Why good posture matters – wisdom from a yogi

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Good posture is the pillar of a successful life, says Indian yogi and author Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. Here’s why…

If you have observed yourself in your day-to-day life you would have noticed this – for different levels of mental and emotional situations that you go through, for different levels of consciousness that you experience, your body naturally takes a certain posture.

If you are happy you sit one way, if you are unhappy you sit another way. When you are peaceful you sit one way, when you are angry you sit another way.

Now let us say you go home, and there is someone there; if you observe just the way they are sitting, you know what could be happening with them. This is simply because the body tends to assume certain postures depending upon
your level of consciousness.

Based on this, conversely, is the science of asanas (yogic postures) – that is, by consciously getting your body into a certain posture, you can also elevate your consciousness. You can change the very way you feel, think, understand, and experience life simply by sitting in a particular way.

There are various other aspects to posture. There is something called organ comfort.

See right now, most of the vital organs of the body are in the chest and abdomen region. These organs are not rigid; they are not fixed with bolts and clams. They are loose, hanging in nets. Only if you sit with your spine erect, your organs will be in the maximum possible comfort.

Now, the modern idea of comfort is to lean backward and slouch. But if you sit in such a posture, your organs will never be in comfort. They will not function the way they need to. This is especially true if you eat a full meal and sit in a reclining chair.

A lot of travel happens in reclining chairs. I would say, if you travel a thousand kilometers on a reclining chair in a car,
your lifespan will come down by at least three to five years. This is because the organs suffer so much – their ability to function will go down dramatically or you will at least be impaired in some ways.

Keeping the body erect is not because we don’t like comfort; it is because we understand and experience comfort in a completely different way. You can train your muscles to be comfortable, with your spine erect, but you cannot train your organs to be comfortable while slouching. There is no way to do it.

So, we choose to train the body, so that our skeletal system and muscular system are comfortable sitting this way.

In this excerpt from Sadhguru’s book, Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide To Joy, he offers two simple tips to experience the importance of posture for yourself:

“Look around. Among your family, coworkers, and friends, can you see how everyone has different levels of perception? Just observe this closely. If you know a few people who seem to have a greater clarity of perception than others, watch how they conduct their body.

They often have a certain poise without practice. But just a little practice can make an enormous difference. If you sit for just a few hours a day with your spine erect, you will see that it will have an unmistakable effect on your life. You will now begin to understand what I mean by the geometry of existence. Just the way you hold your body determines almost everything about you.”

Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author. Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru’s work has touched the lives of millions worldwide through his transformational programmes. His approach does not ascribe to any belief system, but offers powerful and proven methods for self-transformation.

Sadhguru’s flagship programme is called Inner Engineering Online. Find out more here

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Lynda Hamilton Parker is a Scottish PR expert and independent publisher

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