Standing upright with a ‘neutral spine’ could be a ‘one stop solution’ to most of your lifestyle related psycho-somatic problems. So, focus on ‘The Art of Standing’ correctly. With an uninterrupted focus, you should be able to achieve your goal in less than 6 months.
The above statement might seem like a ‘nonsensical statement’ to many. Learning how to stand correctly? Really? Wasn’t it at the age of 1 or may be 1.5 that we learnt to stand on our feet and have been doing so till date. Standing the way, you do (you might think that’s the right way) is in your blood now. Hence, such a statement might be considered sheer nonsense and not to be paid any attention to.
Contrary to your belief, inaccurately developed standing posture, in majority of the cases (some postural misalignment could be due to some organic defect) has led to structural misalignment. The most practical way of checking this is to compare a childhood picture of yourself standing with a recent one. I am sure you would be up for a surprise with noticeable drastic change taken over this period of time. Even though you might have been born with a correct natural alignment but, with many assisted lifestyle comforts over years, you lost touch with your natural structure and have fallen prey to the shape given to you by your comfort accessories. As the process was slow and gradual, it was visually difficult to detect it in its transitional phase. The harsh reality is: “your unnatural stance has now become your natural stance.”
What’s this fuss about standing correctly?
To give you a short synopsis of ‘why you ought to focus on your standing posture and why it should be your top priority?’, note the following:
It is obvious that standing upright improves body alignment. This body alignment is the ‘building block’ of your skeletal structure. It is the foundation for a pain-free and stress-free life or rather I should say, it is a virtual license to lead a normal fulfilling life. Right posture allows your bones, muscles, internal and external organs to remain robustly and independently at its assigned arena, thereby, allowing them to perform optimally and continue to remain at their best. It also helps maintain the right body weight distribution. Lack of balance or misalignment or uneven weight distribution, even in its slightest deviation might be like a bubbling, yet dormant volcano waiting to erupt and lead to disastrous consequence. The result could be = back pain, neck pain, knee pain, shallow breathing leading to = lethargy, irritation, poor memory, lack of confidence, inferiority complex, bad mood etc. In simple terms, it may pose a hinderance to your spiritual journey, as connecting with self can only begin when you are content in your body and mind. Any kind of ‘Vyadhi’ (physical illness) is one of the first obstacles in your path of progress, as per Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.
In the book, Presence: Bringing your boldest self to your biggest challenges, social psychologist, Amy Cuddy highlights studies that show how assuming “power poses” – including standing with good, upright posture – increases testosterone and decreases cortisol in your body. On average, assuming a power pose causes a 16% increase in testosterone and an 11% decrease in cortisol within minutes’
This should be reason enough to correct your standing posture.
Standing Posture Analysis
Some of the postures you may have commonly seen in your day to day life.
The foundational requirement of standing upright with neutral spine
- Your chin is parallel to the floor or very subtly slightly downward
- Earlobes in line with your shoulders
- Shoulders relaxed
- Shoulder blades slightly retracted
- Navel slightly pushed into the spine
- Hips slightly squeezed
- The area below your chest slightly tucked in
- Toes facing the front and feet parallel to each other (pressure point of the feet – mid of the heel, big toe mount and small toe mount)
A quick overall check
- Body weight evenly distributed; you should not feel any strain in one particular part of your body
- Your shoulder blades in line with your hips
- Mind should be alert
A generic check along- side the wall
- Stand with your back facing the wall
- Legs at 46 cm (18 in) apart
- Heels 5 cm (2 in) away from the wall
- Let yourself lean gently back against the wall (the whole body as one stick is leaning back)
- If you are well aligned, your shoulder blades and buttocks will touch the wall all at the same time
As per the Alexander Technique….
Yoga – The Ultimate Solution
In order to get a permanent and lifelong solution to this problem or to any other problem, nothing can be as effective and as encompassing as YOGA. Yoga application, with its multiplicity, can provide an in-depth solution to all your problems.
Tadasana teaches you ‘The Art of Standing’ correctly. It represents the length and the strength of a mountain and thereby, provides a firm foundation to the body before it moves into any standing posture. Just practicing Tadasana with keen attention to minutia can create the required symmetry in the body, strengthen the core and the back, increase your height and ward off many lifestyle related problems like back pain, knee pain, neck pain, sciatica etc.
Make YOGA practice a part of your daily living. Bring the awareness of Tadasana in your standing, no matter, where are you standing and you will be relieved off all your nagging aches and pains.
Your posture is reflection of your spirit
Discover Yoga Discover Yourself
Shammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.