Have you ever been sitting at your desk and realized your back is so hunched over, it looks like a ski slope? Bad posture affects everyone at some point and, if ignored, gets worse with time. We often don’t even realize that we’re hurting our posture. We’re all guilty of carrying that heavy shoulder bag around for a little too long or spending too many hours huddled over our laptops or phones. It is how we treat our bodies afterward though that is important.
Posture plays a huge role in our overall health whether we realize it or not. Good posture is essential for avoiding back and neck pain, as well as preventing muscle aches and fatigue. Maintaining good posture also prevents future tearing on joints and stress on ligaments.
Now how do we actually achieve it?
For many, yoga plays a huge part in achieving and maintaining not only good posture, but also overall wellness. We put together a list of our favorite poses to help you get that straight back and make you feel great!
This is one of our favorites! Cobra is a great combination for lengthening and strengthening the back. In this pose, you are elongating the spine and opening up the shoulders while strengthening. Working on the muscles of the shoulder, chest, and neck relieves tightness and helps maintain good posture.
Many people don’t realize that having a strong core helps promote better posture. All along our spine, we have extensor muscles running vertically that are responsible for keeping our back aligned. High plank engages the core, which contracts those muscles and strengthens them. Having strong extensors helps relieve lower back pain and straightens posture. Plus, this pose is great for opening up the shoulders and working the glutes!
One of the tougher, yet more satisfying poses. In wheel pose, you’re stretching the spine into the opposite position and elongating your vertebrae. As we age, our spine compresses and wheel pose is perfect for increasing elasticity and flexibility no matter your age. It strengthens the back, shoulder, and chest muscles while stretching them.
Another pose that not only helps the back, but also other parts of the body is Pigeon Pose. This stretches the quadriceps, hip flexors, abdomen and chest. If you sit all day and have tight hip flexors, then this pose is going to be your new best friend. Having tight hip flexors exaggerates the curve in your lower back. Pigeon pose brings your pelvis back to a neutral position to alleviate that pain.
We had to finish it off with a classic and favorite. It is important to balance between stretching your anterior and posterior sides and this pose is a perfect end to your flow. Folding over your legs immediately takes the pressure off of your tailbone, which can hold and build up tension. Take a deep breath here and enjoy.