Is your posture in need some yoga?
You’re slouched in your chair, or maybe you’re curled around your laptop or craning your neck toward your phone with the dreaded ‘text neck.’ You might save your good posture (the kind your mother nagged you about) for when you run into an ex. Proper posture is actually very important for our wellbeing every day, not just the days when we have to impress the-one-who-got-away.
When your body is out of alignment, it can’t work as it should and you can’t feel your best. Correcting all of our bad posture habits may seem daunting at first, but the right yoga regimen and the right yoga instructor can help you to strengthen the muscles in your back, core, shoulders, and neck so you can be confident, healthy, and productive.
1. Boost Your Confidence – And Others’ Confidence in You
People tend to feel more confident when they’re standing or sitting up straight, according to a study from Ohio State University. That open stance commands power, while a hunched or ‘closed’ stance makes a person look and feel lowly. Amy Cuddy presented a TED Talk on the subject of “power poses:” hold a stance like Wonder Woman (feet apart, hand on hips) for a minute and you’ll develop super hero-like confidence.
Cuddy has an explanation about an increase in certain hormones and a decrease in others, but there’s a simpler way to look at it: you look your best when standing up straight – the tallest and slimmest you can be. Just passing by a mirror will give you a confidence boost! Strengthening muscles with yoga will make it easier to hold a powerful pose all day long.
2. Let Your Body Work Better
The human body was designed to sit and stand a certain way – and that doesn’t include craning over screens. With proper posture, joints are properly aligned so they won’t be stressed and muscles won’t strain, which reduces the risk of injury.
Slouching can squish our insides, compressing organs and preventing them from performing at optimal levels. Sitting up straight can open your airway, allowing deeper breathing. It can also improve digestion and circulation because your organs won’t be compressed.
3. Get Productive!
Feeling stressed or sad is one of the main reasons why people slouch, but it’s the best time to straighten up. In recent studies, participants who sat up straight felt more energetic, and those who were stressed but sat up straight felt more positive.
Remember how sitting up straight can help you to breathe better? That extra oxygen (up to 30% more than if you slouched) can help you to stay focused and keep your energy level high. Yoga can also help to boost your mood and reduce stress, so it works on multiple levels!
There’s no better way to improve your posture than yoga. When you’ve been hunched over for a long time, sitting up straight may be tiring because your core muscles are weak. There are many yoga poses that can strengthen your core, back, and shoulders, which will improve your posture.
The right yoga instructor can help you to complete the most beneficial poses while minimizing the risk of injury. So put down your phone and try yoga so you can be sittin’ pretty.