Here's a concept for you to contemplate: Your body is your vehicle. As a part of some of my first "practice" yoga classes during my training, I began talking about proper alignment in relation to the body and compared to a car. When a car is out of alignment, many parts of the vehicle can experience unnecessary or improper wear and tear. The same goes for our body. A lot of what goes into the alignment of the body starts with posture, but then shifts to walking and carrying out activities with our arms and legs. And when we slip into "habits" and lose awareness of our posture, we can experience pain and progressive debilitation.
A recent video on the internet demonstrates just how powerfully life changing postural awareness and focused yoga therapy can be. An older woman had experienced a pronounced hump in her back due to scoliosis and accompanying loss of strength and posture. The severity of the before picture would have led me (even with my love of yoga) to believe that significant improvement would not be attainable at her age and at this stage. The ensuing video (linked below with article) and after picture show just how the improbable can become possible. The results of a slow and deliberate progression of yoga therapy created dramatic changes.
Back to alignment - as part of an effective yoga class, I stress the importance of developing an awareness of proper alignment so that your body can take you anywhere you want it to take you in life. Proper alignment alleviates pains in many joints and additionally neck/back pain. Learning to employ appropriate alignment during the yoga practice transfers to life, as your body develops muscle memory and your brain starts to remind you of these best practices.
On a personal note, my mother suffered from osteoporosis and eventually developed a "dowager's hump". This left a strong impression on me and was one of the reasons I have been dedicated to keeping my vehicle in good condition. Besides attention to posture and alignment, developing a strong muscular structure to hold the skeleton together has been a priority for me. Prevention is the best strategy. Incorporating healthy practices like yoga have been instrumental for me to keep my vehicle in excellent working order.
So here's a simple description of this protocol: Stand up straight, stack your body in this manner - knees over ankles, hips over knees, shoulders over hips, spine long from tailbone to top of head - pull your head back toward your shoulders as you lift it and push the crown toward the sky. And of course, breathe. It's easy when you simplify. Take care of your vehicle so that it can take care of you!