We often don’t realise we are slouching or hunching, particularly over desks as we work; and whilst we’ve spent more time than ever working from home in make-shift offices, posture is incredibly important. Poor posture can cause back pain, cardiovascular issues, and even digestion issues. Plus there are mental side effects such as depression and low mood or energy. Doing these simple stretches everyday can greatly improve your posture as well as give a few minutes of the day to focus on your mind and body.
Now initially, some of these poses might look very difficult, particularly if you’re new to yoga. However, just remember that a little work everyday will help you achieve your yoga goals – don’t expect to get them straight away!
The plank pose builds up your core strength which is critical to good posture, and keep you standing tall. When laying on your front, make sure you spread your fingers wide and your feet are in line with your hips in terms of distance. Press the floor away with your hands and make sure you can feel all your leg muscles working. Keep your hips to be in line with your shoulders and then hold up to 30 seconds.
Gomhukhasana or Cow Face Arms can be practiced either sitting in a chair or sitting on the floor. If you’re sitting a chair, make sure your feet are properly grounded. Lift your right arm upwards and bend your elbow to reach your fingers down your back. Wrap your left arm behind your back, reaching towards your right arm. Slowly move your hands close together as possible. If you can’t hold hands just yet, use a scarf or a yoga band. Keep the position for five breaths and then switch arm positions.
The camel pose is ideal to fix the damage done by hunching over a computer or desk. Start on your knees and press your palsm into your low back. Push your hips forward and elevate your chest. Then, one hand at a time, reach towards your ankles and hold for 3 breaths.
The Cobra pose will strengthen your arms as well as opening the upper back and your shoulders. Laying on your front, place your hands beneath your shoulders. Press down on your palms to lift your head, neck, and chest. Squeeze your elbows into your body and hold for 5 breaths.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog is one of the first yoga positions learnt in yoga. it strengthens the arms, shoulder, and core whilst opening the thighs, back, chest, and shoulders. From the plank pose, push your hips up and back. Make sure your heels are hip-width distance apart and reaching towards the mat, but don’t worry if they don’t reach. Straighten your arms making sure your fingers are spread widely for good distribution. Relax your head and neck, push your shoulders away from your ears and look towards your toes. Stay for 5 breaths.
Do you have any favourite yoga positions to help your posture? Tell us in the comments below.