There is a sense of quiet strength and elegance that emanates from a person who stands tall. A sense of radiant health and even longevity can also be felt from a person who holds good posture.
It should come as no surprise that a well aligned body works better. But the ways in which this is true, might surprise you.
For most people, poor posture is at its most obvious after sitting for prolonged periods of time. Typically, aches and pains begin to draw your attention to the way you sit or even stand. Rounded shoulders, inwardly rotated arms, and a drooping head are the first places you may notice your posture suffering. Many years of poor posture can be seen with the eyes in some pretty obvious ways.
Here a just a few easily noticeable ways in which improving your posture can benefit your well-being.
Better Breathing Ability. Breathing is very much a physiological and mechanical process. It depends on the tissues expanding and contracting in order to pump air into the lungs. When the shoulders round and the muscles in the front of the rib-cage become short and stiff, this affects your ability to breathe with ease and fullness. Opening the chest and taking fuller breaths can do wonders for your mood and stress levels.
Clearer Focus. Similar to the first on this list, when you’re actively upright as opposed to slouched over, your brain may be getting more oxygen. But more noticeably, when you’re upright you have a better chance of being alert. In yoga this is called being rajasic or energized, as opposed to tamasic, lazy and dull. We can all agree that when trying to get important things done, we don't want a dull and lazy mind.
Less Stress on the Body. When the bones are stacked in well, gravity has a less strenuous affect on our joints and muscles. Good posture means less wear and tear on the body. The channels of blood flow and the nervous system move with more ease. This means less pain and freer movement.
More Confidence. The way we hold ourselves is a real indicator to others about how we feel about ourselves. It’s a sign of our energy and vibrance. Having good posture can also influence how we feel about ourselves. It’s a real “chicken before the egg” type situation. In a study called Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance, the authors discuss the positive and negative effects posture can have not only on our confidence, but our ability to perform well.
Posture can be changed by taking your awareness to it and simply asking yourself to sit up. Though most times, because of trauma, holding patterns, or years of neglect, you may need some help to correct it.