“Posture” the one word that everyone hears and immediately start to straighten their back and pull their shoulders back and hope that no one notices. We know we do it too. With all the 100 things you do in a day, it can be easy to let your posture drop.
The only thing is a good posture has loads of benefits and a bad one… not so great.
Keeping that back straight or perhaps sitting at your desk in the correct position has great effects, from keeping bones and joints in the correct alignment so you don’t strain the wrong muscles, reduce the chance of you perhaps overusing a joint surface, to reducing your change of the very common back and neck pain a lot of us are commonly seen massaging to keep at bay. There is also the psychological benefit that a good posture can also lead to the boost in confidence during those meeting or even just your day to day tasks.
Yoga is fantastic for your posture. All the strengthening, stretching and de-compressing works wonders on your body. Which is why it’s great for anyone wanting a simple way to correct their posture or be more aware of it throughout your day.
We just want you to note before we start our list that it’s very important to listen to your body. It’s good to feel a stretch but if you are in pain please adjust accordingly, as you could do more harm than good. Also, it’s important not to bounce to try further your stretch. All stretches should be gentle, sudden movements can pull or strain a muscle more.
These are our favourite yoga poses, to help you ease the tension but also improve your posture:
No, you’re not quite just standing there although we can see the confusion. Mountain pose is a simple standing pose and will be your base for most poses that start with you standing up.
For this pose stand with your feet together and make sure you feel all your toes grounded. Try to keep your spine neutral and tighten your abdominals. Lift your chest and keep your shoulders down and pushed back so you feel your shoulder blades coming together. Lastly, you can either keep your hands by your sides and make sure your palms are facing your body or bring your palms together and your hands in level with the heart centre.
The trick to Mountain pose is to be mindful. Mindful of your spine, your neck, your pelvis, are you in the correct form?
Cat/Cow Pose (Bidalasana)
For this pose, you should be on all fours in a tabletop position with your wrists directly under your shoulder and your knees directly under your hips. Your hands shoulder-width apart with your palms pressed into the mat. Try to maintain the crease of your elbows facing each other for the whole duration of this pose to make sure you don’t hyperextend your joints.
As you inhale look forward or further up if it feels comfortable, reaching your tailbone towards the ceiling and arch your back again as much as is comfortable.
As you exhale, tuck your chin to your chest and arc your back.
Repeat this for as long as you need.
Cat and cow pose really help you get all the kinks and aches you are feeling at the top and bottom of your back.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
One of the yoga staples. For this pose, you will be on all fours again, but this time your knees will be lifted off the mat.
To get into this pose start in a tabletop position with your palms a little wider than shoulder-width this time and knees under your hips again. Then lift your hips towards the ceiling and back towards your heels.
If you are unable to keep your legs straight, please feel free to keep them bent. Try to keep your back shoulders straight and not to arch your back too much. Hold this position, for 5 breathes, and repeat.
Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)
Start this pose from our Mountain Pose. Slowly roll down vertebrate by vertebrate with your knees slightly bent and neck and head relaxed. Let your arms hang and slowly start to straighten your legs if you can and let your hands sink further towards the floor with every breath.
When you come back up, go very slowly vertebrate by vertebrate again with your head being the last body part to come up.
It’s important for us to know that our back muscles are not the only ones responsible for our posture. Our core is just as important. A great way to improve our core strength is to do a plank pose.
For this, you start on all fours, then stretch one foot back and lift your knee off the ground, then let the other foot join as you brace your core. Make sure your hands are parallel to your shoulders, and that your spine and core are in a straight line and you are really engaging your abdominals tucking your pelvis.