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Don’t Get Bent Out of Shape — Open Your Hips!
Posted By Jill Miller On December 19, 2011 @ 4:27 pm In Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Aging, Yoga | Comments Disabled
Few things outrage me more than bad posture. I get really bent out of shape when I see people who are literally bent out of shape. It is so simple to improve your posture , and it is totally free and requires no gym membership.
Here are some Don’ts:
1. Don’t lean into one hip and cock it off to one side.
2. Don’t slump your spine like a willow tree.
3. Don’t emulate the posture of Paris Hilton.
Here are some Do’s:
1. Stand up straight.
2. Point your toes forward.
3. Have some respect for your own structure.
Okay, good, glad I got that off my chest.
The reason your posture hurts my feelings, and yours, is because poor posture creates significant changes over time in the soft tissues of the body – its muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia – as well as the hard tissues like bone, cartilage and discs.
The short form equation is this: Bad Posture + Time = Degeneration and Pain 
Before this blog becomes too full of scolding, I also want to acknowledge that, for many people, their bodies have become so used to poor postural habits that walking the “straight and narrow” can actually be very uncomfortable and challenging to maintain as a “new normal” in their bodies. This is where corrective exercises like Yoga Tune Up®  play a role on helping the body to lengthen the tissues  that have become locked into an unhelpful holding pattern, or to strengthen tissues that are weak  and unsupportive.
There are about a zillion different exercises that you can do to retrofit your body from inside out, but improving your posture can be dramatically affected by going after the largest joints in your body: the hips.
The tissues of the hips and pelvis are a postural roundabout between the legs and feet below them and the spine above them. Improving the hips’ mobility and stability  will directly impact the whole body, and your basic upright posture will be a bit more uplifted and balanced. And it can be done in just a few minutes per day!
Do this Leg Stretch Series on a block 3-4 times weekly (up to six times per week if you are extra active) and you will see a significant difference.
2. It is also helpful to have a timer  so that you can time your holds. Hold each pose for the exact amount of time. Time your poses anywhere between 45 seconds and 2 minutes.
3. Breathe deeply and consistently throughout.
Leg Stretch #1
Leg Stretch #2
Leg Stretch #3
Let me know how it goes!
Practice yoga at home with streaming videos on GaiamTV.com! 
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/dont-get-bent-out-of-shape-%e2%80%94-open-your-hips/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/iStock_000017428389Small.jpg
 improve your posture: http://life.gaiam.com/article/4-ways-improve-posture
 Degeneration and Pain: http://life.gaiam.com/article/perfecting-your-posture-relieve-chronic-pain
 Yoga Tune Up®: http://www.yogatuneup.com/
 lengthen the tissues: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/loosen-up-how-to-stretch-your-way-to-flexibility/
 strengthen tissues that are weak: http://life.gaiam.com/article/5-yoga-poses-build-muscle
 Improving the hips’ mobility and stability: http://life.gaiam.com/video/yoga-studio-stadium
 yoga block: http://www.gaiam.com/product/cork+yoga+blocks+9+x+6+set+of+2.do?SID=WG117SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 strap: http://www.gaiam.com/product/organic+cotton+stretch+strap+8ft.do?SID=WG117SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 timer: http://www.gaiam.com/product/enso+clock+salubrion.do?SID=WG117SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/180Leg-Sretch-1-block1.jpg
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/181Leg-Stretch-2-block1.jpg
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/182Leg-Stretch-3-block1.jpg
 Post-Athletic Stretch Routines: http://www.yogatuneup.com/products/quickfix-yoga-dvds
 Yoga Tune Up® At-Home Program: http://www.yogatuneup.com/yoga-at-home-fitness
 GaiamTV.com!: http://www.gaiamtv.com/category/yoga-studio-0?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day
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