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This is the one body you will ever have in this life. Treat it well, and the reward is feeling great. There is no separation between body and mind; they are intimately connected through the nervous system. The way you hold yourself in space, a.k.a. posture, has a direct response on the limbic system of the brain, which functions to interpret emotional responses, store memories, and regulate hormones. Lifting the gaze, the head, the heart, taking a deep breath in, lifts the energy and the mood, as well as improving circulation and decreasing musculoskeletal stress. Slumping down into your chair, succumbing to gravity, drooping the head and gaze downward increases fatigue and depression. So! By simply being aware of this, you can increase your energy by lifting the body, engaging the deeper muscles to stay upright, taking a deep breath...letting it release fully.
When you notice yourself drooping like a dying flower, you can always FLIP IT! Take a drink of life-giving breath, expand the heart, lift the gaze upward, and let oxygen and energy into your body.
How, you ask? The longer and more severe one allows sloppy posture, the more difficult it is to reverse, and the more unconscious body position becomes. Yet the bright side is: it is ALWAYS possible to improve and make progress.The exercises in this book will teach you step-by-step methods to find and train the muscles needed to have efficient and healthy posture.
Start by gently pulling the lower belly inward- it doesn’t matter how much belly you have, find the muscles just below the belly button and draw them backward toward the spine, at the same time bringing the pelvic bones at the waist forward, the tailbone backward, heart lifted and forward, shoulder blades coming a bit toward each other and down the back. Let the chin drop slightly, lengthening the neck, drawing the head backward of the collar bones. Feel the wave-like circular motion of inhale lift the front body, exhale relax the back body down, inhale lifting the front body from pelvis to collar bones to head, exhale relax the shoulders down the back. This postural exercise can be done standing, kneeling, or sitting, as long as the trunk is upright.
You may think your head is directly over your body, but is it really? You can ask a friend or co-worker to take a photo of you from the side, to really see your position.
Laptops tilt freely. Use this feature often to check the tilt of the chin, length of the neck, and downward rotation of the shoulders. See yourself in your mind’s eye: lifting your sternum forward and up, as the collar bones open outward, shoulders relax down the back. There are many muscles that need to engage, need to work- but not too hard. They are trained by practice. These are postural muscles, and they are designed to keep us upright all day long.
Strengthen the muscles in the middle back to relax the shoulders down, to lift the sternum. How, you ask? Well, the simplest way is: PULLING THE HEAD BACKWARD IN SPACE. Draw the head back in relation to the rest of the body, and your neck, your shoulders, your back will thank you.