In any case, the fact that I have bad posture is not news to me; over the years, several people have pointed this out to me, in the hope that I will do something to correct it. And no, I did not take up yoga in order to correct or improve my posture; I just started practicing yoga because, well, I started practicing yoga.
Yesterday, I was hanging out with a friend who is a massage therapist, and he also brought my posture issue to my attention. In addition to observing my slouching, he also noted that slouching is often associated with low self-esteem, and may also cause or contribute to digestive or respiratory problems (because the rib cage is basically compressing the lungs, diaphragm, and digestive organs). We discussed this for a few minutes. Then, on the spur of the moment, I decided to show him the video that I have on Youtube of me doing primary series. In case you haven't seen it, here it is:
After watching the video for a few minutes, my friend said, "Impressive... and what's interesting is, you actually have perfect posture when you are doing yoga!" Hmm... so I have perfect posture when I am doing yoga, but am a slouch most of the rest of the time. I asked him, "Based on your experience as a massage therapist/body worker, what do you suggest I should do to improve my posture in daily life?" He replied, "Find out what the emotional issues are that are causing you to slouch." He then quoted this writer (can't remember the name right now; any of you know who this is?) who has this theory that every muscular-skeletal imbalance (including posture issues) can ultimately be traced to some kind of failure to let go of some deeply-entrenched emotion or other.
My friend then proceeded to feel along my back, and located tight spots in my left mid-back (which is associated with guilt, according to him) and upper back (which is associated with not feeling comfortable with devoting time to oneself). In addition, he also suggested that while my yoga practice is beneficial in that it puts me in a place everyday where I have to work to lengthen my muscles, it would also be a good idea to find some time everyday to release all my muscles ("Simply allow the muscles to fall away from the bones", was how he described it). A good way to do this is to lie flat on one's back, and, well, visualize the muscles falling away from the bones.
Well, it looks like I have my work cut out for me here. Anybody out there have similar experiences working with improving your posture? If you do (or even if you don't), I'll love to hear from you.