Your posture and the alignment of your spine is crucial to the overall health of your body. When you think of ways to keep your posture in check, perhaps you imagine walking, standing, and sitting with your back upright and your shoulders pulled back. While this is good, there are other ways of maintaining a good posture that you may not have considered. Breathing, for example, is just as vital to the strength and stability of your spine as holding yourself upright.
So, how exactly does breathing help to improve posture? Before we answer that question, we need to understand what happens when you breathe. As you inhale, your lungs expand to fill and lift your ribcage. This causes your spine to extend, increasing the space between the vertebrae and releasing any pressure built up between the bones of your spine. Such movement will cause a kind of reset as your spine returns to a more neutral position. In this way, breathing can actually reinforce and correct the natural curvature of your spine.
The key is to breathe deeply. Shallow breaths won’t do much good, but breathing too deeply can cause strain, and you might injure yourself by trying too hard. Try some exercises and yoga poses to encourage deeper breathing and maximize the health benefits. Below is a list containing some routines to get you started.
- First and most simply, sit in a comfortable upright position and bring focus to your breathing. Concentrate on elongating your spine and begin breathing at regular intervals: inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, and exhale for four counts.
- Second, begin standing in neutral position. Inhale and raise your arms straight above your head so you feel a nice stretch along the sides of your body. Exhale and bring your arms back to your sides. Try to control your breathing so that it and the motion of your arms are perfectly synchronized.
- Finally, acquire a yoga block, a pillow, or a rolled up towel. Lay flat on the floor and place the wedge under your back below your shoulder blades. Spread your arms and place them on the floor beside you. This position will help to open up your chest and expand your lung capacity. Now lie still and breathe deep for several minutes.
Set aside some time every day and focus on your breathing. Your spine will thank you! If you’re looking for a chiropractor in the Gastonia area, consider making DiBella Chiropractic Center your home. Contact us or drop by our offices to make an appointment and get started today!