- Don’t slouch!
- Stand up straight!
How many times did you hear that from your mother?
Did you know that slouching makes you look weaker and the simple act of standing straight can help you gain confidence, and even put a stop to some back pain and headaches. It’s also a little pet peeve of mine, as I know JUST how easy it is to do.
Me? I was lucky actually. Being barely 5 ft tall I always wanted to look taller. I can actually stretch ½ and inch so that the ruler reads 5′ ½” at the doctor’s office. Of course having been a dancer (my college degree is in dance therapy), carriage on a stage is ALL about leading with your chest, shoulders back and more.
When I eventually began teaching dance, I had a great trick for my students who used to slouch. Of course nothing works for EVERYONE, so here are a few tips.
1. Each morning get in front of the mirror and look at yourself as you relax your shoulders. A visual of your posture is a great reminder – so check yourself in those store mirrors too.
2. Most women find that they automatically stand straighter when carrying a shoulder bag (so it doesn’t slip off). So, you might want to ditch the clutch and sling that Coach bag over your shoulder (just don’t over-stuff it – a heavy bag is just as bad B-A-D).
3. Take a yoga, pilates or ballet class – All three are based on a strong core and having proper alignment.
4. Bloggers – get up out of your chair every so often and stretch. The position that we tend towards when we’re typing on our computers is counter-productive.
5. Pull your shoulders back & rotate them in a downward motion. Walk looking ahead not DOWN, with your chin up.
6. Exercise your back – clasp your hands behind your back and pull your shoulder blades together.
MY PERSONAL TRICK
I used to tell my dance students to pretend that you had a string attached to your chest that was attached to the ceiling. Imagine it tight, if you slouch the string will break.
You may have to remind yourself over and over again throughout the day, until it becomes natural for you to stand or sit tall. The outcome will be a more confident and GRACEFUL appearance.