As we get older our posture changes. It affects way more than your appearance, bad posture can harm your health and happiness. How we sit, stand and walk affects our circulation, breathing and the health of the heart. Imagine that you are in a slouched position most of the time. The Slouching position puts not only pressure on your bones where discs are becoming compressed, but also makes you vulnerable to back pain. It also affects your heart. The diaphragm can barely move down during inhalation which keeps you from filling up your lungs completely. Since the diaphragm provides nearly all
oxygenation of the arterial blood, slouching will lead to reduced blood oxygen levels. It also stops lymphatic drainage of the lymph nodes from all organs located under the diaphragm. Forward-head posture causes a loss of vital lung capacity, by as much as 30 percent, which can lead to heart and vascular problems. All this compromises the overall health of the body, including the heart. Through Pilates and Yoga, you will feel immediate effects in your posture. Many of us will say : ‘Oh, I don’t have time, I’m so busy’. Busy for not listening to your heart, as she cries ‘ open your chest and breathe freely’.
Simple restorative, even passive postures, not requiring going to a studio, are e.g. laying on a bolster or foam roller. It will open your chest, lungs and rib cage without effort. If you don’t have a bolster, you can place a rolled blanket or firm pillow lengthwise along your lower back. Place another rolled blanket or pillow perpendicular to the other. With your feet still drawn together toward your pubic bone, lay back onto the blankets and open your arms out making a cross with your body. ( Your head should be on the blanket.) The blankets help to create a gentle slope with your body – your head is highest, then your heart center, and then your pelvis is on the floor. If your groins are too tight or loose, place pillows under your knees for added support, helping the pelvis relax, or keep your knees bent with feet anchored on the floor. Breathe deeply into your belly and feel the chest expanding. On the exhale, feel the chest fall and, again, the belly follows. Envision a ball of orange glowing light in the center of lower belly, nourishing and toning it. And just breathe. Breathe into any tight place and relax. For greatest benefit stay here for 5 to 15 minutes.