Your Posture Needs Your Attention!


Want to know how poor posture often develops?

Last week I was going through security at LaGuardia airport in NYC and discovered the same issue I encountered three months ago in the same terminal of the same airport...not enough trays...

This might sound like a routine airport annoyance, but it's what happened due to this one little thing that consumed my attention for about 30 seconds that makes this story interesting...and relevant to how you might be developing poor posture.

Since there weren't any trays in my line, I started taking some from the next line. As I was picking the trays up and spreading them out on the table with the people behind me and pushing some over to the person in front of me, I put my iphone down...and then a moment later no iphone.

I had just had it.

I rustled through my backpack and looked under the items in my bins.

No phone.

I asked the people behind me if they'd seen it and they shrugged as saw the woman in front of me go through the scanner. I realized that it may have ended up in her bin, which was already on the belt heading through the x-ray machine.

I managed to get through the scanner and catch the woman ahead of me just as her bin was coming out. Yes, the phone was under her stuff.

So the point of this story could be something like don't panic and tighten your neck and shoulders when something stressful happens, which is a good idea not to do...but what I thought was really interesting was that I got so distracted by the bins that I didn't remember where I'd just put my phone as it disappeared from under my nose.

One of the main reasons reasons people have trouble changing their posture is because they stop sensing in their bodies and unconsciously hold harmful positions for long periods without noticing until something feels awry. Where's my iphone?...How about what was I doing with my right shoulder for the last hour?

It's a lack of attention, not the kind of attention you'd need to do algebra, but a kind of sensory numbing or switching off. During these switched-off moments, you are probably ingraining these unconscious habits so that your muscles and your brain remember them as normal.

In my lessons and classes, I teach people how to be more conscious in their bodies. It may seem challenging at first, but the more you practice, the more automatic it is and it can actually be quite fun, leaving you more energized after a long day of work for example.

Set an alarm on your phone to go off every half hour at work and take a moment to notice what position you've gotten yourself in or how you're moving. Just noticing can start to make a big difference!