Most of us tend to hunch as though we are carrying the weight of the entire world on our shoulders. When we hunch we compress our lungs which inhibits oxygen from circulating around our body.
Most of us tend to hunch as though we are carrying the weight of the entire world on our shoulders. When we hunch, we compress our lungs, which inhibits oxygen from circulating around our body. The result? A curved spine, insufficient intake of oxygen and a veritable collapsed chest, leading to general fatigue, a feeling of sluggishness and mental apathy. Not a very pretty picture, is it?
If people who slouch conjure up an image of laziness, it is probably true. Such people turn out to be less go-getting and less dynamic than their straight backed friends. Of course, this need not always be the case and other aspects of personality do play an important role, but in general, if a person that slouches stops doing so, he will in all probability perform better! So sit up straight and read on for some great yoga and pilates poses and stretches that will have you straight backed before long.
- Get down on your knees, with your feet shoulder-width apart, and toes stretched outwards, flat on the floor.
- Raise yourself up from the knees, and rest your hands on your hips, just above your buttocks.
- Gradually, bend backwards, as far as you can comfortably go, and hold this position.
- Inhale and exhale deeply, and focus on expanding your chest with each inhalation and exhalation.
- Come back slowly to starting position.
This is called Ardha Ustrasana, or half camel pose. In the camel pose or Ustrasana, you bend further backwards, and rest your hands on your feet instead of on your hips. This requires greater flexibility, and it opens out the chest to a greater extent. If your back is weak, you may not be able to hold these poses for very long. Hold them for as long as you are able, and repeat after some time. Gradually, your back will strengthen and your posture will improve.
Once again, do the Ustrasana pose. Lift one arm straight up in the air, and push your chest and pelvis forward. Hold this pose for 3 deep breaths, and then switch hands. This serves to open up your chest to a much greater extent. It has the effect of literally expanding your lungs and your rib cage, increasing your body's mental and physical capacity to a great extent.
Sit up straight in your chair, raise your arms up, interlock your fingers and stretch towards the ceiling. This is a quick fix for a slouch.
Here is a quick pilates exercise that you can do to help improve your posture. Pilates is easy to perform, and if the technique is correct, the benefits are manifold.
- Lie on the floor on your back, with your arms at your sides.
- Keep your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor.
- Your lower back will be just slightly above the floor.
- Exhale, and pull your navel deep down into your spine.
- Expand your chest and flatten your abdominal muscles. While you do this, you may feel your back or shoulders lift off the floor. Press them down again. Remember, you entire body must be pressed down, except for the small of your back.
- Breathe in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.
Do this simple exercise everyday, for just five minutes a day, and you will soon start noticing an improvement in your posture.