Verbal reminders to improve posture
September 8, 2010 2:20 PM   Subscribe

What phrases can I repeat to myself to help me improve my posture?

For example, my yoga instructor says things like:
1) "Make all sides of your neck the same length."
2) "Pretend there's a string pulling up from the top of your head."
3) "Shoulder blades down and back."

I'm looking for more phrases like this to say to myself to continuously remind me to correct my posture.

I already know that exercises (weightlifting, yoga, pilates, etc.) can help with posture. I do these things. I'm looking specifically for verbal/mental reminders! Thanks!
posted by franc.o.bolos to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
"Improve my posture."
posted by jrockway at 2:23 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Inhale and lengthen the spine."
posted by serunding at 2:35 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Flatten against the wall."
posted by Joe Beese at 2:41 PM on September 8, 2010

"Invisible strings."

That's what I say to myself when I'm getting slouchy. I think it came from a dance teacher way back when.
posted by charmcityblues at 2:55 PM on September 8, 2010

1. "Lift the chest" ( or "show your bat symbol" if that's your thing)
2. "Tuck your tail" (this helps to be aware of possible sway-back / lordosis and attempts to achieve a neutral pelvis)
3. "Spine like a column to the ceiling"

Also, if you imagine that you are being photographed you will naturally compose your posture a little better.
posted by jnnla at 3:10 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Stream of water"

I like to imagine my spine is like a fire hydrant erupting. Is that weird?
posted by emyd at 3:18 PM on September 8, 2010

Best answer: I simply remind myself to that my shoulders should be out of my peripheral vision when I stare straight ahead. I don't use words to that effect, but I do a vision check periodically.

My dance teacher says "tummy in, chest up, relax your shoulders".
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 4:49 PM on September 8, 2010

Keep the chest lifted while exhaling (go ahead, try it).
posted by amtho at 4:58 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ears over shoulders,
Shoulders over hips,
Hips over knees,
Knees over ankles.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 5:32 PM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

"Posture, ladies... Posture."

You know what you need to do to have good posture. You just need to visualize a grandmotherly type figure reminding you. Or at least that works for me.
posted by meindee at 7:19 PM on September 8, 2010

Dancers say "pull up". The image is a hair in the center of your head pulling everything into alignment.
posted by sammyo at 9:25 PM on September 8, 2010

Full disclosure... I just mumble to myself "grr, gut dammit"
posted by sammyo at 9:26 PM on September 8, 2010

I tell myself to "be tall". I'm 5'4" and wear flat shoes, so I need every inch I can get from straightening my spine and elongating my neck (ie. dropping the shoulders). YMMV, depending on your height desires.
posted by kitkatcathy at 9:34 PM on September 8, 2010

I write SUS in sharpie on my palm. Every time I look at my palm, I am reminded yet again to sit or stand up straight. It's amazing how many times a day I glance at the letters and immediately sit or stand up straight, only to relax the position a short time later.
posted by la ninya at 12:11 AM on September 9, 2010

Best answer: I try to remember:

"My posture is a signal to others demonstrating my confidence in myself."

This may not help in the mechanics of improved posture, but it may bolster your incentive and commitment to improving it.
posted by nickjadlowe at 6:33 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

My vocal coach starts every lesson with "long, tall spine ... even weight to the body ... take a deep breath".
posted by thatdawnperson at 6:50 AM on September 9, 2010

Walk like a ballerina, with a long neck and facing upward.
posted by Dragonness at 12:07 PM on September 9, 2010

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