Sunday, May 8, 2016

Being chic with posture

Nina and I on top of the bookcase

Imagine if Audrey Hepburn slouched her way across the movie screen; it wouldn’t be the same experience would it? What about elegant ladies out to lunch, slumped forward on their elbows while they eat. I just can’t imagine it.

Something I've noticed in the last while is that I am allowing myself to slouch. It feels relaxing and comfortable because there is no effort. I'll slouch eating my dinner, slouch working on the computer and slouch watching tv. Sometimes I'll sit up straighter when I notice, and often I won't.

I was reading a fascinating travel feature on Ethiopia in a magazine with breakfast recently and the author said she noticed the Ethiopian people 'have excellent posture'. That made me think this is something I want to be known for too, and it is much better for you health-wise as well of course.

So from today and here on in I will be focusing on having strikingly good posture. Not just okay posture, but fabulous posture.

To assist with my new focus on posture, I will employ my favourite technique of being pulled up by an invisible string from the top of my head. I instantly sit or stand up straighter without effort. I feel lighter and more elegant. I am taller! Along with this I will tuck my pelvis under and 'quieten' my ribs, as my yoga teacher used to say (she probably still says it, I just haven't been for ages). Quietening your ribs means to bring them into your spine. So you'll have your shoulders back and therefore your chest out, but your ribs don't want to be out too much, just pull them in a little bit.

There are so many benefits I will get from having beautiful posture:

I am less likely to develop a dowager's hump
I am less likely to shrink in height as I grow older
I will appear taller and slimmer
It's great for my guts - all my organs will have more room to relax and do their job
I will be more elegant, which will lead to naturally behaving more elegantly
I will be as striking as an Ethiopian woman standing proud
It is more feminine to stand or sit straight and tall
I will look like someone who has self-respect
My clothes will look better on me
I will not get pains in my shoulders when I type
It will be better for my spine as I age

I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, since I read that travel article, and I must say it is getting easier all the time. To start with it’s a bothersome effort, but now, when I notice I am slouching, I pull myself up and it’s not hard at all. When I’m standing up, it’s fun to imagine myself being stretched taller. My leg-bones are lengthening, as is my spine, and my head is being pulled towards the sky. Try it, it’s easy!

From there it’s a simple tweak to pull my shoulders back a little bit and voila, my good posture is intact.

How’s your posture while you are reading this? Is it straightening and lifting as you read down the screen? Do you find it easy to keep good posture?

Please note any blog post requests too, I love receiving them!


  1. I just sat up correctly while reading this and my back immediately groaned a "thank you" - I've slumped too long. I will now make a conscious effort to sit and stand up straighter! Thank you!

  2. Good advice Fiona! I hurt my back recently stepping off a low step ladder, it's mending nicely but it hurts badly if I slouch. My posture as improved out of sight over the last little while and I intend to keep it up -- no pun intended!

  3. Sorry to hear your hurt your back, Rose :( Glad to hear you are on the mend.

  4. I have been getting more backache, which I'm sure is purely posture related, rather than from an injury as Roses is. I think my poor posture is due to a bit of laziness really. Thanks for the reminders of all the other benefits of good posture, which will encourage me to keep it up!

  5. Anonymous, that's it for me too - laziness. I don't want to collapse inwards as I grow older though, so good posture starts today!

  6. Oh I was slumped over the computer while reading this. I have been getting very lazy and needed a reminder to pull myself up! Thank you for a great post.

  7. Heehee, Petal. You're not the only one. I'm always reminding myself, and it does get easier the more I do it (and less reminders needed).

  8. My mother was a bear for good posture -- "shoulders back, chin up -- look people in the eye when you walk down the street! Lengthen your stride, don't scuttle!" I think of her when I walk down the street these days -- stride, actually -- & see everyone around me scuttling along, shoulders rounded, heads bent, eyes glued to their Smartphones. I had two of them walk right into me yesterday. It was a glorious day & I felt like I was trapped in a hive of (inattentive) ants, not one of whom was remotely aware of their surroundings or the day.

    At home, I'm bad: I slouch, I hunch, I sit on the end of my spine instead of my butt when I read or watch TV. When I'm typing at the computer my shoulders creep up to my ears. This week I shall listen to you -- and my mother. Better for the digestion, too!

  9. Susanne,

    Firstly, can I say how much I love the turn of phrase 'was a bear for'? What a treasure it is :)

    Isn't it always the truth that one day you realise all your mothers reminders/naggings were correct and that you would do well to just listen? Aaah, maybe that's when we know we've finally grown up :)

  10. I often remember the words of a Pilates instructor who stood in just once for our regular instructor. We should stand, she said, with our breasts "proud but not boastful"!

  11. Best description ever, Anonymous!

  12. This us a great post, Fiona. It reminds me of two things.
    The actress June Brown, now in her 80s gave her top tip for keeping young - to walk/stand from the diaphragm, i.e. to consciously lift it.
    The other is a memory of a doctor friend years ago being mesmerised by a younger girl, for her posture/the way she held herself, he explained.
    Each time I remember these comments, I immediately adjust my stance and I do really feel so much better for it, and I'm sure it looks better too. I will try to make this a constant, less random approach, having been spurred on by your post!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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