If I had a line up of different people, with different postures and asked you to tell me how you might guess people are feeling, you just might get it right. When we meet someone, we access their posture, their energy, before we even say hello. How they are standing says a great deal about how they are feeling, or what they have experienced in their life. Your posture can be influenced by these main things…..
- Spiritual growth
- The type of people you hang around with
As a yoga teacher and therapist, I have studied posture a great deal, and it’s impossible for me to not “read” your body. Your posture tells me how you are feeling. This is called embodied cognition. Embodied Cognition is the idea that the relationship between our mind and body runs both ways, meaning our mind influences the way our body reacts, but our body posture also triggers our mind. Not sold on this idea? Do this for me. Go and slump in a huge comfy chair, grab a phone or tablet, and be on it for 20-30 minutes. How do you feel? Companies pay huge money for their employees to sit up straight, use ergonomic chairs, or tall desks so we can stand. Your posture is telling your brain how to feel, and if you do one thing, for a longer time, that posture becomes engrained into your body. You don’t know why you are depressed, that is just how your body is standing, or your posture.
Yoga practice starts to “undo” all that we do to our body. Often we are unaware of our shoulders rounding forward, or our pelvis tucked underneath. That are head and neck are stuck forward from eye strain and looking at our devices. A yoga practice is like an eraser that removes these bad habits of posture away. When we are standing tall, our posture erect, we are confident, secure, full of energy and ready to go. Amy Cuddy has a TED talk on our posture and what it says about us, that you can view here…
Ask any person who does yoga on a regular basis, why they do yoga, and you might get the answer, “It just makes me feel better”. In fact, that is one of the yoga philosophy threads of knowledge, that Yoga done on a regular basis makes you feel better. We cannot change our parents, or the injuries that happen to us, but we can use yoga to change what we have been given. A lot of how we stand comes from our parents. Can you see yourself in your parents? How tall are they standing?
Come to yoga and lets reverse our posture history. Come to yoga so you can start feeling better. Come to yoga and gain better confidence in yourself. Your future self will be glad.
See you on the mat,