Sit Straight! Why are you slouching? Straighten up your back? I am sure you have heard all of this before from your family, teachers or friends.
Struggling with poor posture? Well, if you slouch and hunch all day, you are bound to have a poor posture. Especially if your job makes you sit for long hours in front of the blue screen.
Our lifestyles are such that we end up driving for long hours, spend most of our time scrolling down on our smartphones or partake in jobs that require a lot of standing. As a result, this spawns chronic back and neck pain leading to severe cases of cervical spondylosis, slip disc, muscle spasms, premature joint degeneration, and lumbar arthritis.
Therefore, poor posture is something that most of people worldwide suffer from on a daily basis. However, yoga has been practiced and used to cure and fix poor posture.
A poor posture may be bad for your health adversely but it also affects your confidence level. Therefore, practicing yoga to improve posture regularly can not only improve your health, cure your pain but also improve your life in many aspects.
What is the correct posture?
A correct and good posture can be achieved through yoga. However, you need to be conscious of how your body is aligned.
Ideally, for a correct posture, your entire skeletal structure should be aligned in a straight line. That is, keep your ears, neck, shoulders, arms, hips, knees and feet aligned in a straight line. Most importantly, your body weight should be evenly distributed on both your feet.
As a result, this will give you maximal support to your body. However, the moment you move away from the alignment for a longer period, there is an extreme strain on your muscles that leads to chronic back and neck pain. It also increases the stress on your joints, ligaments, bones, and muscles.
There are numerous yoga poses to improve poor posture that can be practiced at home with ease and without any disturbance.
How Can Yoga Improve Poor Posture?
Yoga is widely known to strengthen and condition your muscles, cure health-related ailments, find inner peace, build awareness and promote mindfulness.
As we know that poor posture causes pain in the back and neck region, it also comes with added problems such as headaches, stiff muscles, and disturbed sleep. Therefore, the first thing that Yoga teaches you is to breathe the right way. This alone cures all the added problems that you face with poor posture.
When you begin to practice yoga regularly, it will be difficult to sit in a pose because of your poor posture. However, once you are in the flow, you will become aware of your body and all the pressure points. You will also realize your pain is not only confined to your back and neck but to other parts of your body as well.
With regular practice, yoga will stretch and strengthen your body to an extent that your spine will automatically straighten up itself. Therefore, notice how yoga improves posture when your shoulders will be aligned with your ears, and your stomach will be pulled in.
Moreover, the changes that you perceive with yoga will be noticed on the very first day of a yoga session. The only outlook you need to have is to be aware of those changes and be consistent in correcting your poor posture.
10 Yoga Poses to Improve Poor Posture
Practice the following 10 yoga poses to improve poor posture. You can practice a simple session using these poses upon waking up or before bed.
- Mountain Pose
- Tree Pose
- Standing Forward Bending Pose
- Dog Pose
- Warrior Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Bow Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Cow face Arms Pose
- Camel Pose
1. Mountain Pose
The Mountain Pose also known as Tadasana is one of the most popular and basic yoga asanas to improve posture.
The Mountain Pose might look like an easy pose to do but once you get down to actually doing it, you will realize many aspects of your body. You will also notice that you have been standing incorrectly the whole time.
Thus, this standing pose is the best kind of yoga to improve posture. It will teach you the correct way to stand, also helping you to align your spine straight.
Slouching leads to standing or sitting with a hunched back, as a result, causing excruciating pain in your body. This yoga pose to improve posture is beneficial as it requires strength, balance, awareness, effort, and mindfulness.
Benefits of Mountain Pose
Mountain Pose has other benefits too. Such as:
- Strengthens your knees, thighs, and ankles.
- Helps to alleviate sciatica.
- It also increases the agility of the spine
- Regulates digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems.
2. Tree Pose
For obvious reasons and by the implication of the name, Tree pose replicates a strong, sturdy and firm stance of a tree, that makes you stand straight and tall.
It is also commonly known as Vrikshasana which refers to “A Tree” in Sanskrit.
Unlike the other yoga poses that require you to keep your eyes closed for concentration, the Tree pose, however, requires you to keep your eyes open to maintain body balance. This pose, therefore, works on improving your posture by helping you to balance your body by itself.
This might seem a difficult task for those with a poor posture as the bodyweight is not evenly distributed. As a result, your curved posture throws you off balance. However, with regular practice, this yoga pose will improve your posture and straighten up your back.
While practicing the tree pose, everything lies on the focus of your eyes on a single point. The moment your eyes and mind deviate from the focus point, you won’t be able to balance your body. Keep your mind on an alert call.
Benefits of Tree Pose
This asana has a host of benefits besides improving your posture. Such as:
- Strengthens your thighs, calf muscles, ankles
- It also helps to relieve sciatica
- Reduces the effects of flat feet
- Improves concentration
3. Standing Forward Bend Pose
Standing Forward Bend Pose, also commonly known as Uttanasana, in simple words translates to a powerful stretch for your entire back.
This pose activates and rejuvenates the blood flow in your body. Since you are bending forward, your head and back are bent stretching the spinal column and your back muscles. This helps to align your spine and reduce the pain caused by poor posture.
Benefits of Standing Forward Bend Pose
This yoga pose lengthens your spine, improves poor posture and relieves the stiffness from your back. It has more benefits than you expected. Such as,
- Relieves anxiety and headaches
- Alleviates menopause, infertility and menstrual issues
- Cures high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, and osteoporosis.
- Stimulates your digestive, nervous and endocrine systems.
4. Downward Facing Dog Pose
Downward Facing Dog Pose also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana gets its name from how the position is formed. The pose looks similar to when a dog is bent forward.
Thus, the name comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Adhas’ meaning ‘down’, ‘Mukha’ meaning ‘face’ and ‘Svana’ meaning ‘dog.’
This yoga pose is best known to relax your muscles. The moment you partake in the pose, the tension in your muscles escalates and gives a signal to your spinal cord muscles to relax and ease the pain. This pose releases the endorphin hormones in your body that help you to relax.
Downward Facing Dog pose releases the stiffness in your back to improve poor posture. It strengthens and corrects your spinal alignment.
Benefits of Downward Facing Dog Pose
The yoga pose denotes numerous benefits besides improving poor posture. Such as,
- Relieves symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort
- Helps prevent osteoporosis
- Improves digestion
- Helps to cure high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, and sinusitis
- It also relieves headaches, stress and mild depression
5. Warrior pose
Warrior Pose, commonly known as Virabhadrasana I is named after a mythological warrior who was an incarnation of Lord Shiva. There is a great deal of history behind the name of this graceful yoga pose.
There are 3 variations to Warrior pose, hence they are customarily numbered. To improve poor posture, you must practice Warrior I Pose.
It might seem strange as to why a yoga pose is named after a fierce warrior since yoga is associated with yogis and non-violence. However, Warrior pose denotes the energy and fierceness it generates in the body to fight any illness both physical and mental.
This yoga pose is considered to help your body to be in an erect position by strengthening your spinal muscles. Being vigorous in nature, it requires your utmost focus and attention. Hence, helping to improve poor posture and strengthening the lower back muscles.
In the end, you will feel like a warrior who has won multiple battles from within, and a sense of vigor will bestow upon you.
Benefits of Warrior Pose
Warrior pose offers astonishing benefits to your body and mind. Such as,
- Increases the stamina of your body
- Stimulates your metabolism especially if you have a sedentary desk job.
- It also helps to ease out frozen shoulders
- Release stiffness from your shoulders
- Instills peace, courage, calmness, and grace within you
6. Cobra Pose
The Cobra pose is one of the most powerful yoga poses to improve poor posture and cure back pain. Hence, the cobra pose is part of the sequence of yoga poses in Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation.
This yoga pose is also commonly known as Bhujangasana. It gets its name from the Sanskrit word ’bhujang’ meaning ‘snake’. The pose replicates the posture of a snake with a raised hood, hence, the name significance.
This versatile and powerful backbend pose strengthens, flexes and also tones the back and spine muscles, thus, bringing it back into its correct alignment. Thus, helping to improve poor posture.
Benefits of Cobra Pose
- Opens up the chest, heart, lungs, and shoulders as well
- Therapeutic for those suffering from asthma
- Stimulates the abdominal organs by stretching the abdomen muscles
- Helps to relieve stress and fatigue
- Soothes sciatica pain
- It also awakens the Kundalini energy (energy located at the base of your spine)
7. Bow Pose
The Bow Pose also commonly knowns as Dhanurasana as it resembles the shape of an archer’s bow that the body takes while performing it. Dhanurasana acquires its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Dhanu’ meaning ‘a bow’.
This pose might look unnerving to perform, making you feel that only people who are flexible can do it. However, this pose imparts flexibility and also releases the tension in your back muscles. It completely focuses on the spinal column which is the most important part of the body. The part that helps you to stand straight and erect.
This pose is an excellent way to counter the effects of slouching and poor posture.
Benefits of Bow Pose
- Stretches the entire front part of the body
- Stimulates reproductive organs in females.
- It also helps to widen the shoulders and chest
- Relieves menstrual discomfort.
8. Bridge Pose
The Bridge Pose also known as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana resembles the structure of a bridge. This yoga pose acquires its name from the Sanskrit words ‘Setu’, meaning ‘bridge’ and ‘Bandha’ meaning ‘lock.’
Bridge pose is an excellent yet gentle backbend that helps to open up your chest and back to improve poor posture. It eases the stiffness in the back muscles caused by slouching and unhealthy sitting postures. Thus, opens up your shoulders, chest, and back giving your spine more support.
Benefits of Bridge Pose
- Strengthens the back muscles and relieving stress and stiffness trapped in the back
- This pose also helps to reduce depression, stress, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, and anxiety
- Increases lung capacity.
- It also stimulates the thyroid glands and helps to regulate metabolism
- It helps to improve digestion.
- Aids and reduces high blood pressure, sinusitis, asthma, insomnia, and osteoporosis.
9. Cow Face Arms Pose
Cow Face Pose, or Gomukhasana, takes its name from the Sanskrit words ‘Go’ meaning ‘cow’ and ‘Mukha’ meaning ‘face.’
While performing this yoga pose, the body resembles the face of a cow. How so? The crossed legs look like the cow’s mouth, the bent arms resemble the cow’s ears and the torso creates the length of the cow’s nose. It might take a while to get a clear picture in your head.
Moreover, “Gomukh’ also means ‘lightness of the head’. It is a seated posture that aims to stretch your shoulders, back, arms and hips. It helps to loosen the trapped pressure and chronic pain in your back muscles.
This yoga pose also helps those with a poor posture to correct and regain its original posture. You can practice this pose at your office work desk or on the couch.
Benefits of Cow Face Arms Pose
- Reduces backaches.
- Activates the kidneys thereby helping those suffering from diabetes.
- Reduces stress, anxiety and induces better sleep.
10. Camel Pose
Camel Pose also known as Ustrasana, obtains its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Ustra’ which means ‘Camel’ as the Yoga pose resembles the posture of a camel.
It is a deep backward bend known to open up the heart chakra and also increase flexibility. This pose is very beneficial especially for corporate workers who have seated desk jobs and spend most of their time sitting. They suffer from poor posture and chronic neck and back pain.
Camel Pose helps to open up your chest, throat, and shoulders and also flexes the back muscles. As a result, stretching the back increases the flexibility and elasticity of the spine and releases tension in the back muscles.
Benefits of Camel Pose
- It brings relief to those suffering from diabetes, thyroid, asthma, and spondylitis
- It also relieves menstrual discomfort
- Helps to reduce weight
- Heals constipation and improves digestion
Do you know that when you have a good posture, you tend to look taller, slimmer and also feel more confident?
However, working long hours and continuously sitting at one place with less movement deeply affects our bodies and it makes it worse for us to achieve a good posture.
Therefore, remember to take short breaks, practice yoga poses regularly or any kind of exercise that you like and also don’t get bogged down by stress that could ruin your health adversely.