Sit for hours hunched in a chair, as many of us do, and your body will actually start to develop a case of perma-slump. While this stance may seem relaxed, it's probably putting more strain on your body than you realize. Key muscles in your core, hips, and back become weak, while others tighten. This imbalance results in rounded shoulders, a forward-tilting head, and a swayed back.
Poor posture isn't just aesthetically displeasing: "It can also take a toll on internal organs, leading to a distended abdomen and poor digestion, as well as shallow breathing and fatigue," warns Justine Bernard, doctor of physical therapy and founder of Elements Fitness & Wellness Center in Washington, D.C.
To correct bad posture, Bernard uses Gyrokinesis, an exercise system comprising circular, fluid movements that, like yoga, pair breath with movement. "Gyrokinesis helps posture by stretching tight muscles, strengthening weak muscles, and working all aspects of the core," Bernard says. "This allows you to sit and stand in good alignment naturally and with ease." Do the following moves slowly and mindfully, in the order presented. Aim to practice daily -- or, at the very least, twice a week. Start with the minimum number of repetitions, and then increase as you improve. Over time, you'll find yourself standing taller and feeling more energized.