I just finished teaching my annual Chakra Healing Class… and one of the most interesting topics came up.
On of the participants (thank you Steve!) mentioned that he noticed becoming more short of breath when his posture slumped.
That brought on a wonderful discussion of all the different ways that poor posture literally physically affects your health…
…everything from dry mouth and dental issues to decreased oxygenation, decreased sleep quality and even increased ADHD symptoms!
But posture affects more than just our physical body… it affects our spirit.
In class I shared a link to this really awesome oldie-but-goodie TED talk where Amy Cuddy explains exactly how your body’s posture actually helps to shape your personality, your demeanor and even affects the people around you!
But it goes even further than that.
Your posture truly affects you at your core — on your deepest energetic level.
The spine naturally curves into the fetal position as a mechanism of protection and to self soothe during times of stress.
- Have you ever noticed that when life gets you down or wears you out, whether the stressor is big or small, your shoulders slump and your head hangs forward?
- Do you notice your lower back round out when you’ve had a long hard day?
- Have you ever faced a traumatic incident by wrapping your arms tightly around your chest or stomach?
- Have you ever been so worn out from life that you curled up in your bed in the fetal position, knees curled up towards your chest…
- …or felt so broken that you laid on the floor of your shower curled into this protective posture, letting the water and heat envelope you?
I have. I bet you have too.
It’s totally natural to go into this comforting position when stress surrounds you.
This because the fetal position is the position we are in while we are nurtured in the womb.
In fact, when infants are born they only have one curve to their spine — the C shaped curve of the knees-to-chest fetal position they had while held inside their mother’s body.
As we grow and learn to stand and ambulate under the forces of gravity, the spine develops three mature healthy curvatures in order to maintain a positive and productive center of balance.
But when we are traumatized, stressed, or upset, it is very natural for our body to tuck in tight, ball up, seek the fetal position and try to survive.
Surviving stress and trauma leads to physical health changes that ultimately affect our posture, our sleep, our mood, our digestion, our breathing, our pain levels, and even totally stress out our adrenals.
(For help on recovering your energy levels after chronic stress or a traumatic life change — please join me in feeling better by working with me in my upcoming:
But how can posture really affect our health on all of those levels?
The answer lies in our chakra energy flow.
Posture affects our chakra alignment which in turn affects our body from head to toe.
To make this visual for you, I set out to paint a painting to illustrate exactly how our spine lines up with our chakra system.
So today I wanted to share the process of creating this with you here so that hopefully I can inspire you to take stock of your posture, take deeper breaths, support your internal alignment and truly feel your powerful internal energy centers radiate out from all directions in perfect concert with each other!
Step 1. Taking a page (literally!) out of my 20 year old med school anatomy book, I drew the spine on the middle of my canvas:
2. Then I filled in the background color…
3. …and added some white spirals at the level of each of our 7 core chakras:
4. Next I darkened the background to create more contrast and added even more spirals radiating out of each chakra center:
5. I then re-outlined the spine to bring it on top of the background and make it more visible:
6. After that it was on to color! I added spiraling energy at each chakra level, radiating out from the corresponding point on our spinal column:
7. And then again, re-outlined the spine and filled the bones in with white to help them stand out:
8. At this point I started feeling like this Chakra Anatomy painting would be a fantastic daily reminder for those of us who could use a visual to remember to check our posture throughout the day and sit or stand a little better…
…so I added the words “stand tall.”
And I mean that both metaphorically and literally.
Literally take that deep breath and stack your vertebra up in a nice line.
And energetically… hold your head up high.
You are who you are. And that is a beautiful thing.
9. With some extra tweaks on the energy circles and a few more touch ups on the letters… you have my latest painting:
Hold that head up and know that every moment you are here on earth flowing your unique soul energy through your unique physical body, you are doing important work that can be done by no other.
So sit straighter, walk taller, and SHINE.
To order your daily reminder to vibrantly radiate your core energy by standing tall… hop over here to grab a print of this artwork!
Totally fantastic for a yoga or meditation area or even in your closet to see as you get dressed each morning (I have mine hanging above my desk because that is where I tend to slouch the most!)
Stand tall my friends!!!