Day 6 – Posture

When you have good posture, people notice.

This video is for all levels
Video Transcript
Hey guys its Dean, welcome back to your free intro to Man Flow Yoga. Today’s lesson is number six; posture so today we’re going to be talking about why postures so important, we’ll talk about the challenges that most of us face when it comes to having good posture and then I’ll give you the exercises and a plan to work on posture moving forward. So first off what is posture do for you? So posture not only improves the strength in your body and makes your core stronger, it makes your back stronger, it makes your neck stronger, it also makes you feel more confident people notice people can sense that you are more confident they look at your posture and they respect you more and this is just proven this is what this is what posture does for you, so that’s the reason why most of us want posture, we want to look good, we want to stand up tall, we want to look we want people to look at us and respect us to take us seriously and they can’t do that when you’re when you’re standing like this and you’re talking like this, this doesn’t give off any power so in order to have in order to have a good posture but we need to practice it so we need to get the body strong and we need to get in the habit of practicing good posture. So the challenge that most of us face we have bad posture because we spend a lot of time sitting, we sit and we hunch over a desk right, so we do a lot of this, and then we go to stand up and our bodies like, right we don’t really know how to get into good posture because we’re spending most of the day sitting or being inactive with poor posture, so that’s the biggest reason why people most of us face postural issues. The second reason is we even when we are standing we don’t have good posture right we’re on our phone we’re looking down at something, we’re leaning against something we’re just not using the muscles in our body to stand upright, so there’s two reasons why we have this so there’s two things that we need to work on now in order to have better posture. >

The first one is doing the right exercises so making sure that the proper muscles that help us hold up our body are strong because a lot of us most of us can hold good posture for a one or two minutes but if I told you to stand there for two minutes put a timer on and hold it for that amount of time you’d be able to hold perfect posture, no problem but for you to be able to hold out for a longer time for you for me to not have to remind you to have good posture that’s where the real issue comes in and that’s the second reason that’s the second thing we need to work on when it comes to posture is just reinforcing good posture on a regular basis, so practicing it being mindful of your posture and correcting it when you notice that you have bad posture. So the first part is easy and I’m going to show you some exercises, second part more difficult that’s going to take that’s going to take more time that’s going to take more effort and that’s going to need to be a mindful practice to continually improve and to continually become more aware of better posture. In the best way to do that is by doing functional yoga, fitness centric yoga on a regular basis so doing an exercise doing a physical discipline that teaches you to have a good posture and then from there the more you do it and this is this is what’s what I think is really cool about this and this is what people tell me all the time who follow my workout programs who follow Man Flow Yoga, they say that they become more aware of their posture not just during their workouts but they started to notice how they hold themselves while they’re driving, while they’re sitting, while they’re bending down to pick something up, maintaining good posture so the more that we can practice yoga the more this will translate into everyday life and the better posture we will have throughout our day so.

So those are the two things that we’re going to do all right let’s get into the exercises because I do want to show you what you need to do other than just practicing your posture in order to have better posture. So the first thing I want to show you is just a basic standing mountain pose and this is what we do in yoga to usually start off a class you’ll see this in a lot of classes but it’s basically just standing up tall standing up confidently. So starting with your feet the feet face straight forward and you want to push down through your feet so push down through the toes, push down through the ball mounds of the feet, push down through the arches, sorry not the arches but the heels of your feet now from from here we want to slightly internally rotate the thighs, so you notice my hands here in my hands are turning slightly in as my thighs internally rotate and I’m going to tighten my abdominals lightly, I don’t need to squeeze them like crazy but just light engagement and then press your hips forward, so that my glutes engaged, my hips are engaged and my core is engaged, so I also want to show you something that a lot of people tend to mess up here so a lot of people tend to lean forward right so if you have pain in your toes it might be because you lean forward and that’s normal a lot of us do this. So you also want to get a mirror, look at yourself in the mirror and also just kind of critically ask yourself and check in with your body and say, where is the weight in my feet? So if you tend to lean forward like this you’ll notice that your head is in front of your ankles maybe even lean back too much and the weights on your heels and you’re not using your toes, so we want to find that middle ground where you are straight up and down from your heels to your hips, up to your head all right so again walking through the posture pressing down to the feet, hands to your thighs, slight internal motivation to your thighs, hug your hips together tighten your glutes and press your hips forward just a little bit so that will naturally tighten your core, when the legs squeezed together your core tightens, when you internally rotate your thighs that releases the lower back, when you tighten your goods press that forward that helps you have a straight line on your waist instead of this post to repel the tilt that most of us tend to have because of poor posture.

All right so this is part one this is this is just a standing mountain pose. So we’ve got the waist down that’s the easiest that’s the hard part now from here we’re going to work on pushing the top your head toward the ceiling turning your palms to face forward so the shoulder blades pin and your back and your chest is open, so this is perfect posture and this can be applied to everything that we do in yoga, whether it’s a lunge, whether it’s a standing side stretch overhead, we want to keep, we want to come back to this posture and use this kind of as a reference to figure out whether or not what we’re doing is correct so this is mountain pose. And again, feet engaged, thighs engaged, glutes engaged, hips engaged, cores engaged, chest is open, back is slightly engaged, shoulders are relaxed not appear like this but relaxed down away from the ears, top of the head is pressing up and then I want to pull my neck back and relax my chin toward my throat, so there’s no tension in my neck and I’m holding this I’m going to practice this for a minute minimum of sixty seconds and if you want and if you feel like this is really difficult for you use a mirror, watch yourself, look from the side and also straight on and then practice it for up to two minutes and this is something that can benefit anyone of any level whether you’re a professional athlete or you’re just trying to get in better shape, this is something that all of us need to work on.

All right there’s the first thing, second then we’re going to do is a low lunge with a back bend, so I talked about before how most of us have poor posture so in order to correct that in order to bring balance to this rounding that we have we need to do the exact opposite we need to get into a back bend in order to counter it so this one is great for working on your hip flexors which people have tight have flexors and that causes them to have this poster pelvic tilt that I talked about before and in order to correct that posture we need to lengthen the hips flexors. So this will not only lengthen your hip flexors it also gets you into a back bend which is awesome for your posture so we’re going to go into a low lunge and guys already know how to do that we’ve done this before your knee is over your ankle on your front foot, you can be pushing down firmly to the right leg pulling your ribs up away from your hips and this is critical for posture this this concept of pulling the ribs up away from the hips and tighten the abs and then lightly hug your left leg in toward the right so just squeezing in and toward the middle from your going to bring the arms up and this might be difficult if you don’t have if this might be difficult if you haven’t done this before and then we’re going to lean up and back into a low lunge with a back bend now here I want to work on lifting my head away from my shoulder so notice that my head isn’t collapsing but I’m keeping my head lifted and the arms are coming up and that’s going to help me open up my chest and I’m leaning back a little bit so that I can strengthen my back so I’m doing the exact opposite of what I tend to do when I have poor posture here we’re going to hold this for sixty seconds if you don’t if you can’t bend that far back that’s fine it’s more about just getting into somewhat of a back bed where we don’t have to go as deep as we possibly can we just need to go into a position that’s counter to what we typically do so sixty seconds in this low lunge back bend. Holding this and lifting the chest always pulling the ribs up away from the hips keeping the legs active so my right heel squeezes back toward my hips, my left knee squeezes lightly forward and my forehead pokes up toward the ceiling and my neck stays along here so in sixty seconds both sides so it’s to the other side just to balance that out so now left foot forward right knee back leg squeezing toward one another pushing down through your left foot, left heel squeezes back right knee squeezes forward again ribs lift away from the hips, so I’ve got to stretch through the front of my right hip flexor, I’ve got core engagement because I’m lifting my chest up and I’m going to get a little bit of upper back mid back engagement with the back bend, I’m also stretching my chest lot of people have poor posture because we have tight chest muscles, so getting your arms up and over head is a great way to work on that if you’re lifting your arms up and you’re not feeling a lot to your chest try doing goalpost arms instead of going to work on squeezing the elbows back like this and then lifting the chest up. So sixty seconds here and if you want to add something even more here pretend you’re doing a pull up so your arms go straight up, squeeze your elbows down toward your hips and squeeze your back together and so I’m trying to touch my elbows toward one another opening my chest still lifting up my chest still lifting through the ribs but now getting some nice back engagement here so you can go straight up, the horizontal row or you can go straight out with the arms and then pull them back, so into a vertical row both will work all right go ahead and release. So again you’re going to hold that for sixty seconds and that will really help with your posture again because it’s going to counter what we tend to do when we have bad posture.

The next to one is the sphinx and this is a great one for working on your core strength and really working on your mid and upper back strength, so it’s similar to a cobra except instead of having your chest all the way down, we’re going to be relaxing on the forearms instead so your forearms are shoulder width distant, I’m still going to have the leg engagement that I had for cobra, so I’m going to put the legs back, internally rotate the thighs, set the legs down and then squeeze my feet, my inner feet which are my inner, squeeze my toes, the insides of my feet, my ankles, my knees, my thighs, and my hips toward one another and then from here I’m going to use my forearms to help me lift up and pull my chest back so I’m pressing, I’m lifting up too much just a making length through my chest and then I’m pulling my chest back to engage my back, so this is really good for posture because I’m working on the strength in my back and working on stretching the front side of my body, which again gets compressed, gets tight because we’re holding bad posture and then doing the exact opposite and engaging my back instead I’m also using my core a lot here to keep my abs tight, so I’m protecting my spine in the back band. Now one other aspect of posture is we just don’t have the endurance to hold our bodies up what to hold ourselves in that good posture and I talked about that before you can probably hold good posture for a minute or two but if I were to ask you to hold it for a long time, longer times throughout the day you probably just forget about it or you’re back would just get sore. We just don’t have the muscular endurance, the strength to do it so this is working on that strength, this is working on that and endurance, getting you used to using your back, getting used to using your abs on a regular basis so this is sphinx and again we’re going to go ahead and release and against very similar to cobra except the forms are down and working a little bit more on the mid and the upper back, instead of instead of the core and the lower back which you’ll find more with cobra.

All right so as I talked about before those are the exercises for working on posture, I’ve got a few workouts that I’ve created specifically for working on posture and I’ve included those below so that you can go straight there as long as you sign and sign up as a member, sign is and a member you’ve already signed up and then you’ll be able to go straight to those lessons and learn more about posture and learn more about how to fix your posture and getting your body more into the habit of having good posture. So there’s the exercises those are the workouts that you can use to work on that and again you’ve got the exercises, you’ve been going through you know the last almost the last week of exercises workouts with me through my free intro and you’ve probably been noticing some benefits you might have been you might notice that you feel looser, maybe you feel stronger, maybe your muscles feel more aware but that’s going going to be temporary. You need to keep doing this stuff on a regular basis to continue to notice that difference to continue to feel great to continue to move well and then over time you know if you’re doing this for a few weeks that’s when I start to notice the changes in your body, not only will you notice more muscle definition, more core strength, better posture but you’re also going to notice that your other workouts are better as well so if you’re a runner, if you’re an athlete, if you lift weights, all of those other aspects of your fitness are going to improve as well.

Now I just want to recap just like I said the beginning in order to continue to work on posture you have to make you have to be more mindful about it, you have to be more aware of your posture, so I’m going to challenge you today to advise you are going throughout your day try to work on pulling the shoulders back and right thinking of pulling the shoulders back standing up tall, tightening the absolute a bit squeezing your hips forward, getting into that nice neutral position so try to apply this to whatever you find yourself standing idly, idly or if you find yourself sitting right then try to do that same thing sitting do what you can with your chest, with your abs, with your shoulders while you’re sitting and the more you practice this the better your posture is going to become and again the best way to improve your posture to get all these benefits that I’m talking about is to join a fitness centric functional yoga program and that’s exactly why I created the Man Flow Yoga members area which is one dollar to sign up that just seven days unlimited access to our workout programs tutorials other workouts diet nutrition info and so much more so I hope you’ll join me we’ve just got one day left in the free intro at that point we’ve got to make a decision it’s time to jump in, it’s time to get these benefits it’s time to start doing the stuff on a regular basis so that you can feel great, so that you work out better, so that you can do this for the rest of your life.

One of the big reasons I’m into this is because of the longevity aspect what I currently do I would not be able to still do as well as I can now if I weren’t doing yoga, I wouldn’t be able to to still if ways I would be able to play sports I wouldn’t be able to feel great throughout the day to have zero back pain, if I wasn’t doing this you know I’ve got friends who are sitting in offices now who are younger than me who complain about back pain who complain about shoulder pain and they’re way too young for that you know and as you get older it’s just going to get worse if you’re in your thirty’s, forty’s, fifty’s, sixty’s you probably already know shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, ankle pain you notice twinges, you notice discomfort when you exercise and the more you do this yoga stuff the better it’s going to feel so sign up for the seven day trial today, get started you’re going to love it I promise and if you don’t like it you know just let me know I’ll cancel it and we will refund you. So thanks for watching me on this lesson, again sign up for the seven day trial is just one dollar to sign a button is below and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow for our last lesson from the free intro to Man Flow Yoga.

This lesson covers

  • Why most of us have poor posture, and what we need to do to fix it.
  • The best exercises to directly target the muscles involved in having good upright.
  • A plan to continue strengthening your posture on a daily basis.


(3 poses, 3 difficulty variations)

  • Mountain Pose
  • Lunge with Backbend
  • Sphinx

View and download the free pdf pose guide here 

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