Yoga is one of the best exercises for the overall health. It doesn’t just help to improve your fitness, but it improves your connection within yourself. You will also find that it increases flexibility, solves alignment issues, and helps to improve your posture.
Bad posture is a major concern, especially as we find ourselves sitting at computer desks more often. We have gone from being on our feet at least 8 hours a day to spending all day, every day sitting in some way. When we do sit, we slouch or sit to one side, damaging the alignment within our spines.
Poor posture leads to all types of issues. We have pain in our backs and necks. Headaches and earaches are common. We just don’t feel as great as we used to.
So, you need to use yoga to help improve your posture. Here’s a look at seven yoga routines that you need to do regularly to improve posture.
Making the Most of Yoga
Yoga is just part of the process of a good posture. You can’t just rely on the exercises to improve your posture permanently. It’s important to look at every element of your day and your lifestyle to make sure you look after your spine alignment and body positioning.
When you are sitting at a computer, keep your feet firm on the floor. You should feel the floor on both balls and heels of your feet. If your chair is too high due to your desk, get a foot stool that will help to keep your feet flat.
Your back should be straight with your shoulders pulled back. Your arms should rest on the desk naturally with your elbows in a 90-degree bend. Your computer monitor should be at eye level. You shouldn’t have to look up or down to see the screen. If you find it is too low, you’ll need to use something to raise it into the right position.
Depending on your health, you may find a desk that raises and lowers is better for you. This will allow you to stand for some of the days without causing problems on your posture. It’s also worth considering a back support for your chair to keep the natural arch in your back. This will prevent you from sitting back and slouching!
Don’t forget to take breaks from your computer desk. This isn’t just for your posture, but for your overall health. We spend way too much time sitting down!
When walking, you’ll need to keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Shoes with a small 1-2in heel can be used for good posture. You don’t want high heels on a regular basis as they push your hips further forward and cause alignment problems. Wearing flat shoes all day can put a lot of extra stretch on your calves if you’re not used to it.
Focus on Holding the Yoga Positions
While doing the yoga exercises, you’ll want to think about the positions. Focus on getting the positions right from the very start. If you are in doubt, talk to your yoga structure about the positioning. Being in the wrong position for a prolonged amount of time will do more damage to your posture.
It can be worth attending one yoga class a week, at least to begin with. This will help you ask questions and get the positions right the first time.
When you get the right positions, you’ll find yoga perfect for supporting a good posture. The exercises will bring your shoulder blades closer to your spine, encouraging relaxation throughout your body. You get used to the right posture positions. At first, they will be uncomfortable, but you’ll get used to them. Your muscles will just be used to the poor posture positions.
Yoga encourages neutral stances and proper spine alignment. You get a stress-free environment to improve your whole health.
These are the seven yoga poses you want to do for good posture. Together the poses can be used in a variety of ways to create routines.
#1 Start with the Tadasana
Also known as The Mountain Pose, the Tadasana is one of the best poses to start with. This is an uncomfortable pose at first. It’s all about retraining your muscles and mind to get used to the correct positioning. It’s one of the most simplistic poses, though; something that almost everyone will be able to do from the very beginning.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. The toes should point forward, so your feet are parallel to each other.
Draw in your tailbone lightly, so it tucks slightly under while engaging your core, quads, and calves. You want to keep your shoulders, and upper body relaxed. Close your eyes if you want and take some deep relaxing breaths, while feeling every part of your feet (except the instep) in touch with the floor.
Your head should be upright, with your chin parallel to the floor. Make sure your spine and head sit over the top of your pelvis. Too far forward or backward will put a slight bend in your spine. Your ears should be over the top of your shoulders.
#2 Move into Veerbhadrasan II
This position is also known as Warrior II and is one of the most popular positions you will do in yoga. It offers a range of benefits, including improving the posture and your stamina. You’ll find your legs are strengthened, while your chest and hips are opened.
Start by laying on the mat on your front and pushing yourself up into the down dog position. Bring your right foot forward, so it sits in between your hands, and your knee is close to your nose. Twist the left leg slightly, so the foot is angled out with the heel on the floor.
Pull the upper body up and windmill the arms out, so the left arm reaches towards the back and the right arm towards the front. Keep both palms facing downwards and maintain a 90-degree bend in your right knee. Your left knee will be straight.
Tuck your tailbone under and draw in the core. Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears. Hold the position for as long as possible and then return to the down dog position. You will then repeat the position on the other side.
While this is one of the most popular positions, it will take some time to get used to.
It is possible to move from Warrior II into Warrior III. You put all your weight on your front leg, straightening the knee. The arms go up above your head, keeping your shoulders down, with the palms facing each other. The back leg comes off the floor, and you bend at the hips. Keep the spine straight, with a line going from the toes of your raised foot all the way to your fingertips. At no point should your hands drop lower than the back toes.
Warrior III doesn’t just improve your posture. You’ll improve your strength, balance, and stamina.
#3 Move into the Vrikshasan
The Vrikshasan is better known as the Tree Pose and is one of the most popular poses on the Nintendo Wii Fit. It’s an excellent position for improving balance and posture, as it forces you to stand up tall.
Start in the Mountain Pose and then move your weight onto your right foot. Lift the left foot, placing the sole of your foot onto the calf of your right foot. As you improve your balance and strength, you will want to move this position further up your leg to your inner thigh. Get the balance right before increasing the stretch.
Raise your hands to your chest, keeping the palms together. Make sure your shoulders remain relaxed, and your head stays in the same position as in the Mountain Pose.
You’ll want to hold this for a minute. If you find you lose your balance too much, have something in front or beside you to hold for balance. Just lightly touch with your fingers to strengthen the muscles in your legs.
Hold the position for a minute, before switching to the other side. While moving, keep all your movements fluid to protect your alignment.
#4 Invigorate with the Uttanasan
When it comes to boosting posture and rejuvenating the body, you want to do the Standing Forward Bend. It will take time for the position to improve your posture, but there are so many other benefits that you’ll be happy to take the time.
Start in the Mountain Pose and pull your hands up, so they rest on your hips. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale soften the knees. Fold at your hips, bending forward. You’ll need to move your tailbone back slightly to counter the new balance within your body.
Bend all the way forward until your hands touch the ground. Your butt should point upwards into the air. You’ll feel the stretch in the back of your calves and quads.
Make sure the spine remains straight the whole time. It shouldn’t round, as this will misalign the spine. You may not be able to get your hands on the floor right away. Keep your back straight and go until you feel a slight stretch. You shouldn’t feel any pain.
As you improve your flexibility in the backs of your legs, you’ll be able to straighten the knees while in the folded position.
Return to the standing position after holding for a couple of minutes.
#5 Meditate in the Sukhasan
When you want to meditate, you need to find a position that is good for your alignment but also comfortable. The Sukhasan is known as the Comfortable Pose because it is the perfect option for meditation. It’s one of the easiest positions to do as a beginner, too.
Sit on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Keep your back straight, feeling some of the stretch in the back of your legs. Place your hands on the floor just behind your hips, keeping your fingers pointing backward and your palms flat on the floor.
Now pull your legs inwards, so you sit cross legged on the floor. Pull your hands around to your knees and sit with your spine straight. Your shoulders should remain relaxed with your chest open. Make sure the chin is parallel to the floor and neck straight, as you would with the Mountain Pose.
Close your eyes and let your energy flow. Focus on your breathing.
You can stay in this position for as long as you’d like. At first, it won’t be the most comfortable, especially if you have poor posture. You’re retraining the muscle memory from your poor postured days, but eventuallyit will be the go-to pose when you want to relax and unwind.
#6 Move into the Bhukangasan
The Bhukangasan, also known as the Cobra Pose, will stretch out your spine gently. It opens the chest and will improve the posture in your upper back.
Start by laying on your front on your mat. Engage your muscles in your back to lift your head and upper chest off the mat. Bring your shoulders underneath your chest for some support, keeping the elbows in line with your shoulders. Allow your shoulders to relax and the chest to open fully.
Don’t tip your head backwards like you would in many other stretching poses. Look straight ahead, keeping your chin parallel to the floor.
#7 Finish Off with the Balasana
This is one of yoga fans’ favorite poses. It’s extremely easy to do and suitable for starting and finishing your routine. The Balasan is better known as the Child’s Pose, and you’ll see why as soon as you see the position!
Tuck yourself into a ball on your knees. Try to keep your thighs and knees together and sit back on your heels. Let your upper body lay along your thighs, stretching your arms out in front of your head. Keep your spine, neck, and head fluid in one straight light.
If you are struggling to breathe, you can open your knees slightly, allowing your stomach to rest in between the gap. This will help to keep your spine straight.
This is a position that is useful for moving into a range of others. Push yourself up onto your knees, keeping your hands flat on the floor. You can then arch and round your back, which is excellent for soothing some back pain.
Perform Yoga to Improve Your Posture
Yoga is a powerful tool for improving your posture. Focus on positions that encourage spinal alignment and stretching. The above positions will work together into multiple routines, helping you get a different workout daily.
You will do much more than improving your posture. Yoga is excellent for improving your physical and mental health.
Remember you’ll need to put in effort between your yoga exercises. Focus on boosting your efforts by sitting well and focusing on your posture throughout the day. If you sit at a computer at work, take steps to make sure you’re always in the right position to improve your health.