Good Posture is a Vital Self-Care Habit
How this self-care path can unleash your self-confidence
Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week.
Great to be with you this week. So this week I want to talk about our posture. I have been paying attention to people. I’ve been sitting, getting my hair cut and watching people walk by. I’ve just been paying attention; how people walk, how are they holding themselves? Our posture says so much about us, the position of our body when we’re standing or sitting. It reveals how our spine is aligned with our head, shoulders and hips. And good posture refers to having a neutral spine where our muscles and joints and ligaments are all aligned in a way to reduce stress and help keep our body flexible, reduce fatigue, and help maintain our balance.
Balance is so important as we get older. With all the computer time we’re doing, I’m noticing folks are really hunched over. It’s all about body awareness. How do we hold ourselves when we eat, when we’re on our phone? Are we hunched over? Think about when we’re hunched over as we are physically cramping down on our organs and our lungs and we’re not able to get a full breath. And when we’re cramping down on our stomach and intestines, we’re not going to have good digestion.
This body awareness, it comes in the micro moments that we take in our day. As an individual, we need to figure out what’s good posture. So let’s try this. Let’s plant our feet firmly on the floor. Notice, what are our hips doing? Are they tilted? Not to be too personal, but we need to engage our glutes because when we engage our glutes, we are pulling our hips into alignment. When our hips are in alignment, we’re able to pull our shoulders back and then our head and chin are in better alignment. We’re actually retraining our muscles to have good posture. A good, strong core is also very helpful in this goal of good posture. And so it’s really important to check in during the day when we’re moving around and when we’re sitting, when we’re eating, when we’re driving, when we’re on our computer, when we’re walking, are we aware of our posture?
So our action item of the week is to do your posture checks. So I’ve been doing this over the past two weeks. Stand with our head and back against a wall, have our heels a few inches from the wall, our shoulder blades and our glutes should be touching. Find what feels comfortable once you find what feels comfortable. Then during our micro moments during the day, catch ourselves, engage our glutes, bring our hips back, pull our shoulders back, get our chin and our neck in alignment. See how good you feel.
Okay. And then after you practice this for a couple of weeks, notice, hey, I don’t have to make so many adjustments anymore. Hey, I’m kind of already here when I start walking down the hall. You know, when you walk into a room and your shoulders are back and you’re looking confident and in alignment and you’re feeling good, you are exuding confidence. “Hey, I’m here.” And so posture is so, so important.
There are some great exercises, some yoga exercises on my website. Self-Care with Jean.com. Go there and practice some of these exercises. They’ll help you strengthen your core. They’ll help you breathe. They’ll help you relax and have better posture. So our micro moments are helpful in our body awareness, and our body awareness helps us with good posture.
And do you know why? Good posture is so important as we age. Go look at your grandparents. How are they holding themselves? Sometimes they’re so hunched over. Their muscles are tight. They’re not mobile. So listen, if we wish to keep this youthful stance, if we wish to keep our mobility and just our body confidence, we have to practice. This is not something that’s just going to come tomorrow. These are those micro moments of body awareness and adjustments. We want good mobility. And with that, we want good posture. And especially in our later years.
And when we walk into that room when we’re 75 and 80 and we look like we’re 40. That is very cool. And that’s because we took the time to practice good posture.
And so my word of the week is STAND.
The S is for Strength. When we are aware of our body and stand strong in physical alignment, we give off very positive energy. We’re breathing and we’re flowing in our light. And this is wonderful. And we’re smiling and we’re sharing that with others. And people are going to want to hang out with us because, hey, we’re looking good or we’re feeling good and we’re giving off good vibes. So just stand in our strength.
The T is for Tuned in. Body awareness and good posture is because we’re tuned into ourselves and all it takes is a micro moment to make those adjustments. This is key to have balance in our body and our emotions.
An A is for Align because when our body is aligned and our organs are working better because they’re not being crunched and they have oxygen and they can do what they need to do. And we’re getting full breath because our shoulders are back. We’re letting energy flow freely through our bodies. We’re not kinking it up. Like we do when we’re out of alignment. And that creates the clogs and the aches and the pains. And so we want our shoulders back. We want to be engaged in our hips in alignment. So notice this and take the time. It will pay off.
And N is for Notice because it’s all about noticing. If we practice in our micro moments and we align, even if we hold it in alignment for one breath, it’s good. And we’re going to do two breaths next time. And then you know what? After you’ve done this for a few weeks, you’ll really notice when you’re out of alignment and then you’ll quickly want to come back and say, “Oh, this feels much better.“
The D is for Do, to accomplish an action. We oversee our health and we need to do what we need to do to stay in balance and stay healthy. So practice this good posture. Feel and remember each moment that you just this is good. This is where I want to be. And it’s small baby steps in that positive direction.
Awareness of these micro moments practice each day and after a week you’re going to really notice the difference. And you may have somebody you’re walking down the hall and a coworker will say, Hey, you’re looking really good today, and you’re saying, You know what? You probably don’t even have a new outfit, but you’re walking tall and you’re feeling good and you’re in your body and you’re confident. Good posture. Practice it. It’s there for us. Have a great week, everyone.