On Wednesday, I wrote about how poor posture can affect your breathing capability and thus your body’s mechanics. Here are a few tips to find your perfect posture, as well as a short Coregeous® ball sequence to facilitate the breath, ease upper back aches and pains, and find your off switch.
Here’s are some simple tips on what good posture looks like from page 84 of The Roll Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility, and Live Better in Your Body by Jill Miller
- Feet first. Hip socket distance apart, facing straight forward as though you were going on a downhill slope on skis. Weight back enough on the heels that you can lift your toes, equal weight on both feet. Ankles and hips in one line.
- Your domes. Picture your ribcage and pelvis as two domes. You want them to sit one on top of the other. I always like to picture them as nets. If I were to drop a YTU ball into one net, it would fall straight into the second net. You achieve this by aligning your xyhpoid process (bottom of the sternum) with your public bone. Finding this alignment will also help you reduce flaring of the ribs (a common tendency in the general population and even more so in pregnant women). Your diaphragm is now ready to make its full excursion without any obstacles along the way.
- Your head. Thanks to mobile devices, we now live in a forward head society. Put your head back on your spine by pushing it back gently as though pressing against the headrest of a car seat, chin slightly down, ears in line with shoulders. Not only will finding proper head placement help you release tension in the upper back and neck, it will also improve your balance and coordination.
This simple Coregeous ball sequence is like being allowed to take a big gulp of air! It will expand your breath, release upper back discomfort and help your entire body relax:
- Lie face down and place the ball on your sternum. Start by taking a few abdominal thoracic breaths to get comfortable with the pressure of the ball.
- Then take a thoracic breath (into the ribcage) and at the top hold your inhale and engage your tubular core (brace), then exhale, letting the ball burrow itself deeper into the tissues of your chest (contract/relax technique). Repeat 3-5x.
- Roll the ball side to side, all the way to the side of the ribcage to massage the chest tissues. Pause where you feel extra tension and do a few more rounds of contract and relax.
Note: this sequence can also be done at the wall. Find more starting on page 185 of Jill Miller’s The Roll Model
Watch this space for Part Deux of my Yoga Tune Up® for Mammahood series for a more in depth look into keeping common aches and pains at bay, as well as a fantastic YTU sequence to release your hips and lower back!