As we’re heading into the new year, many of us may be taking time away from our normal schedule . At Oxygen Yoga & Fitness, we find this can be a great time to return to our roots. Instead of focusing on how your workout routine may be disrupted, you can take this as an opportunity to remind yourself of the fitness and wellbeing basics that may have slipped your mind as you’ve dived deeper into your workout journey. Today, let’s start with something you can focus on both in your workouts and as you’re out and about this holiday season – your posture.

Why is good posture so important?

You’ve likely heard before of the importance of having good posture. But other than for aesthetic purposes, when was the last time you considered why it is important. Our posture affects our balance, so if you’re not standing up straight you may be more likely to end up falling or tripping.  Physical therapist Nina Strang explains for Healthline that good posture means having a balanced spine that can support the body evenly. Good posture can also reduce back pain, headaches, neck and shoulder tension. Overall, your posture can have far greater reaching impact than purely aesthetic, so if you want to be showing up as the best version of yourself in your workouts and your life, you might want to take some time to think about how your posture is affecting you.

What does good posture look like?

Good standing posture, according to Mayo Clinic, includes relaxed shoulders held back, keeping weight balanced, and pulling in your abdomen and backside, amongst other things. This posture might be different for all of our bodies, and it might be different for walking, laying, or specific workout movements so be sure to do your research or ask an instructor if you’re not sure. Using this posture while we work out is important, but working out also helps us achieve this posture, so any chance you have to work on your posture, in or out of the studio, is a good place to start. 

How do our workouts help our posture?

While you may be tempted to think of good posture as a habit you can correct, Harvard Health Publishing explains this isn’t exactly the case. Inflexible muscles which stop us from moving or weak muscles which tip you off balance can both lead to worse posture. Taking classes where you work on your flexibility, like Hot Candlelight Deep Stretch & Relaxation can help with building this flexibility. Likewise, taking strength training focused classes such as Hot Amazing Arms & Shoulders can help you build the muscle strength to hold your posture. There’s also external factors that can lead to bad posture which you may be able to reduce with workout. For example, stress can lead to bad posture and working out can help you reduce stress. 

How does good posture help our workouts?

As you’ve become more knowledgeable about workouts, whether it’s your yoga flows or lifting weights, you’ve likely learned that it’s not only what you do but how you do it that matters. Simply lifting and putting down a weight won’t have the same impact as taking timing and breath into consideration. Likewise, pushing further into your yoga poses won’t have the desired effect if you twist your hips and shoulders all out of whack as you do it. Bad posture affects the potential of your muscles. And of course, the added balance you can find from better posture can help steady you in your workouts. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, you’ll want to consider your posture. 

If you’re not sure what your posture should look like in any of your poses or exercises in class, please feel free to ask your instructor so that you can get the most out of your classes! Find a class to try from our schedule here and we’ll look forward to seeing you soon.