Posture Perfect

Good posture is essential to proper form in yoga. It also helps allow your body to achieve or maintain good health. It feels better, looks better, and is better for your body. Good posture also influences your feelings and thoughts. If you stand up straight and tall, you'll think more positive thoughts. It's true! Try it!

Good posture extends beyond the practice of your yoga postures. You spend a lot of your life standing—but do you stand well? The next time the fact that you're standing comes to mind, notice how you're doing it, whether you're in line at the grocery store, filling up at the gas station, or stir-frying vegetables at the stove.

Chances are, you'll notice that your posture is less than straight, tall, aligned, and balanced. Maybe you carry one shoulder higher or lower than the other. Maybe you shift your weight to one hip, or stoop forward, or lean your head to the left or right. Even if you're fairly balanced, you may not be standing as tall as you could be, and your muscles may not be in command over gravity or bad habits.

Posture is more important to your health than many people realize. Ask any chiropractor—if the body isn't aligned, the energy gets "clogged" in certain areas and doesn't flow freely. If part of you is energy deprived, you're out of balance, and the more out of balance you become, the greater your chances of succumbing to stress, depression, and disease. Good posture helps a body to heal itself, so help your body to be its best. Mountain pose, in the next chapter, can help you train your body to stand straight and tall.

A misaligned body can impede the flow of energy. It doesn't look good, but more important, it can keep your body from achieving optimal physical and emotional health

Here's an easy way to maintain good posture while standing: Pretend that you have a loop attached to the crown of your head, and a string tied to the loop. Imagine someone above you is pulling on the string. Feel how your entire spine and neck shift and stretch as the string pulls upward. That's what good posture feels like!

Wise Yogi Tells Us

Here's an easy way to maintain good posture while standing: Pretend that you have a loop attached to the crown of your head, and a string tied to the loop. Imagine someone above you is pulling on the string. Feel how your entire spine and neck shift and stretch as the string pulls upward. That's what good posture feels like!

Ouch!

Don't get tense about the "warrior" idea. Some people hear the word and their muscles immediately tense up as if they're preparing for battle. Yet the most effective warriors stay calm, clear-headed, and in a position to move in any direction as the situation requires. You can achieve this readiness without debilitating tension by concentrating on internally lifting the center of your body.

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