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Correct your posture

How often do you think about your posture?  It affects our overall wellbeing in so many ways, however we unconsciously do things which results in bad posture.

The increase in technology means we don’t have to move as much, who remembers having to get up out of the chair to turn the telly channel over?!  The majority of us have a mobile phone, without thinking we tend to hunch over whilst using it, putting strain and tension on our shoulders, back and arms.

Ordinary tasks such as sitting at a desk all day puts our posture under strain.  I know I used to find myself hunching over the desk and keyboard whilst concentrating on a task, then having to stand up and stretch to get some oxygen into me and release my muscles.

Studies have shown that bad posture can lead to a myriad of problems - back, neck and shoulder pain, poor circulation, impaired lung function, poor digestion, misaligned spine, headache and jaw pain.

The range of exercises we perform in Bonsai Chi sessions encourage a good posture, and as the moves are done slowly it allows us to build up muscle memory, ensuring we maintain good posture all the time.

The first stance we adopt is a relaxed upright stance (ready stance in karate terms).  Stand with your feet apart, directly underneath your shoulders.  Ensure you balance your weight evenly between your feet, not leaning to one side as this will place strain on one leg.

Find a spot in front of you at eye level and keep your eyes focused on it.  This ensures you keep your head upright, maintaining good head and spine alignment,

Keep your shoulders back and relaxed, allows us to breathe deeply and correctly, not just taking shallow breathes.  Your legs want to be straight, with your knees relaxed, or ‘soft knees’ as we call them.  Not straight and not bent, it allows us to move smoothly and easily without having to reposition them first.

Try the following exercise to help improve your posture:

  • From ready stance (as above), step forward with your left foot
  • Bring your arms forward and create an X with your hands finishing at head height
  • Circle your arms back finishing together at stomach height
  • Step forward with your right foot
  • Bring your arms forward and create an X with your hands finishing at head height
  • Circle your arms back finishing together at stomach height

Tip 1:     

Ensure both feet are flat on the floor when you step forward and keep your back straight.   Bend gently at the knee  so you maintain a straight back, don’t lean over your front leg

Tip 2:       

Don’t over-reach with your arms, finish at your natural reach

Tip 3:       

to add more complexity step backwards instead

Do not do anything that causes you any discomfort, adapt the movement so it works with your body, not against it. 

If you enjoyed reading our blog, please click  here to read - 'Understanding Bonsai Chi'

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