As a yoga teacher, I have noticed that a forward projected head has become an epidemic in our tech savvy society these days. I recently learned the term Upper Cross Syndrome - described as a muscle imbalance pattern located at the head and shoulder regions. It is most often found in individuals who work at a desk or who sit for a majority of the day and continuously exhibit poor posture. Sound familiar? If you are slouched and your head is sticking out then your brain is not as well-connected to your nervous system and you won't be in "flow". The reality is: when you're slouched over, not only are you not using the full potential of your brain, but you look untrustworthy, generally unhappy and powerless.
I’m sure by now you have seen Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk and her incredible insights on how posture changes our hormone levels. She illustrates how our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behavior, and our behavior changes our outcomes. She reminds us to use our nonverbal skills to “fake it until we become it.”
“Our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behavior
and our behavior changes our outcomes”
Sitting is our generation’s equivalent to smoking. If you sit at a desk for long hours each day and a treadmill desk or a standing desk isn’t an option, here are some other ideas to consider:
Try sitting up straighter and tucking in your chin: Your elbows should be next to your waist, not forward of it and your head should be in alignment with your spine. Not sure what that feels like? Stand in front of a wall and allow the back of your head, shoulders and bottom to touch. This is the guideline for perfect alignment (your head will feel like it’s really far back but that is actually where it belongs).
Try putting yoga blocks under your feet: This will put your knees in alignment with your hips or slightly higher and push your hips back further into your chair forcing you to sit up straighter.
Research shows that our posture affects our mood. Change your body and change your mind.