Your spine is an amazing structure, stacking one vertebra on top of the other and then aligning them in an S-shape curve to stay upright. Without this intricate structure, we wouldn’t be able to stand up. On top of our spine balances our head, which is pretty heavy. It’s a masterpiece of engineering.
But did you know that your head becomes heavier to carry when it isn’t aligned properly on your spine? Try holding something heavy (maybe a bottle of laundry liquid) close to your chest and then hold it out straight in front of you on chest level. Your arms will get heavy quicker holding it out in front.
Now, look at your posture throughout the day. These days we spend a lot of time in front of a PC or looking at a smartphone, or driving a car. Sticking our head out in front can cause muscle strains and pains, pinched nerves or even wear and tear on the vertebrae.
In the beginning, we may have noticed when sticking our head forward, however muscles adapted to this unnatural posture and hence it feels normal. How can we know how it should feel like?
What is good posture?
Try to balance a book on your head. Use a substantial one like one of those cookery books with lots of lovely photos. Place the book on top of your head, where it naturally flattens. If it stays, that’s the posture you are aiming for.
You can’t go to the office with a cookery book on your head? That’s where it becomes tricky. How do you remember throughout your day to stand tall?
How to stay mindful throughout your day?
Let’s introduce a mindfulness trigger into your day. A mindfulness trigger is a situation which triggers you to be present, to be mindful. Let’s say you are going into the kitchen to make yourself a tea, therefore boiling the kettle can be your mindfulness trigger to stand straight and with good posture.
Have both feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Lift the chest without overarching your lower back. Relax the shoulders. Lift the top of your head towards the ceiling with your chin slightly tucked into your chest, just where you start to get a double chin. That should give your neck a little stretch and then you relax your shoulders a bit more.
Make this a habit every time you make a tea and at some stage, this will become a habit and you can add another trigger.