Tadasana, Mountain Pose, is known as the blueprint for all yoga postures. It is often said that if you can apply the actions in Tadasana in any yoga pose, you are able to find alignment and ease. We can also use the alignment of Tadasana to improve our standing posture and keep our mothers happy that we are not slouching.
Here are some tips to keep your posture upright on a daily basis:
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- Bring your ears, shoulders, and hips into alignment with your ankles. Each body part should stack on top of the other, without any rigidity.
- With the chin parallel to the floor, align the crown of the head with the pelvic floor and the inner ankles. (Instead of letting your head drop to look at your phone, lift the phone up to your eyes.)
- Soften your knees. Most of us lock our knees, which puts more weight on the heel of the foot and takes the pelvis out of alignment. Instead, lightly bend them so that your calves are moving a little bit forward.
- When standing, keep a small percentage more weight on the ball of your foot instead of the heel. (This is extra important when wearing high heels.)
- Lift the frontal hip bones up to the sky. Many of us dip into our lower back too much or slouch and pull on the lower back. By lifting vertically, it engages your lower abdomen, which is a nice perk. Match it with a lift of the lowest ribs in your back, away from the waistline.
- Lift the front armpit creases upwards and spread across your collarbones. When our shoulders round it actually closes our heart and limits our breathing capacity.
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- Rocking forwards and backwards and leaning side to side, find the very center of your sitting bones and root that into the surface that you are sitting upon.
- Perform all of the notes from Standing that apply to the torso.
- We all love to cross our legs or lean to one side while sitting. Create moments where you have your thighs parallel to each other and the feet flat on the floor. If you are sitting cross-legged on the floor, change the cross every 15 minutes or so to create balance in the hips and lower back.
Image credit: Alissa
Use a looped breath with these alignment points and they will actually be easier to maintain.
- For energy, begin inhaling from the pubic bone, moving the breath up the front of the body to the crown of the head. Let the exhale move down the back of the body to the tailbone. Continue this loop while applying the points to maintain good posture and it will also provide extra energy.
- When you need to feel more grounded or release lower back pain, go the opposite way. Start inhaling at the tailbone and move the breath up the back of the body to the crown of the head. Exhale down the front of the body, rooting the pubic bone towards the floor. Continue this loop while applying the points above and it will help bring a sense of calm.
Generations before focused on good posture as a sign of a well-developed adult. It certainly affects our energy, and that affects our thoughts and what we create in our life. With increased use of cell phones and computers, good posture is becoming a rare sight. By following these simple concepts, you can improve your posture and start to feel better, too!
Image credit: Alissa