When we hear the word “posture,” many of us think of sitting up straight, pulling our shoulders back, and maintaining a rigid stance. However, achieving good posture goes beyond stiffening up our bodies. It’s all about allowing our systems to move fluidly in and out of positions.
Our lungs are in constant motion, expanding and contracting about 20,000 times a day or even more. This constant movement heavily influences our posture and overall movement.
#2 – Breath and our Center of Mass
The center of mass in our bodies determines how we are shifted – forward, backward, or side to side. Due to our modern lifestyles, many of us tend to be shifted forward. This forward shift compresses the backside of our bodies and affects our posture. This can give you back pain and even herniated disks after living in a forward shifted body for an extended amount of time. But, proper breathing can help open up the backside and shift the center of mass back, improving posture and reducing or even eliminating back pain.
#3 – Breath and the Second Diaphragm
Apart from the well-known diaphragm in our chest, there is another diaphragm called the pelvic floor! If we can’t fully expand and contract our rib cage and lung tissue, the pelvic floor won’t move effectively. This lack of movement can cause our hips to become tight and rigid, affecting the rest of our body and upregulating the nervous system too.
Improper breathing patterns can cause the secondary breathing muscles, like the upper traps and neck muscles, to overwork. When the rib cage can’t expand properly, your secondary breathing muscles kick in to help inflate the lungs. As a result, neck and shoulder tension will increase, leading to poor posture, limited mobility, shoulder and neck pain. We need to be able to fully expand our rib cage during our breath so that these muscles do not turn on and cause you stiffness and pain.
Incorporating proper breathing techniques into our daily routines can significantly improve our posture and overall well-being. By allowing our systems to move fluidly and expanding our rib cage fully, we can achieve better posture, decrease nervous system tension, and move more comfortably. Taking the time to practice these simple breathing exercises can make a noticeable difference in how we feel and move throughout the day. So, let’s take a deep breath, and start working towards better posture and a healthier body!