Proper alignment is a key to live long and healthy life

Proper alignment is a key. Not just for physical health but also for finding harmony in your mind, body and soul. While it should be natural and intuitive, unfortunately the lifestyles we often lead in the 21st century don’t always make it so simple. If you are looking to find more alignment in your body, here is what you should know:

1. Start with the foundation – Mother Earth is our support, providing us with everything we really need to live. Feeling connected to the earth helps us stay centered and balanced, both physically and emotionally. Make a conscious effort to enhance your connection by imagining roots growing down through your legs into the earth below. If during exercise of yoga your foundation shifts from your feet to other parts, observe which part that is and feel the energetic connection.
2. Natural curves of the spine – our spine is central, along with the bulk of nerves that run down from our brain to the rest of the body. Maintaining the suppleness and strength of your spine is essential if you are to live a long and comfortable life. The ‘s’ shape of the spine developed in response to the body’s need to absorb shock and allow movement in the back. Having awareness of the three curves of our spine is essential to maintain proper alignment.

3. Engage your core – our core consists of many muscles, including back muscles, abdominal and shoulder. Engaging them in a mindful way can help you keep your spine in alignment and create a healthy and long – lasting posture.

4. Respect your joints and their movement – knowing how your joints move and respecting it can help you protect them. For example, some joints can only move in one direction: forward and back. Forcing them past their natural range of motion can stress the ligaments, which can then contribute to their degeneration or serious injury.

5. Use the strength of your muscles and joints – our joints allow for movement, but the muscles and bones give structure and support to hold up the weight of our body. Engaging your muscles more can take a lot of weight off from joints, thus protecting you from unnecessary injuries.

6. Be active in all muscles – practicing mindful movement can teach us where we normally tend to hold stress or where we are weak or tense. Knowing which muscles need to be active to create movement or hold you in a position and which can relax, can surely help you release tension whether you are doing sport, sitting, or practicing yoga.

7. Listen to your body, trust your instincts – whatever it is you are doing, take time to feel into what your body is telling you so that you can get an insight into how to move forward. Listen to your body, do you feel like you have to relax more? Is there anything that makes you feel uncomfortable?

8. Rest when you need to – we often tend to hold ourselves back. We avoid challenges because of self – doubt and fear. Pushing yourself beyond what you think you can accomplish, being sensitive to the needs of your mind, body and spirit can take you beyond limiting beliefs that might have been holding you back in the past.

9. Use your heart – when you walk across the room, what is out front: your heart or your head? Try consciously walking with your heart leading the way. How does it feel?

Investigating any of the above can surely bring more awareness of how you currently carry yourself and will also illuminate how you physically show up in the world. When you implement any of those practices, you can feel more grounded, confident, at home with your body. You will increase the respect you have and feel for the gift that is your whole physical form.