Are you providing a healthy foundation for your spine and joints?
Your posture holds the answer.
Posture refers to how you align your body when sitting or standing and is influenced by your habits. Your posture habits add up over time either to support or impair your physical health.
Because they shorten and lengthen muscles incorrectly, poor posture habits increase stress and strain on your spine and joints. These common habits often lead to discomfort, stiffness, pain and even injury.
- Sitting for long, uninterrupted periods of time
- Hunching over your desk or phone
- Slouching while sitting
- Rounding your shoulders
- Leaning on one leg while standing
- Sleeping in a cramped position
Like all habits, the more your practice them, the harder they are to break. Jenni Freie, a physical therapist with OrthoCarolina and certified yoga instructor, recommends adding one simple yoga pose to your daily routine to improve your posture and body alignment.
Tadasana (tah-DAH-suh-nuh), or Mountain Pose, is a neutral standing pose that puts your body into proper postural alignment with minimal stress on your joints. Tadasana requires minimal muscle energy, allowing you to maintain stability with ease.
Follow these steps to practice Tadasana.
- Stand with your feet together.
- Ground the “4 corners” of your feet into the floor – your big toe, pinky toe, inner edge of your heel and outer edge of your heel.
- Draw your navel up and in towards your spine.
- Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and tuck your pelvis.
- Draw your shoulders down, away from your ears.
- Pull your shoulders back toward the wall, widening your collarbones.
- Reach the crown of your head toward the ceiling to lengthen your neck. Tuck your chin slightly and keep your jaw relaxed.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Breathe deeply and slowly.
- Repeat as desired.
Freie recommends checking your posture two to three times per day by practicing Tadasana.
Jenni Freie is a physical therapist with OrthoCarolina’s Pineville Physical Therapy office. She is also a certified yoga instructor.
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