Good posture not only improves circulation, digestion and breathing, it also helps keeps your muscles and joints in prime condition. But it isn’t easy to maintain body alignment. Smartphones, TV, desk jobs and long commutes often make us slip up and slouch. Over time, poor posture may lead to stiffness, pain and move on to tissue damage and premature joint degeneration. Wondering how can you correct posture? We’ve got the answer.
The right posture
Is there a posture that we should all aspire to? If you worry that you have an alignment problem, wear tight clothes and do a standing assessment. Your joints should be stacked well with ears over the shoulders, ribs over the hips, and hips over the heels. The pelvis and spine should be in a neutral position.
Yoga and your posture
But how can you get the best posture? Yoga can help as the stretches help align the spine and the vertebrae. It helps bring the shoulder blades together and closer to the spine. The body relaxes when we adopt a relaxed position and this has an impact on the mind. In a standing/sitting position, the perfect alignment of the spine and the shoulders in relation to the hip joint puts the least stress on our joints. When the body weight is equally distributed on the legs, lower joints also become stress-free.
Try these yoga poses to improve your posture naturally:
Also known as The Mountain Pose
In an ideal world, this is how we would stand every day. This simple poses engages the entire body.
- Place your feet hip width apart and parallel to each other. Your toes should be spread and pointing forward.
- Engage your calves, quads and core, and slightly tuck in your tailbone.
- Keep your shoulders wide and relaxed.
- Align your head so the chin is parallel to the floor, and the crown is directly over the centre of your pelvis.
Also known as Warrior Pose II
Named for a fierce incarnation of Shiva, this pose helps increase stamina. It strengthens the legs, opens the hips and chest.
- Begin in down dog position.
- Round your right knee towards the nose, and place your right foot in between the hands.
- Move your left heel down, the foot slightly angled out.
- Windmill the arms open. The left arm reaches towards the back of the mat; the right one reaches the front of the mat, palms facedown.
- Keep the right knee at a 90-degree angle, in line with your right ankle.
- Drop shoulders away from the ears, tuck your tailbone, and knit your front ribs in.
- Repeat on the other side.
Also known as Tree Pose
This graceful pose replicates the solid stance of a tree, and makes you stand tall and straight.
- Stand up straight and shift your balance on to your right foot.
- Place the sole of your left foot onto your calf or inner thigh.
- Carefully balance yourself and raise your hands to your chest.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and your head in the same position as in Tadasan.
- Keep your eyes fixed on a point in front of you for better balance. Hold for 1 minute; repeat on the other side.
Also known as Standing Forward Bend
This basic yoga pose helps rejuvenate and energise the body. Over time, it helps improve your posture
- Stand straight on your mat. Rest your hands on your hips and inhale.
- Exhale, soften your knees and bend forward, folding from your hips. To counterbalance the weight of your body, move your hips and tailbone slightly back as the rest of the body moves forward.
- Keep your knees soft. The buttocks should point up and hips must move forward into the upper thighs.
- Let hands rest on the ground, next to the feet. Your feet must be parallel to each other. Feel the fold and the stretch from your hip bone there should be no rounding of your lower back.
- Extend your knees so you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Turn your thighs inward, and root yourself into your heels.
Also known as The Comfortable Pose
The easiest pose to meditate, this one’s also the simplest.
- Sit with your legs outstretched in front and back erect.
- Place your palms on the floor behind your hips, fingers pointing backward.
- Flex your legs so that the right foot comes just under the left thigh and left foot under the right thigh.
- Sit comfortably, with your spine vertical to the floor, and rest your hands on the knees.
- Keep the spine, head, and neck erect. Close your eyes and relax the whole body.
- Stay in this pose keeping your breathing slow and even.
Also known as The Hero Pose
Apart from improving your sitting posture, this also increases the flexibility of your legs.
- Kneel on the floor with your knees placed directly under your hips. The hands should rest on your knees.
- Bring knees closer so that the gap between your feet widens. It should be wider than the width of your hips.
- Firmly press the top of your feet on the floor.
- Gently lower your hips, so that you are sitting on the mat. Roll the calves away with hips between your heels.
- Point toes outwards and back, and keep your inner ankles drawn in.
- Pull in your navel and extend your tailbone from the crown of your head to the floor.
Also known as Cobra Pose
This pose gently stretches the spine and opens the chest, reversing rounded shoulders and upper backs.
- Lay on your stomach, engaging your back muscles to lift your head and upper torso.
- Align your elbows underneath your shoulders for support.
- Open your chest and relax your shoulders away from your ears.
- Look straight ahead and hold.
Regularly strengthening the back and abdomen muscles can improve posture and reverse the adverse effects of poor posture. Gentle exercises can also help improve blood circulation and lead to perfect functioning of our limbs.
Our yoga experts can help you overcome the adverse effects of poor posture and improve your standing and sitting stances.