Let’s chat posture.
I am constantly checking in, working on improving, and evaluating my posture. With better posture, we can begin to breath more easily and deeply, digest our food as we are meant to, and move with freedom and ease.
We spend many, many hours per day hunched over staring into screens, or with our shoulders pressed into our ears, or with our neck craning forward. All of this leads to joint pain, stiff backs, and the inability to move!
The first step is to take a look at our sleep. I’m a HUGE lover of sleeping on my stomach, which is notoriously the worst position to possibly sleep in. Getting a neck pillow such as the one linked here has helped encourage me to sleep on my back, at least at the beginning of the night when I’m still conscious. What I do during sleep a different story.
Stretching throughout the day is also a huge component of maintaining good posture! Here are a few stretches I find are best for posture:
- Lateral Side Stretch.
- Begin by standing straight up, inhaling deeply, and raising your arms above your head. Grasp your right wrist in your left hand, and on your exhale, stretch over to the left side, deeply stretching and extending the right side body. Think of stretching up and over versus just to the side. Stay here for a couple of breaths. Then, swap it around! Grasp your left wrist in your right hand, and stretch over to the right side, deeply extending the left side body.
- Against-The-Wall Posture Work
- This is my favorite! Begin by standing with your back to any flat wall/door/surface. Heels, glutes, and head should all be flush against the wall. Bring your arms at a goal-post position around your head, with the backs of your hands touching the wall behind your head. While keeping your arms against the wall (elbows, forearms, and back of hands all consistently maintaining contact with the wall), move your arms up and straight over your head, and then back down to a goal-post position. Inhale deeply when drawing the arms overhead, and exhale fully when the arms come back to their initial goal-post position. Repeat for 10-12 rounds, a few times per day.
Finally, be mindful throughout the day when you’re craning forward too much, starting at something for an extended period of time, or generally feeling stiff. If you notice any of this within yourself, give these quick stretches a go and see how you feel!