Don’t Stand Up Straight

The spine: the backbone (literally) of your entire body and being. Sending hundreds of conscious and subconscious nervous impulses every second to every part of your body allowing you to move, breathe, pump blood through your heart, LIVE. It’s no wonder why people care so much about having a healthy spine. Which is why I know that most of us have been told, or have thought for ourselves, that we should sit or stand up straight. But I’m here to tell you today that standing up straight is bad.


Because we shouldn’t be standing up straight, we should be standing up TALL. 

Standing up straight typically has the connotation of standing with a neutral spine. Neutral spine means supporting your spine to rest with its natural curvatures (lordotic or convex curve of the cervical spine, kyphotic or concave curve of the thoracic spine, and a lordotic and kyphotic curve of the lumbar and sacral spine respectively).

But this only paints a half, two dimensional picture. So usually when you’re standing, you think to stand up straight by pinching your shoulders back so you’re not hunching. But there’s so much more to posture than that.

Standing up TALL allows you to start your posture from the ground up, in all planes of motion. 

Having just neutral spine doesn’t mean from a side angle only. It means from the front, side, back, and every angle in between. And the only way to accomplish this is to stand tall.

Your feet are firmly planted on the ground about hip width apart, toes pointed forward or at an angle no greater than 30 degrees, your knees are slightly bent just so that they aren’t locked, your hips are even and space is created in your lumbar spine with tight glutes and core, your thoracic spine is promoted into a healthy position by a conscious contraction of your posterior chain (behind/back of your body) bringing your shoulders down and back forcing you to puff your chest out, your arms are resting to your side and palms facing inward toward your body, your head is rested directly on top of your body so a straight line can be drawn from the top of your head, through your neck, and down in between your feet.

Now you are standing straight, but you’re not quite there yet.

How to do stand TALL?

Well in this correct postural position, pretend that line running from the top of your head to your feet is actually a string. And imagine that the string is attached to a pulley above you. Now, slowly pretend as if someone is pulling that string, forcing you to be lifted up off of the ground, while remaining in this posture. 

Stand up and do this with me right now as you read this.

Do you feel the SPACE that has been created in all of your joints and each and every vertebrae? Do you feel the energy that is harnessed through a firm rooting in the floor? Seriously. Actively do this right now.

But here’s the catch, you’re still not quite standing tall.

Because the final component to good posture and standing tall is the way you will now carry yourself in this position. To truly stand tall each must now feel empowered with this postural vitality to carry on with your life and command your presence wherever you walk or sit.

When you stand up straight, you’re simply straightening your spine.

But posture is power. When you stand TALL you become confident – your character changes. You’re in charge and you are a presence, a force, and someone that people notice as you stand, or walk by.

Good posture allows your nervous system to be more efficient, promotes good health and increased vitality as you age, and can be significant in reducing injury.

Standing TALL allows you to become confident. A force that will drive you through your journey to become the strongest, healthiest, and happiest you can be. 

Why I do Yoga and Why You Should Too

I’ll be the first one to admit that I am obsessed with Yoga. There are so many benefits to practicing that no matter what age you are, how flexible you are, what style of training you do or do not do, you should be incorporating Yoga in your weekly routine.

Here are my top 4 reasons for doing Yoga at least once a week:

  1. Improves your posture

My favorite thing and one of the best things about Yoga in my opinion is that it can greatly improve your posture. Yoga emphasizes the importance of standing up tall, keeping your shoulders back, sitting tall and not caving into your bones. Designating at least 30 minutes a week to “undoing” all of the hunched over posture that we develop during our lives sitting at a desk can help retrain your muscles and structure to sit, stand, and walk with proper posture.

  1. Increases your flexibility

The second reason for doing Yoga is that it increases your flexibility. Whether your goal is to get really strong, muscular, or to just get healthier and in better shape, flexibility is the key in every scenario. Flexibility allows your body to move. It keeps you young and increases your mobility. This means better range of motion and form for lifting exercises, reduced risk of muscular injury, as well as healthier and happier muscles and bones all around in your daily life.

  1. Improves (and even increases) your strength

The third reason is that Yoga can actually improve and increase your strength in the form of flexibility and balance. Yoga helps you increase your balance through deep core and muscle work. The poses and exercises practiced in Yoga work your body in a way that few other types of exercises can – it works the deep muscular system, those muscles closest to your bones. Holding balance poses for extended periods of time actually makes you stronger and can translate to strength in the gym. Combine that with improved flexibility, and you’re setting yourself up for a mobile, strong, and healthy body.

  1. Keeps you centered and relaxed

The last reason why everyone should do Yoga is because it helps you to keep centered and relaxed. Yoga is a great form of active meditation. It’s so important to reward yourself at least once a week with 30 minutes of deep breathing, relaxation, and recovery. It can help make you happier and will melt the stresses and tensions of the week away. I truly believe in the power of meditation, and Yoga combines this idea with movement and balance to create an amazing experience that is good for the mind and the matter. See what I did there?

So for those who have never routinely practiced, or those who just don’t know where to start, I highly recommend the 30 Day Yoga Challenge. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s fun, and it is instructed very well. Yoga doesn’t have to be something you pay $20 a class for. You can do it in your home, and with this video series, it’s incredibly easy to do so. The videos are no longer than 30 minutes each, some even as short as 12. While I am not practicing every day, I’ve been doing this series no less that 3 times a week. So it’ll take me a little longer than 30 days to finish, but that’s okay.

So get ready to learn a lot about yourself, to relax, and to join in on the amazing powers of Yoga.