By Claire Diab and Dennis Boyle
Posture is one of the key ingredients to health and longevity. There have been hundreds of books and articles written on the importance of posture. Let me take you to a deeper understanding of the meaning of excellent posture…the yoga way!
As firefighters, your job requires a strong and healthy back during your training and incidents. It is extremely important for you to keep your spine in proper alignment and have excellent posture for the work you do and for the rest of your life.
From sitting at a desk to climbing on the fire truck to running, lifting, and climbing stairs with the full weight of your gear on your back, your posture is your tool to success and healthy living on and off the job.
Here is a yoga pose that will promote good posture; strengthen your spine (which supports your central nervous system); and maintain strong, healthy, and proper alignment to give you energy for your demanding days.
The Equestrian Pose
Start in low lunge with knee directly over ankle. Place your hands gently on your forward knee for balance. Once you find stability, you can raise your hands over your head. Gaze at your hands and breathe for six to nine full breaths. Lower your hands and switch forward leg to balance each side of your body.
Claire Diab is an internationally recognized yoga therapist. She is the director of the Yoga Program for the Chopra Center founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon. She is an adjunct professor of Asian Studies at Seton Hall University. She is the author of several books and DVDs on yoga including “Yoga for Firefighters.”
Dennis Boyle is a retired fire director and acting chief with the West Orange (NJ) Fire Department. He was the recipient of the 1999 New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs “Fire Officer of the Year” award.