For a long time my posture wasn’t very good. Like a typical computer-user, I had rounded shoulders and forward-head-syndrome. As of late, I’ve been trying to achieve perfect posture. Thanks to a consistent yoga practice, this has become much more possible and my kinesthetic awareness has increased. (Update: With a combination of yoga and rings-oriented strength training, it’s become very easy to hold good posture.)
One of the things I’ve noticed is that I always stand unevenly, with one knee bent and the other leg straight. And it’s not just me. Look around anywhere and it turns out that every single person stands like this. You stand unevenly too. Don’t believe me? Stand up now, walk around the room and then just stand like you normally would. You probably won’t stand evenly with both legs straight with your body weight distributed on both sides.
So for the past few weeks I’ve been making a conscious effort to stand evenly as I feel this is one of those little things I need to correct. Coincidentally, this is known as “mountain pose” (“tadasana”) in Yoga. All it basically means is, standing with both legs evenly with perfect posture. Go ahead, try it now. Stand with both legs evenly with your hands to the side with your back straight and chin level. See how good that feels? It feels so grounding and powerful, and it’s such a simple change.
- In the first week it took me several minutes of standing to notice (and correct) my stance.
- In the second week I started catching onto the asymmetry after about a minute.
- And now, this week, I’ve been correcting myself almost instantly (within seconds).
- In the past few days I’m sometimes standing evenly without having to correct myself.
Things I’ve noticed right off the bat:
- I feel very grounded.
- I’m definitely taller.
- I feel more confident.
- It’s much easier to hold a good posture.
Stand evenly and look down at your inner arches
If you just stand normally on two feet and compare your inner arches, you may notice your ‘plant foot’ (the one you normally revert to standing on and putting all the pressure on) will have a more pronounced inner arch than the other and the other one is flatter. The difference exists simply because you spend more time on one leg than another and the leg that you spend more time on has a better developed arch.
Why should you care?
Years ago I stopped putting a wallet in my back pocket because sitting on a wallet makes one hip higher than the other. After years of sitting like this, the misalignment of your hips causes the rest of your spine to be laterally uneven. And your spine is literally an extension of your brain. You are, afterall, not just bones or muscle, but one continuous unit working together. All the nerves in your body converge at the spinal nerves. I feel like if I want to have a balanced life with a clear mind and healthy body, all of these things go hand in hand. The spinal column may literally be the gateway between your body and mind. And there’s no doubt that posture is a reflection of ones emotions, mood and confidence. It’s a two way street and I’ll try to do everything in my power to be at peace within myself in every way possible.
Hope that helps someone out there in Internet land!
Next, I recommend you next check out: How to sit perfectly in five seconds.