Some people just have presence; shoulders back, head up, straight back, walk into a room with confidence, presence.
I am not one of those people.
I am a sloucher. I don't mean to be and I'm only aware of it when I catch my reflection or see photos when I'm caught standing round-shouldered in the background. I really don't want to look like my mother, who unfortunately, has become quite hunched with age.
So is it possible to undo years of bad habits? Has anyone tried and succeeded? I'm guessing Pilates or yoga might help.
Of course! A good start is usually: stretch pecs and upper traps. Strengthen middle and lower traps and rhomboids. Stretch hamstrings and psoas, strengthen glutes. Have a look on YouTube for exercises. Even better see a manual therapist.
Have a session of Alexander technique really helps makes you aware of what your body is doing and where it should be. All the core strength exercise you mentioned will really help but good to know the feeling of where you want to aim for.
You cannot feel your own posture. I had an appointment with a physio (for an unrelated problem) and she physically pulled my left arm into the correct position (until then I had always, apparently, leaned to the right slightly). Fortunately, that's all it took for me, though I guess different things work for different people.
Absolutely possible. You just have to develop the habit.
An Aunt of mine was old school. Very "Posh", and even though she was born "Without a pot to piddle in Dear!", She did marry into some serious money. She credited her new found wealth with "looking the part". Her mantra was . .
"Tits out, shoulders back".
Every time I have felt nervous I remembered her saying this. Try it!
Begin by standing still, look straight ahead and let your arms just hang down, wriggle your toes and rock backwards and forwards a bit until you feel 'anchored' then imagine your head is being pulled up by a thread. That is roughly (very roughly) the mountain pose 'Tadasana' in yoga. Just keep trying that pose it takes two minutes, if in doubt YouTube it.
I'm slightly obsessed with posture and I can appear to lose half a stone just by standing properly. I also imagine my tummy button is being pressed back towards my spine, to lose my 'mum tum'
Don't do 'chest out, shoulders back' or you'll be seeing even more of that physio. Correct posture is a more subtle position.
Pilates or Alexander technique. Personally I do pilates. You need a good teacher, small class (4-6) - not a massive anonymous class in a gym, taught by someone who once did a weekend's pilates-fitness course. Because you'll only be in pilates 1-2 a week, and that's not enough on its own to counteract all the hours of bad posture before, and between classes. So you need to understand what you're changing, and you need to be in a small class for that.
If you can afford it, a course of 1:1 classes with a pilates instructor might be very useful, and then move onto a small class environment after.
It will feel achey and even wrong at first, because you'll have been hanging off large muscles, and not using postural muscles. I've seen teachers get results with 80 years old.
The widespread use of cameras has shown me I look incredibly inelegant and awkward. I am desperate to find an Alexander Technique residential weekend course. The only one I can find is in a Quaker b&b and I think I will need a bit of alcohol to loosen up! My DM is also hunched and I dread going down the same road.