Take a moment and check your posture. Go to a wall, simply stand with your back against a wall. Can you stand up straight?

Roll your shoulders back. Lift your chest. Take a deep breath. Elongate your spine and on the exhale draw your lower frontal ribs down to find your core.
Take a few minutes and enjoy a great posture, notice the grounding through your feet and elongation through your spine and crown of your head. Try to maintain your body awareness and posture for the rest of the day!

Slouching can be hard on the body, as it compresses the heart and lungs and makes it harder to fully breath, which lowers your energy level. Tension builds up in our necks and shoulders which can lead to discomfort, headaches, and grumpiness.

Great posture has been linked to the neuroendocrine levels of high Testosterone and low Cortisol, which leads to disease resistance and leadership abilities. Having good posture has a deep effect on our mood and happiness level as it effects our endocrine system and hormones. Having good posture also sharpens our minds. You can probably feel it in your own body, try slouching and then straighten your posture.

When you mingle with friends and family this holiday season, notice your responses when you have a great posture verses a tired posture. Who would you rather be around, and talk to (posture wise)? Without judging, look around you’ll notice traits on emotional states, awareness and posture.

Having this knowledge, you can affect your body chemistry by changing into a better posture. If you feel stressed on any level, use your breath and posture to switch it up, knowing that your body language subconsciously influences our thinking and mood.

Here are a few posture exercises to get you started;
· Open the front of your shoulders by placing your hand on the wall, shoulder height. Stretch away from the wall and breathe deeply in to your lifted chest. Switch arms after 10-15 breaths.

· Down Dog: Change your perspective literally and physically as you stretch in to down dog. This is an inversion as the heart is above your head, which benefits your digestion and skin.

· Supine Twist: Lay down and release your lower back by bringing your knees to the left, stretch your upper chest to the right. Take a few deep breaths to lengthen your spine and relieve your digestive organs. Then switch sides.

· Just like you were standing with your back against the wall, now lay on your back and stretch your arms over head. Energize your whole body and release any deep rooted fatigue. Stretch from your toes all the way up your arms and through your wrists.

· Then finally give yourself a great big hug, as you draw the knees to chest. Roll to your right side and sit up straight against the wall. Take a few moments to acknowledge the change in awareness and mood!

Happy Holidays!

By Carolina Goldberg