In my last post (4 Ways To Boost Your Energy), I shared some of the important factors in maintaining our energy throughout the day. This includes: “Staying Rested, Eating Healthy, Keeping Yourself in an upright posture and Keeping yourself moving”. Now Let’s take a closer look at what an upright posture means and how it affects our body in a physical, emotional and energetic way.
Change Your Posture, Change Your Life!
First, let me give you a few pointers for an upright posture, whether you are sitting or standing an aligned posture means that your feet remain grounded, your pelvis stays parallel to the ground meaning not leaning backwards or forward. This way, the spine oscillates freely maintaining its natural curvature. This alignment of the spine and its base of support allows the head to float freely on the neck keeping the chin parallel to the ground.
So why is this alignment necessary to the functioning of our body? Simply put, because this allows the energy to flow freely throughout the body. If we think of energy as the oxygen delivered to every cell, then we can see that any deviation from an upright spine will automatically compress tissues, preventing them from getting the necessary oxygen. Without oxygen, your cells fail to fulfill their function, and some eventually die off.
Some of the latest studies have linked our posture to our emotions and our ability to make choices. They have been able to show a connection between how each posture affects our hormone levels. Depending on what hormones are dominating in our body, this will change our mood and our state of mind which in turn governs our decision-making capacities.
The posture that I often encounter is the “slouched” posture. In this case, we can see that the chest is collapsing in the front creating compression of the whole rib cage. A mechanical compression of this sort of the heart and lungs doesn’t allow these organs to bring oxygen to the entire body. This posture will also create tensions in the muscles which will, in turn, compress the nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatic tissues, creating muscular discomfort, nerve damage, decreased vascularization and reduce the efficiency of the immune system. Maintaining an optimal posture in sitting, standing and moving allows your whole organism to function in balance, hence giving you more energy and more power to fulfill your everyday goals.
As we go about our day, we might be aware of different things our body communicates to us such as when we are hungry when we are tired or simply when we need to go to the washroom, but we are often not aware of our posture. The reason for this is that our “normal” posture has become so habitual and “comfortable” that even if it is not ideal or even damaging to our body, the body has registered this posture as being normal. It takes our whole attention and dedication to become aware of our posture and then to bring the necessary changes. The more we become aware of our posture and can correct it, the more we can help rewire our brain so that the better posture becomes more natural to us.
If you are serious about changing your posture, I recommend you read The New Rules of Posture by Mary Bond. The book explains the anatomical and emotional components of posture. Included many exercises and ergonomics information to help correct unhealthy movement patterns and it also teaches how to adopt a healthy posture in the modern world.
The next time you are crouched over the computer scrolling through your Facebook feed, at least, do it with an upright spine so that you can have a healthier body, more energy, and a happier life.