As a kid, my mom was tall and lanky. She lived in slumpasana. She was so ashamed of her lack of [visible] development, she hid the barely A if an A at all by slumping. To correct her posture, her dad put a cane in the space her arms made when she had her hands on her hips, elbows pointing behind her. Makes house chores challenging if not impossible plus the cane could destroy something precious on the mantle.
Sounds a bit barbaric.
Yet, today, we are functionally changing the shape of our spines to pre-historic man days (remember Neanderthal Man or Paranthropus before him?). We sit at computers involved in repetitive movements or play video games or poke around on an iPad or iPhone or Droid (text, text, text) that keep us rounded, head forward, all creating neck tension and headaches.
In Anusara yoga, we teach a principle of alignment called Shoulder Loop. Shoulder Loop brings the head of the arm bones back and the band of muscles at the base of the shoulder blades in toward the spine to keep them there. I was amazed viewing a YouTube video that revealed a subtler side of Shoulder Loop. Watch this video by Mary Bond, author of New Rules of Posture, for a gentle shoulder exercise to begin standing up tall and proud!