powerful practices that will inevitably lead to correct postural alignment amongst many other improvements in the body, mind and spirit.

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

perfect-posture-yoga-bow-pose

Virabhadrasana Variation (Warrior Variation and Shoulder Opener)

perfect-posture-warrior-variation-with-shoulder-opener

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

perfect-posture-yoga-upward-facing-dog

Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)

perfect-posture-yoga-wheel-pose

Marjaiasana (Cat and Cow Pose)

perfect-posture-yoga-cat-and-cow-pose

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Spinal Twist)

perfect-posture-yoga-sitting-spinal-twist

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose)

perfect-posture-pigeon-pose-yoga

Stand Up Straight

These tips will surely help you lose that lethargic, lazy-looking slouch à la Igor or Mr. Burns. You’ll find that by improving your posture, you relieve yourself of back pain and physical exhaustion. Stick with it and be persistent, disciplined and controlled. Be the powerful being that you are – Stand taller and exude energy with a perfectly aligned spine that shows confidence and strength.

Silvia Rodrigues

Silvia Rodrigues is a Yoga Instructor, Graphic Designer and artist who is currently completing her 500-hour Yoga Teacher Certification Course. She is a Portuguese native who was raised in Santa Cruz, California but decided to go back to her roots and is now enjoying life in the beautiful town of Cascais, Portugal. Silvia believes in keeping the body fit by staying active... Read More

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