Are you shrinking? Reverse modern life style patterns.

Aug 22, 2017 | Mindfulness, Self Care, Yoga

A friend reached out to me with this message (giving me permission to share):

‘’Karen, I was at the doctor’s and she measured my height. I’ve always been 5ft 5 inches. She measured me at 5ft 4 inches. I thought that was strange, checked my posture in the mirror and was horrified to see that years of hunching over a computer has contorted my posture. I googled this and it sounds fairly common.

Could you help people straighten this out with yoga?’’

Losing an inch – that’s 2,5cm.

Yoga can make a difference.

Now, while it’s natural to lose a little height as you age, as the cartilage between the vertebrae wears down and becomes thinner, osteoporosis can also be a cause as it weakens the bones.

However, modern life style patterns can accentuate the problem, and this we can reverse.

I’ve certainly become more aware of how I sit in front of a computer. It’s a yoga thing. You can’t help but become more aware of everything!

I don’t by any means have a perfect posture all the time but I do catch myself regularly and correct myself.

By now, it’s become a habit.

Like many people, I have a tendency to get totally engrossed in what I’m doing. I can lose track of time and find myself hunching over a challenging task or working longer than I should without taking a break.

When I pause to think, I’d be leaning into the screen, hunching my shoulders, collapsing my spine, tilting my pelvis, one elbow in front of me, thumb supporting chin, crunching the back of my neck, screwing up my eyes, legs wrapped around each other.  It’s hardly surprising I’d feel stuck!

Yoga can help improve your posture and alignment so that you appear taller, although yoga can’t physically add on inches to the spine.

However, appearance counts for a lot.

If you’re slouching over the computer right now, see for yourself.

  • Place both feet on the ground
  • Lift up out of the pelvis, lengthen the spine all the way up through the crown of your head
  • Feel broad and open across the chest and shoulders.

Do you notice how much taller you are?

A regular yoga practice trains you to notice what correct posture feels like. A simple Samastitihi/Tadasana (equal standing pose) or a balancing Vriksasana (tree pose) are just a couple of many examples.

All yoga poses are centered around the spine, creating strength and mobility in all areas of your body. The health of your spine is key to the health of your whole body.

So next time you notice yourself slouching at the computer or collapsing on the sofa after a hard day at work, realise that this is helping to create a habit of appearing shorter than you are. There’s a tendency to then get up and carry that posture with you.

Getting into the habit of becoming a little more aware of your body and checking in with yourself is a great step forward.

Yoga will help with that. You can be as tall as you were meant to be.

I’m on a mission to help change modern lifestyle patterns that don’t serve us.

Will you join me?

Let me know your thoughts. What are you noticing?

Karen x


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Karen Kurzmeyer
Private/group/corporate yoga teacher. Helping busy professionals prioritise health & well-being through yoga.

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