Good Posture - Katie Cashin Therapy

Good Posture

Many of us have experienced the deep connection between physical and mental health. Whether you’re the kind of person who feels stress evaporate after a 2 mile run or someone who loves nothing better than a gentle stretch to start and end the day, taking the opportunity to tune into our bodies definitely makes some sort of impact on our emotions.

One of the great lessons I have taken from the wide-range of exercise routines I’ve tried throughout my life is the importance of posture. In any kind of physical pursuit- from a triathlon to a yoga DVD- requires the foundation of good posture. If we are attentive and mindful of how we hold ourselves we both see and feel the positive benefits of our exercise. On the flip side, if we do not remain aware of how we’re moving through space we could actually end up doing more harm than good, placing extra stress on our system and injuring our bodies.

So can we take this lesson beyond the gym? You bet!

Here’s the myth, or what my favorite author Anne Lamott calls “the palace lie”: How your life turns out is based on how much good, bad, or “eh!” stuff happens to you.

And here’s the truth: Much (no not “all”, “everything”, “the whole sha-bang” but much) of how our days, weeks, years, paths, plans, etc… turn out depends upon the way we choose to approach our life; in other words, our posture.

Now, you may say “But Katie, some days I feel like I don’t have a whole lot of choice in the situation.” To which I say, “You’re brilliant. You’ve already started assessing your posture. Why are you even reading this?! You should have a Ted Talk…”

If this seems to ring true somewhere within you, here’s how to continue on with this assessment. Again, the point is not to do a complete transformation over night but to first simply become more aware of what your posture looks like.  Take a couple minutes to run through the following questions:

  1. How do you identify your role in your day/the given situation: author, observer, spectator, participant, or collaborator?
    1. (Purpose: to better name your way of relating to the world around you.)
  2. What feels more energizing in this moment: giving or receiving?
    1. (Purpose: to identify your most authentic way of interacting with the world today.)
  3. How much space & time do you have between experiencing something and reacting to it?
    1. (Purpose: to explore your capacity for mindful responding.)
  4. How much space have you left for today’s unexpected moments?
    1. (Purpose: to gauge your level of acceptance and fluidity.)
  5. When discomfort arrives is your urge to, avoid, constrict, stand and breathe, or move through and expand?
    1. (Purpose: to understand what works against your healthier posture.)