Yoga Poses For Good Posture
Posted On March 28, 2020
Don’t we all want better posture? Better posture is associated with greater confidence, greater influence and better health.
Many people go into yoga with the aim of improving their posture, along with their flexibility and strength.
In this post, we’ll think about what ‘good posture’ actually means, figure out why it’s so important and I’ll give you some yoga poses that might be able to help!
What is ‘good posture’?
The ideal posture would be described as walking or standing upright with a neutral spine. This would be a balanced upright posture with the shoulders down and relaxed, with the abdomen tucked in.
On the other hand, bad posture would look like slumped shoulders and an over-arched spine, with the abdomen protruding.
Getting good posture doesn’t always come naturally to a lot of us. And this could be for a number of different reasons. For example, not aligning the spine correctly, spending too much time slumped over a desk.
Whatever the reason, we can definitely improve our posture, however it can take a little time and work. It’s easy to set the goal for having better posture, but sometimes we forget that it’s something we need to work on literally every day whether we are sat down, stood up or walking around.
So if you notice your posture at the moment is a little less than ideal, it might take a bit of work and conscious effort to get where you’d like but it is possible.
Why is it important?
So why is having good posture so important?
Good posture is naturally the way our body is supposed to fall. When we have good posture, our body is supported in the most ideal way. It properly distributes the weight in your muscles and ligaments, so there isn’t extra strain on certain areas of the body.
The benefits of good posture include:
Reducing muscle fatigue
When we properly align our body, we put minimal stress on our joints and muscles, because effectively everything is where it needs to be. This helps our muscles to work more efficiently, reducing the amount they need to work just to keep everything going.
Reduce your risk of injury
When we have good posture, our joints are properly aligned. This means that when we are exercising or practicing yoga, everything falls into place a little easier. Injury can sometimes be caused by not properly aligning our bodies during exercise, or due to excess strain on certain joints or muscles. Therefore, better posture means fewer injuries.
Less back pain
Your posture has a lot of influence over how your back feels day-to-day. So many people struggle with back pain nowadays, it’s a common problem. There are many ways to decrease back pain, however lots of people don’t realise it may come down to something as simple as posture.
And improving our back pain can improve a variety of different ailments that may have been in the body due to the back pain!
How can yoga help?
If you’re just starting out with yoga and haven’t paid much attention to your posture previously, you will probably notice how important proper alignment is for yoga as you step into your first yoga class.
A simple pose such as mountain pose can really highlight whether or not your posture is in check. Give this a try now:
Stand with your legs together, feet touching.
Tense your quads, glutes and abdomen so everything feels tight. Imagine a piece of string going from the crown of your head to the ceiling, maintaining your upright posture.
Make sure your tailbone is tucked in throughout and press your shoulder blades back into your back, opening your chest.
Keep your arms by your side, slightly away from the body with palms facing forward.
Although this is a pose you are likely to come across often in your yoga practice, if you’re really serious about improving your posture on a daily basis, you could try practicing this each day. Get yourself to the right place and stay here for 1-2 minutes each day.
Not only will this improve your posture and help your body become familiar with how good posture should feel, your physical strength and mental self discipline will also increase.
Whilst plank pose is more of a strength-based pose, these types of poses are still so important for correcting poor posture. If you want good posture, you will need some muscle strength. Practicing strength-based poses alongside those which align your spine could help you yield maximum results.
Spread your fingers wide on the ground and make sure your wrists are underneath your shoulders. Make sure your feet are hip-width distance apart.
Press away from the earth as you lift yourself up, keeping the quads, glutes and abdomen active.
Make sure your hips are in line with your shoulders. It’s likely that your hips will be a little too high if you’re not used to this pose, so stay conscious of brining them down.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Warrior 2 pose can also help with aligning your body in the right posture.
You can start this post from mountain pose (above).
Turn one foot slightly out and bring the other leg towards the back, leaning towards the outer edge of this back foot whilst you bend your front leg.
As you move into this, bring your arms out, with one in front and one behind you.
Breathe through any discomfort that arises and try to sink deeper into the post as you do this.
More benefits to come…
So I’d encourage you to give these poses a try! There are so many more mental benefits that come with good posture such as better confidence, better assertion and feeling more in control.
This post has really delved into the physical side of better posture, however I’d love to write a post on the mental benefits of better posture, and again how yoga can tie into this.
Let me know what you think!