One day in class, my yoga instructor described how important it is for us to keep our spines “inside” our bodies (think good posture). She said she learned from a first grader that a pill bug has an exoskeleton, meaning its skeleton is on the outside of its body instead of on the inside like humans. In yoga, spinal alignment is pretty important, and having the visualization reminder throughout class to keep my spine inside my body was very helpful.
I think it also applies to life in general—do you find yourself slouching? Your shoulders curving forward? If you looked at your body profile in the mirror, what would it look like?
Next time you’re around a 7-month old baby, check out how she sits—she’s so erect that you can’t even see her spine. We train ourselves over the years (with the help of sitting at desks, sedentary lives, and gravity) to curve our spines as if we’re trying to morph into a pill bug (thankfully, that’s totally not possible!). As you sit there reading this, sit up a little straighter on your sit-bones and not rolled onto the back of your pelvis, tuck in your spine, roll your shoulders back, and don’t let your chin jut out quite so far…
How does it feel? I recently read something that said — we must all die someday, but the quality of our life will be directly related to the health of our spines.
It’s worth practicing good posture. Set up your workspace to promote good posture, try stretching during the day and walking around once in a while. Try yoga and/or pilates!