Updated: 5 days ago
Mountains are big; mountains are strong, solid and resilient. Okay so they are kind noticeable, cannot hide and one could say also, often exposed.
Why am I talking about mountains?
Tadasana or mountain pose is a fundamental standing asana or yoga pose. Like a mountain it helps you stand tall, and can also make us feel very different, especially the first few times that we do this pose. When you do mountain pose you literally bring your muscles to attention, naturally improving your posture. At the same time imagine being that strong and resilient mountain. Don’t worry that some mountains are hard, rocky and grey; some have lush, green vegetation home to beautiful birds and butterflies.
What impressions do you make on others?
In one of my wellness woman courses a part of each session was devoted to yoga. On one occasion I paraded in front of the group. Firstly, as my friendly more reserved posture, my natural posture where shoulders are rounded, head a little forward looking more towards the floor. Then I set myself in Tadasana bringing my shoulders back, belly button pulled up and in, head, my mountaintop, reaching towards the ceiling. Again I did my walk.
What did they think?
What I remember most are words like; she is confident; she's professional; she knows what she's doing. But for the other person, natural me, they commented had poor self-esteem and no authority.
When I asked,
"Which of me would you choose as a practitioner?"
"Who would you take your custom to?"
"The second, confident Tadasana me"
What really impacted on me was the way they spoke, it was just so obvious to them, no doubts.
It's interesting the difference between what we feel, our sense of self and how we present to other people, especially in a professional manner. Many, many of us lack self-confidence. Though I prefer to think there could be an element of self-questioning, striving never quite satisfied with who or how we are. Others may prefer to hide behind make up and clothes, looking out and not inwards. Whichever way, looking inwards or outwards some of us are not happy with what we see.
Physical effects of poor posture
I've talked about the effect posture has on the way we are perceived by others, especially when we first meet or if we meet irregularly. But posture can also have a holistic physical effect. Consider the mountain pose that I wrote about above, balanced and upright holding not only our joints and muscles in place but our internal organs.
I propose that poor posture affects us in many ways. Imagine an overweight man with an oversized belly that will put pressure on his lungs, squeezing them upwards into a smaller space against his rib cage. If he also has rounded shoulders and a forward head this would create more pressure on his lungs from a different direction.
My posture pain - That darn headache-again!
Once again I woke up with the back of my head feeling like a lead weight, so painful I felt nauseous and chose to hold still as it was too painful to move my head neck or shoulders, I couldn't let my head rest on the pillow as it felt worse.
What could I do?
What changes could I make especially to stop taking those darn pills?
Again I'm talking about head and shoulders so perhaps it's that posture again. We are told to change our posture (if someone thinks it's not good enough) head up, sit straight, don't sit standing is better. Someone who is actually visiting a headache clinic specialist told these latter two comments to me, needless to say they were somewhat confused, should they sit or should they stand.
It's not only headaches, or sore shoulders that are caused by poor posture we can also have painful or sore joints and even the muscles themselves can start to complain. To have a better posture and to be healthier it's time to start balancing your muscles and one of the best ways to do this is with kinesiology, the therapy I use to ensure the muscles in your body are realigned, energised and functioning as well as possible.
What did I do?
Firstly, I thought about Tadasana and the yoga course I had been designing as a morning exercise routine. Hence this article appeared as I set myself up each morning in mountain pose and headed off for my morning walk, head up high!
Jean is a Natural Pain and Movement specialist in Christchurch, New Zealand. She works with those who have chronic (persistent) pain and movement challenges due to accident, trauma, and her work is of benefit to recovering athletes and people who are in the process of returning to work or restarting their sport. www.painanxietystressclinic.nz