Posture Perfect – A Yogi’s Stand On Standing Tall
A tall and upright posture not only makes one look and feel good but as research has sufficiently proven it is the single most therapeutic way to promote good health and wellbeing.
Correct posture minimises the stress on muscles, bones and joints and keep them in correct alignment. This lessens the fatigue in the body allowing it to use less energy and makes it more efficient.
The spine is often compared to a ‘plumb line’ which should run vertically down the mid line of the body dividing it symmetrically and indicates even weight distribution on the left and right sides.
The TADASANA in yoga is the perfect pose to check alignment and mechanics of the body. It is an amazing keystone of the standing postures in yoga and becomes a kind of gauge or barometer that yogis return to in order to assess how the body feels before and after an Asana.
YOGASUTRA, the ancient yogic text refers to Posture as - “Sthiram sukham asanam”- a position that is ‘firm and relaxed’ or quite simply, bearing the body (and the mind) with steadiness and ease.
This fundamental precept of yoga is rooted in the maintenance of a healthy spine. It is the spine that houses the entire nervous system which controls every function in the body- from digestion to immunity from diseases, to respiration and movement. In short, the wellbeing of the human body depends on the healthy functioning of the nervous system and spine.
Sadly in today’s modern life, technology and a sedentary lifestyle are the major disruptions in the optimal functioning of the spine. Use of computers and other gadgets on a constant basis moves the spine away from its natural alignment and puts tremendous pressure on its structures.
Bad posture impacts our physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.
On the physical aspect research is clear on posture and good health. Bad posture leads to
Hypertension, diminished range of motion and degenerative joint disease, among other things.
From an emotional standpoint one can go back to the Yogic/ Tantric System of the Chakras. These “wheels “of energy are described as being situated along the length of the spine which spin and sustain our mental and emotional state keeping them in balance. In the scheme of The Chakra System, which emphasises the health of our’ subtle body’, a properly aligned spine and posture are imperative.
Psychologically, our mental state influences our posture. For example, if we feel low or depressed the Tadasana will reveal slumped shoulders and a collapsed chest.Conversely, the good form that we create with Tadasana can influence our brain and neural pathways. This mind and body connection is a great tool to plug into what is called our ‘thinking bodies’. Such an integrated mind and body allows the mind to gaze inwards to discover our inner laboratories of experience
This discovery and the possibilities of a personal transformation is the ultimate aim of the Yogi.
Everything begins with the posture. Stand tall in Tadasana - Like a mountain with the feet rooted on the earth and the heart elevated to the skies.