If you type on a computer all day or text on your cell phone constantly, then your posture may be suffering. Yoga is excellent for countering the effects of today’s modern movements that can cause misaligned spine, pain in the neck and shoulders and overall bad posture.
Perform these five poses to improve your posture.
- Stand in Mountain pose with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale and raise your arms toward the sky. Keep the arms parallel, palms facing each other.
- Exhale and bend your knees. Focus your weight in your heels while sitting back as if you are about to sit in a chair. Lean the torso slightly forward over the thighs. Keep the thighs parallel to each other.
- Keep your torso long. Press your shoulder blades together.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute. Release the pose by straightening your knees with an inhalation. Exhale and release your arms to your sides.
- Come to a kneeling position on the floor with your heels under your buttocks and your knees wide.
- Sit back on your heels, resting your torso on your thighs. Place your forehead as close to the floor as possible.
- Place your hands flat on the floor. Spread the fingers apart and stretch the arms gently forward.
- Release any tension in your neck and shoulders.
- Close your eyes. Relax and breathe smoothly for 10 deep breaths.
- Kneel on your hands and knees with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Your hands should be spread wide apart. Your feet should be flat and hip width apart.
- Inhale as you lift your body up, keeping your shoulders back and pushing backwards into your hips. Push your buttocks upwards. Keep your heels down as much as possible. Keep your knees bent as needed, ultimately straightening the legs and bringing the chest to the thighs. Lift one foot then another back and forward (peddling to get the effect of the feet being flat, which is the goal). You are forming a V with your body.
- Exhale relaxing slowly lowering the body, relaxing the arms and legs.
Standing Forward Bend
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
- Take a deep breath in, then exhale as you bend forward from the hips.
- Reach for your knees, shins, toes or floor.
- Aim to press your chest against your thighs.
- Shake your head “yes” and “no” to relax the muscles in your head and neck.
- Hold the pose for 10 deep breaths.
Reclined Spinal Twist
- Lie on your back with your knees bend. Tighten your stomach.
- Gently rock your legs from side to side.
- Exhale allowing your legs to fall to the right. Inhale using your core to raise them to the center. Exhale allowing them to fall to the left. Inhale using your core to raise them back to center. Repeat this several times.
- Exhale allowing the legs to fall to the left making sure that the legs are stacked on top of each other. Turn your head, neck and navel to the left. Try to keep both shoulders on the ground.
- Your arms should be out to the side away from the body with the palms upward.
- Hold for 5 counts.
- Repeat the other side.