How Yoga Creates and Sustains Good Posture

Regina Due
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Everyone can tell you that practicing yoga is good for your health – both mentally and physically. Studies have shown that yoga practitioners have better heart health, better mental health, and also have increased mobility as they age. Another important benefit is the positive impact yoga can also have on your posture.
 

Below are just some of the ways that yoga can help you attain and sustain good posture:

 
A regular yoga practice balances the musculature of your body.

A large part of bad posture can be blamed on a weak back, a weak core, and a general tendency to slouch. When one muscle group is stronger than the other, the body has to overcompensate for the disproportion, which results in bad posture. Yoga poses help strengthen and balance, helping to realign your posture overall.
 
Yoga increases body awareness.

Unless you have an ergonomic desk, long hours at the office almost always result in you slouching by the end of the day. This is normal, since it’s very hard to remain present and mindful after hours of focused concentration on a task. Yoga can help you with changing your posture habits because people who regularly practice yoga tend to be more aware of their bodies. When you have more body awareness, you are more likely to notice and correct yourself when slouching.
 
Many yoga poses specifically target the spine, shoulders, and chest.

Through a steady practice of yoga, the physical poses begin to open up the chest and keep the shoulders back (two necessary ingredients to alleviate slouching). Poses like Cat/Cow strengthen the upper back by relieving tension. Other poses like Bridge, Locust, and Cobra help open the chest and strengthen the spine while reinforcing positive habits like drawing the shoulders down and away from the ears.
 
Regular yoga sessions build lasting strength.

Weight-bearing poses are strengthening poses. Poses such as Downward Dog, Upward Dog, Plank, and the Warriors are all incredibly effective at strengthening the body. As your muscles grow stronger, your ability to hold yourself in proper alignment – be it in a yoga pose or at your desk – will become easier and easier until ultimately it becomes second nature, much like the progression of your Down Dog.
 

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your yoga practice for better posture:

 
1. The clothes you wear can make or break your workout.

Go for comfort over style. Make sure you are wearing a comfortable bra that does not hurt your spine and pants that you can move in freely.
 
2. Find poses that are known to improve spine health.

Though all yoga poses offer some form of benefit for your body, there are certain poses that specifically target your spine, chest, and shoulders. Ask your yoga teacher about poses they recommend for your specific posture needs.
 

 
3. Don’t forget your vitamins!

A diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients can also help reduce back issues. Calcium and vitamin D are important for strong bones.
 
4. Yoga should never hurt.

Don’t push yourself too much! Your body is always communicating with you – so listen! If a pose or exercise causes you pain, that’s your body asking you to back off. Start slow and build progressively. Pushing yourself past your limits risks injury.
 
As yogis we are already well aware of the powerful benefits that a regular yoga practice yields. From the physical and mental conditioning, to the therapeutic benefits, yoga is beautifully multifaceted. Your yoga practice will help straighten out your mind as well as your posture. Cheers to good posture!
This article and all included information is not intended as medical advice and does not treat or diagnose. Please consult your doctor for any health-related questions or concerns.
 

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Regina Due

Regina is a yoga and fitness aficionado. She empowers women through her writing and fitness tips. If she’s not writing or doing yoga, you can catch her surfing the web for the latest at The Upside.

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