Yoga Poses to Improve Posture and Quality of Life

The mountain pose (Tadasana) may seem simple, but when done correctly, it is actually quite complex. It teaches you to feel when your body is in perfect vertical alignment and takes a lot of practice and correction to be able to do it on your own. The cat and cow stretch (Chakravakrasana) is excellent for helping you discover the ideal and natural curves of the spine. By moving your spine from flexion (cat) to extension (cow), passing through the center each time, you learn to judge the neutral position more precisely.

The bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) is a gentle backward flexion that opens up the chest and shoulders, two areas that are often restricted in people with poor posture. It will also strengthen your back and give more support to your spine.The eagle pose (Garudasana) challenges your balance and helps you develop a strong trunk. A strong core supports the spine. Eagle arms open the back of the heart (between the shoulder blades).

The mountain pose may seem like just standing, but it's the epitome of correct posture. With your feet hip-width apart and a microflexion in your knees, place your feet against the mat, place your hips in a neutral position and tuck your tailbone slightly below.The tree posture forces you to adopt a proper posture to maintain your balance. Support your left foot and make sure that your shoulders are aligned with your hips and your elongated spine. Raise your right foot and press the sole of your foot against the inner part of your left thigh.

By standing tall and proud like a warrior, your confidence and posture will benefit.From Downward Dog, place your right foot between your hands and turn your back foot 45 degrees. Bend your right knee so that your thigh is parallel to the floor, stand up with your fingertips extended to the sky. Yoga poses also emphasize correcting the alignment of hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. This sense of proper structural alignment is great for improving posture.As the poses are adjusted to achieve an optimal position, students get into the habit of ideal alignment and can maintain the poses correctly and for longer.

If you're new to practicing yoga and don't know where to start, learn more about the poses by completing this free 30-day yoga challenge. These yoga poses can help counteract any tendency to hunch over, as well as increase body awareness and muscle strength, all of which will go a long way toward improving your posture.Regularly incorporating any or all of these yoga poses into your practice can help improve posture, avoid chronic back pain, increase confidence, lighten up body weight, and strengthen muscles. Yoga movements such as cat and cow movements have been shown to help increase flexibility and mobility of the spine, which can improve quality of life. Even outside the yoga studio, students maintain the habit of aligning themselves correctly and are likely to correct their hunched posture in the office or at home.

Theresa Duerr
Theresa Duerr

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