You probably heard it a hundred times as a teenager:
“Sit up straight!”
“Fix your posture!”
Good posture has long been the mission of doting mothers and strict schoolteachers. And they’re right to get on us about sitting a little taller.
Posture is, by far, one of the more simple ways you can improve your mood, outlook, energy, and health. By maintaining healthy posture while sitting, standing, and walking, you provide your body with the alignment it needs to:
- decrease abnormal wear and tear on your joints,
- decrease the stress on ligaments that holds your joints and spine together, and
- allow your muscles to be used properly
—preventing fatigue, headaches, and chronic neck or back pain.
From an aesthetic viewpoint, good posture just looks more attractive. Studies show you’ll likely have more positive interactions with the people around you as you exude confidence through your body language.
Yoga postures are centered on proper alignment and muscular engagement so that you not only reduce the risk of injury and pain, but you also expend energy more wisely so that you can engage in life, firing efficiently on all cylinders.
Tadasana, Mountain Pose, is a standing pose in yoga. It’s a foundation upon which all other postures are built. I often teach my clients to “Find Tadasana” in all other poses, exercises, and in daily life. It’s a simple reminder of how to achieve healthy posture during their yoga practice, weight training sessions, cardio bursts, or even while cooking dinner and doing chores.
Here’s how to “Find Tadasana” and improve your posture in just two minutes:
- Begin standing with feet hip width apart, toes pointing forward with inner and outer edges of feet parallel. Allow arms to relax at your sides.
- Take a few rounds of breath to connect your mind and body.
- On an exhale press your feet into the ground creating equal connection through balls of the feet, pinky edges, and heels. Toes will be light, not gripping.
- Inhale as you tighten the front of your thighs (quadriceps) and draw your inner thighs back (think about inner thighs rolling in & back without the knees caving in)
- Exhale and curl tailbone down toward the heels to find a neutral pelvic alignment without losing the connection to inner thighs. This will simultaneously help you draw your low belly in.
- Inhale to lengthen up the spine and sides of the torso. Visualize space being created in between each vertebrae and rib as you inhale.
- Stay tall through the spine. Exhale allowing the shoulder blades to slide down the back and open across the chest and collarbones.
- Inhale to lengthen the neck & reach the crown of the head to the sky. Chin & eyes will be level so that front & back of the neck are equal length.
- Hold Tadasana for 3-5 breaths. Then relax completely and start again.
As you become proficient at “Finding Tadasana,” you will not only be able to access it no matter where you are or what you’re doing, but you will experience a sense of lightness, connectivity, energetic flow, and confidence as you move through your day!