Sunday, February 15, 2009

Don't Be a Pill Bug

Today my yoga instructor described how important it is for us to keep our spine "inside" our bodies (think good posture). She said she learned from a first grader this week that a pill bug has an exoskeleton, meaning its skeleton is on the outside of its body instead of on the inside like humans. In yoga, spinal alignment is pretty important, and having the visualization reminder throughout class to keep my spine inside my body was very helpful.

I think it also applies to life in general---do you find yourself slouching? Your shoulders curving forward? If you looked at your body profile in the mirror, what would it look like?
Next time you're around a 7-month old baby, check out how she sits---she's so erect that you can't even see her spine. We train ourselves over the years (with the help of sitting at desks, sedentary lives, and gravity) to curve our spines as if we're trying to morph into a pill bug (thankfully, that's totally not possible!). As you sit there reading this, sit up a little straighter on your sit-bones and not rolled onto the back of your pelvis, tuck in your spine, roll your shoulders back and down, and don't let your chin jut out quite so far...

How does it feel? I recently read something that said --- we must all die someday, but the quality of our life will be directly related to the health of our spines.

It's worth practicing good posture. Set up your workspace to promote good posture, try stretching during the day and walking around once in a while. Try yoga and/or pilates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This can be easily assisted by actually using the adjustments on your desk chair! Humans are not made to sit at all really- evolution has made us so that standing is our most natural position- so if we sit all day we should change our positions frequently. Playing around with the adjustments on your chair can help with this- it's no longer true that reclining in your desk chair means you are being an unproductive employee!