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Good Posture, Good Health, Good Life

beach yoga

“The view is always better from above”, thus I encourage you to plant your roots and grow- literally grow taller! As we approach our annual September Yoga Retreat here at H3, I encourage your focus to shift alongside ours. If we begin to focus our attention more on our posture and the integrity of our spine, our overall wellbeing will flourish. Our sights, smells, attitudes and potentially even self efficacy may prosper.

The definition of posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where during the movement or weight bearing fraction, the least amount of strain is placed on the supporting muscles and ligaments. So, keeping your spine tall throughout the day is totally worthy of ponder and practice. Many components can help to maximize improvements in one’s posture. Simply including strengthing and stretching exercises for the legs (specifically hamstrings), as well as back and abdominal muscles will help make it easier to reside in an ideal posture without any additional fatigue or strain- purely, yet another reminder as to why Yoga is so important!

Please note: The spine’s natural curvatures: the cervical’s inward, the thoracic’s outward and the lumbar’s inward curves are not to be confused with poor posture. “Poor” posture is often a byproduct of tight hips and legs, hunched shoulders, as well as improper neck positions. Simply keeping your head centered over your shoulders, rather than inching it forward will help you to generate better posture. Proper posture helps keep bones and joints in the correct alignment so you can utilize your muscles properly. Remember as I have repetitively stated, “all movements originate from the spine.” Proper spinal alignment can help to decrease abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis; decrease the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together; prevent the spine from becoming fixed in an abnormal position, prevent fatigue (because muscles are being used more efficiently, therefore allowing the body to use less energy); prevent strains and/or overuse problems; prevent backache and muscular pain; as well as contribute to a good appearance, healthier attitudes, and elevated quality of life.

In closing, I encourage all of you blog readers and H3 Alum, to par take in the postural yoga exercise below provided by “Yoga Journal”. You will greater height, stability, health and happier poise. Namaste.

tada = mountain

  1. Stand with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (so that your second toes are parallel). Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly down on the floor. Rock back and forth and side to side. Gradually reduce this swaying to a standstill, with your weight balanced evenly on the feet.
  2. Firm your thigh muscles and lift the knee caps, without hardening your lower belly. Lift the inner ankles to strengthen the inner arches, then imagine a line of energy all the way up along your inner thighs to your groins, and from there through the core of your torso, neck, and head, and out through the crown of your head. Turn the upper thighs slightly inward. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and lift the pubis toward the navel.
  3. Press your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them across and release them down your back. Without pushing your lower front ribs forward, lift the top of your sternum straight toward the ceiling. Widen your collarbones. Hang your arms beside the torso.
  4. Balance the crown of your head directly over the center of your pelvis, with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor, throat soft, and the tongue wide and flat on the floor of your mouth. Soften your eyes.
    Tadasana is usually the starting position for all the standing poses. But it’s useful to practice Tadasana as a pose in itself. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing easily.
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