HOW IS YOUR POSTURE RIGHT NOW?
People often think that in order to sit and meditate you have TO have a perfect posture and not move a muscle.
Proper posture isn't stiff, and it shouldn't hurt (especially if you have something under your tailbone).
I like to say your posture should be dignified, like when you used to balance books on your head as a kid and pretend to be royalty.
Really, proper posture can be anything.
You don’t have to sit in lotus position to meditate. You can sit in a chair, lay on the floor, lean against a wall and stand… anything as long as you are promoting alertness and focusing on what’s going on within your head, not without.
WHAT IS THE KEY TO GOOD POSTURE?
One of the most important parts of good posture for meditation, yoga, even just daily life is your abdominals (I mean, there’s a reason they’re called the CORE).
Your abs help control your breathing, elongate your spine, stabilize your hips, and protect your internal organs. They’re a pretty big deal!
If you need help finding your abs, just cough. You should feel a huge slab of muscle under your ribs and above your hips tense. Congrats, you found your abs!
While engaging your core is important for posture, you don’t have to tense it like you’re in chaturanga, simply use your core to take deep, even breaths while meditating.
Engaging your core like this throughout your day (especially if you sit in an office all day) will help remind you to lengthen your spine and can ease some back and hip problems from sitting all day.
HOW CAN YOGA HELP ME?
One of the most common posture problems in the world today is the “computer hunch,” i.e. the hunch between the shoulder blades caused by typing away at a keyboard all day in a tiny cubicle.
Here’s your daily reminder that if you notice your shoulders starting to hunch, clasp your hands behind your back and allow your chest to open.
The stretch will loosen the muscles of the chest and engage the back in order to correct your posture as well as relieve tension.
Another exercise to work the shoulders and correct “computer hunch” is downward dog, a pose I teach in my yoga classes. I offer one-on-one’s and group sessions, as well as large group classes that are perfect for businesses looking to find a healthy, stress relieving group activity for their employees.
For meditation, posture is an important part of the process.
When you sit, lay, or stand with proper posture you allow more air into your body, while working groups of muscles you wouldn’t necessarily notice otherwise.
The next time you meditate pay attention to how far back your shoulders are placed and where your breathing is coming from, then use that throughout your day. I guarantee you you’ll notice a difference.
If you need a little extra help meditating, or aren’t sure where to start, check out some of the services I provide! From my home studio in Tampa Bay I offer yoga and meditation classes (both personal and corporate), as well as workshops for MBSR. If you’re not in the Tampa Bay area I have several online classes available through Zoom Meeting.
Be sure to follow me @lotusheartmindfulness on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more mindfulness inspiration!