Having good posture is extremely important. Neglecting our spines can lead to back, neck, and shoulder pain, poor circulation, and major health concerns such as osteoporosis. These five simple yoga poses can help to improve posture by strengthening, lengthening, and aligning the spine and core!
5 Yoga Poses for Better Posture:
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Mountain pose is one of the first poses that students learn. It is simple, but when done right, it uses every muscle in the body. It reoccurs throughout classes in all styles of yoga—it’s the pose from which all other standing poses are born. Tadasana is all about correct alignment and forces you to be extremely mindful of proper posture and breath.
- Ground down through the four corners of your feet with big toes touching and heels slightly apart. Press the soles of your feet into the floor, and lift up through your inner arches.
- Firm your thigh muscles and lift kneecaps. Engage your thighs. Tuck pelvis into a neutral position.
- Broaden across your collarbones, and slide shoulders down your back. Tuck chin slightly towards your chest, elongate your neck, and lift up through the top of your head.
- Bring your arms down by your side, activate your hands and reach out through your fingers.
2. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
- Shift your weight into your left foot.
- Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot high up on your left thigh or calf (never put your foot on your knee!).
- Once you’re balanced, make sure that your spine is straight, and bring your hands in a prayer to your heart or bring your hands to the sky to “grow your tree.”
3. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svnanasana)
Down Dog is a foundation pose in most yoga classes. It’s a tricky posture as there’s so much going on (engage your core, draw up through your quads, don’t hyperextend elbows or knees), but it’s great for posture, as it stretches and lengthens the spine while also opening the shoulders.
- From table-top position (hands and knees), tuck your toes, straighten your legs, and lift your hips toward the ceiling to form an “upside down V.”
- Spread your fingers, and ground down through the balls of your feet.
- Keep your spine long and your head in line with your spine.
Having good posture doesn’t just mean changing how you sit or stand. In fact, good posture comes from the core. Plank is a great pose for strengthening abdominal muscles, allowing our spines to have adequate support and our bodies to stand tall.
- From Down Dog, draw your torso forward until your arms are perpendicular to the floor and your shoulders are directly over your wrists.
- Press your index fingers into the floor and press your outer bones inward. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, and spread them away from your spine.
5. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
This challenging backbend strengthens the entire back body and increases flexibility in the spine. It works the upper back muscles and improves posture by relieving back fatigue that causes us to slouch.
- Lie on your stomach with your legs together. Place your arms by your side with your palms facing up.
- On an inhale, keep your neck long and lift your legs, head, and upper body off the floor. Roll your shoulders back and engage your back muscles.
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