This week’s exercise was to be mindful of your posture; to notice now it makes your body feel and to correct it if necessary. Wow – I really needed this! I used to have good posture. But nine months of pregnancy followed by nine months of life with baby (carrying her on one hip all day long, bending over to pick her up, sitting on the floor to play with her, etc.) left my posture, well, unfortunate. I had been sort of aware of that before, but doing this exercise was really eye-opening.
Just noticing my bad posture was amazing. Back bent, shoulders slouched, tummy out, neck tense. Ugh! As soon as I became aware of it, I would notice all the ways that having bad posture was making my body ache. Most noticeable was my lower back, which was just plain painful, and my poor neck. And all that bad posture is making it that much harder to get my pre-pregnancy shape back. I weigh less than I did pre-baby, but my tummy is still poochy. Carrying her on one hip with my back arched and my tummy sticking out is surely not helping. Yeah, like I said, eye-opening.
So then comes the next step: correct your posture. Ah! It feels so much better! It’s a little bit more work, but it really does make a difference. I’m absolutely committed to trying harder at this from now on. Jan points out the way that posture and mood/energy level are connected and it’s so true. Sitting on the floor with Adeline with my back and shoulders slouched, I feel tired and grouchy. But just the act of straightening up and taking some deep belly breaths really does help. And this is the more traditionally “mindfulness” aspect of this exercise: mind and body are connected and awareness of the state of our body can improve the state of our mind. So don’t blunder through life with you shoulders slouched; roll them back, straighten up and take on life with your eyes open!
This week’s exercise is: “Gratitude at the End of the Day: at the end of each day make a list of at least five things you are grateful for.”