Poor posture not only leads to compromised vertebrae alignment and poor nerve construction but also leads to poor blood circulation, digestive problems, impaired cardiovascular health and fatigue. A sustained poor posture can also impact your mood and invite unwanted muscle pain and discomfort as well. One of the best ways to turn avoid that is through regular yoga practice.
Practicing specific yoga exercises regularly can noticeably improve body posture, making you look more confident, slimmer and taller. A few poses can have you standing tall and help you develop strength in no time.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced yoga practitioner, incorporating the following asanas into your regular fitness regime can help improve posture and keep your muscles flexible as well.
Yoga Exercises to Improve Posture
Start with the following five asanas to straighten up your spine in no time:
1) Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
The bow pose is an effective backbend pose that helps restore spinal flexibility and strength.
To do this asana, lie on the floor with your face down and feet almost parallel to your hips. Position your arms on the side, and slowly fold both your knees up while raising your hands back at the same time.
Hold your ankles with your hands, and lift your chest. Pull your legs up, and gently stretch them out. Breathe deeply, and stay in this position for a few seconds. To come out of the pose, move your legs and chest back to the floor slowly, and relax.
2) Cat Cow Pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
The cat cow pose is an excellent yoga exercise that helps the spine regain its natural curve. To do this pose, start on your knees and hands, with your wrists under the shoulders while the knees are under your hips. Maintain a natural spine position, and keep your gaze down and neck long.
Slowly curl your toes with your heels pointed up, and tilt your pelvis to bring your tailbone up. Continue to move your spine up, and look towards the ceiling. Now put the top of your feet on the ground, and roll your pelvis to move your tailbone under. Bring your belly button up, and slowly tilt your neck down. Make sure to move your spine as you do this pose.
3) Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
This pose helps you develop a stronger core and challenges your balance. It opens the back of the heart and supports the spine.
To do this yoga asana correctly, start by bending your legs and positioning your arms by your sides. Shift your bodyweight to your right foot, and lift your left foot off the ground. Cross your left thigh over your right thigh, and hook your left foot around the right calf muscle.
Move your arms in front of you, and bend your arms as you cross your right arm over the left to connect them at the elbows. Bring both forearms together while wrapping your left palm around the right with both wrists crossed. Lift your elbows to shoulder height, and maintain a neutral spine throughout. Hold for a few breaths, and relax.
4) Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
The tree pose replicates the stance of a tree and assists you in standing straight and tall.
To do this pose, stand upright, with your feet at shoulder distance. Shift your balance to your left foot, and put the sole of your right foot onto your left inner thigh or calf. Balance yourself, and lift your hands overhead. Keep your gaze straight, and hold for a few seconds. Relax, and repeat on the other side.
5) Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
This is a rejuvenating yoga pose that helps energize the body and gently stretch the entire spine.
To do this asana, stand straight with your feet at shoulder width distance and hands on the hips or waist. Bend forward, and soften your knees while folding your body from your hips.
To make the position comfortable, move your tailbone and hips slightly back as the rest of the body moves forward. Move your hands to the floor, or simply hold your ankles. Press into your heels, and turn your thighs inward as you stretch.
Practicing the aforementioned yoga exercises can help strengthen the back and also improve your posture. These poses can reverse the adverse effects of prolonged sitting and poor posture and improve blood circulation as well.