How to get a good posture
One thing all ballet dancers have in common is good posture – it’s drilled into them from their very first lesson.
Because of the way they are taught to hold themselves, they remain graceful throughout their lives, exuding elegance and glamour – think Audrey Hepburn with her swanlike neck.
Whilst we’re not expecting anyone to learn to go en pointe, we should all take a leaf out of the ballerina handbook and perfect our posture.
Flatter, not flatten, your features
When you're slouched, not only do you look unconfident, but your head can slump down and your neck look squashed. So if you don't want to add a superfluous chin (one's plenty, thank you very much!), try to sit up straight and let your face radiate.
A surprising effect from this type of good posture habit is that your lips will get more light, and, according to my own scientific calculations, will as a result look fuller. A gorgeous and bold shade of lipstick has full effect on a head held high; like a pretty flower on a straight and slender stalk.
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Your treasure chest
When you bear your posture in mind and stand up straight, your chest inevitably projects up and out a little. Whether you're sporting a stylish collared shirt, or have the elegant décolletage of an evening gown to flaunt, good posture helps you show off these key style features.
And better yet, if you have an exquisitely eye-catching necklace, good posture helps give it the attention it deserves. It will sit elegantly on your chest for all to see, not lost in folds of fabric or in the shade of a stooped neck.
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The straight and narrow
Which brings us to our next style and beauty benefit of good posture: the miraculous effect of helping you appear taller and slimmer.
Being as ever-so-slightly vertically challenged as I am, I can just look at a piece of pavlova and my middle expands.
(Ok, maybe I ate the pavlova, but it was over so quickly I can barely remember.)
Which is why I find it useful to make the most of the stretching and slimming properties of good posture.
Sitting and standing correctly is imperative to how we look and feel each day – both physically and mentally.
(That, and keeping the pavlova intake in check, of course.)
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The best things in life are free
Good posture can dramatically alter your appearance for the better. It's a great way to enhance your body without having to fork out on shapewear, new clothes or costly gym memberships.
It has even been suggested that good posture can help you feel more confident – and how you feel on the inside can have a noticeable affect on how you look on the outside.
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See for yourself
If you think your posture could be better, why not try a little experiment? Take a picture of yourself as you would normally stand. Or, find an existing photo of yourself in which you're standing without paying attention to your posture.
Now, if you're safely and comfortably able to do so, follow these useful NHS tips for a good posture and take another photo of yourself (or ask a friend or family member to take one for you).
- Keep your shoulders back and relaxed
- Pull in your abdomen
- Keep your feet about hip distance apart
- Balance your weight evenly on both feet
- Try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways
- Keep your legs straight but knees relaxed
If you notice a visible difference in how you look – then maybe it's time to set your posture straight.
Of course, you should always consult a healthcare professional to find out what's best for your body. But the chances are, by simply trying to have good posture, your back will thank you and you'll feel more confident, too.
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