5 yoga poses to help improve your posture!
Posture is an element of your body that is so important to pay attention to and work on! Posture has multiple useful benefits including helping with proper blood, and keeping your muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons healthy and strong ! Simply, correcting your posture lowers your chances of experiencing neck and back pain!
With many of us working at home and on desks, it is easy to find us sluggish and in pain. It is important to take the time in your day to work on some techniques to better improve your posture. We recommend including some of our favourite position focused poses into your daily yoga routine!
1. Reverse Prayer
To do this pose, we recommend sitting comfortably. Bring your arms behind your back and join your palms and fingertips together facing downward. Taking a deep breath, as you inhale gently rotate your fingers to have them face upwards. Hold this stretch for as long as you feel you need. Once you feel the stretch is complete, slowly release and bring your arms back to their resting position.
If this feels inaccessible, you can modify this stretch, by taking a hold of your forearms or wrists behind your back; instead of meeting the palms together.
This is one of the most commonly known poses, for a good reason! The Cat-cow pose is an easier asana to do with limited stretching or warming up prior to, making it a perfect pose to include in your daily posture practice. First, get on both hands and knees; bringing the hands under the shoulder and knees hip width apart. Inhale while dropping the belly to the floor while looking up and bringing the tailbone to the sky. As you exhale, round the spine as you slowly tuck your belly and press the mat away from you. This movement helps warm up the spine and allows blood to move through the body helping with overall spine health.
3. Supportive Fish
The supported fish pose is one of yoga’s most traditional asanas and is well known for its usefulness to stretch your chest, neck and throat. This pose is a necessity pose for those who spend lots of time on a computer or people who experience shoulder and neck pain.
This pose can be done in multiple ways depending on your needs and abilities. Start with two blocks, one under your head and the second between your shoulder blades. Lay your arms out to the side and let your legs rest straight on the floor. You will feel the expansion of your neck and back begin to open.
If this feels too stressful on your neck, this pose can be modified to allow you to enjoy the pose in a way that is suitable for you. Instead of using blocks, you can get a towel or blanket and place it under your shoulder blades. Allow your neck and legs to remain on the ground stretched out as your arms remain lying to your side. You should feel a slightly more comfortable stretch in this modification.
Cobra is a great asana for strengthening the back, while opening up the chest and shoulders.
To do this pose, begin lying down on your stomach completely flat on the floor. Then roll your shoulders back while gently pressing your elbows inwards towards your sides. Reach back through your legs and push down with your arms, while slowing sending your chest forwards and up. Remember to keep your neck long and legs actively engaged as you continue to roll your shoulders and back down. To exit this pose, on an exhalation release your shoulders back downwards towards the floor.
Lastly, the bridge pose is another great pose you can include in your practice to help you improve your posture and strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.
Lie down on your back while bending your knees hip width apart. Rest your neck completely and have your hands resting on the floor. Take a deep breath in, press your feet into the ground, and raise your hips upwards towards the sky while focusing on engaging the core and glutes. You can even put your hands on your lower core close to the hip bones to make sure you are engaging there. Try to lift your hips high enough to feel the stretch while only going as high as your body feels comfortable doing.