Friday, August 16, 2013

What Has Yoga Done for You Lately?

Better posture.

No really. I am a firm believer, after having passed the initial 'MUSTCONVERTEVERYONETOYOGA' stage, that yoga is NOT for everyone. No really, despite what you read out there, you don't have to LOVE yoga. It's ok. Perhaps another type of physical or mental activity suits your needs much better than yoga. The point is to find your 'yoga' (or pilates, or running, or lifting weights or meditating... whatever).

Despite that, what I will say that yoga has provided that other activities do not (especially playing the guitar, which is often my 'yoga'), is good posture.

When we were living in BC I had a physiotherapist say to me (albeit she was drunk at the time) that my posture was TERRIBLE and perhaps I should get that looked at. It has forever made me a bit paranoid, I do sit and stand with my chin and neck jutted forward. Like a weird turtle. Although I'm fairly certain many of our computer selves stand this way, I really don't want to become my grand-mère (whom I love- just to be clear. She just is completely bent in half at a 90 degree angle).

All those cues of lengthening your spine, lengthen your spine, LENGTHEN YOUR SPINE, years of hearing this have resulted in:

  • Brushing my teeth "LENGTHEN YOUR SPINE!"= magically gaining 2inches in the mirror
  • Walking to work "LENGTHEN YOUR SPINE!" "SHOULDERS AWAY FROM EARS!"= head held high, holding it with confidence to face my day at work
  • Playing the guitar and singing Zombie by the Cranberries: ... ok you get the idea.
The bonus in all these situations is suddenly my diaphragm and lungs have more room to expand and take in air... and I feel more open, more full and more Ready. Intellectually I know all this is true. Especially with regards to my Speech-Language Pathology degree; everything is based on breath support (without breath you cannot speak... obvious you say, but often we forget what the logical next step is with regards to breathing and posture).

So. Yoga=Better Posture=Better Breath Support=Calmer Self=Less Anxiety and Stress. BAM.

What has Yoga Done for You Lately? (yes, I am referencing Janet Jackson).


  1. I have been doing that ever since you told me! Shoulders away from the ears! It helps a bunch. I wish my chiro told me that when I was sixteen. It's just one of those instructions that clicked compared to, stand tall and confident.

  2. for me it's flexibility, on a physical level nearing 50 that's a very good thing. and along with that it helps me with pain control.

  3. Posture!! My posture was SO bad before yoga and while I'm still no ballerina, I can feel myself getting better (I have only had a committed, five-day-a-week practice in my life for six months) at keeping my spine straight and my core stronger. I'm a writer so I sit down a lot for work, and practicing after a day in the office is a blessing for my lower back! All in all, yoga is amazing. And addictive!


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