Yoga For Back Health: 3 Ways to Improve Posture
Yoga is not only about spirituality and discipline but is also a useful practice for improving your posture. Many people don’t realise their posture is important, and continue throughout their daily lives without giving it any recognition whatsoever.
It is important to keep in mind that as we age, our posture naturally declines and through years of working and sitting in an office chair perhaps, this results in the spine bending over into a humpback position, which is known as hyperkyphosis. This is basically the curvature of the spine and when nothing is done about it, it can quickly become quite painful.
Our spines are the integral centre of the nervous system in our bodies, and when they are wrongly aligned, it can block energy flow and create issues. When the spine is correctly aligned, however, it allows energy to flow freely and hence keeps your body in its best condition.
So where does yoga come into this? And how can it help? Well by learning to practice certain movements, over time they will stretch the back and help lengthen the spine in a way that helps reverse hyperkyphosis.
The benefits of a healthier back are proven to be:
- Increased energy – With a stronger back, you will start to feel healthier as energy can flow freely without nothing blocking it. This means you will feel more energized and happier.
- Increased confidence – Walking with an arched back can not only make you appear unconfident but also feel it. When your back is in good shape you will definitely start to feel it and look more confident.
- Less pain – Of course, when practising certain Yoga positions over a number of years, your back will start to become healthier and therefore less painful as you age.
So how can you start improving your back posture with Yoga? Well here are 3 ways which are proven to do the trick.
Performing Certain Posture-Specific Poses
There are a variety of different posture friendly poses which many perform during a Yoga session. If you learn this, you can start to make a difference in no time. These include positions such as; the Tree Pose, Cat-Cow Pose, and the Bow Pose. These are explained below:
The Tree pose is comparable to that of a tree, tall and straight. It is a position which forces you to stand in the correct balance. With your left foot flat on the ground, and making sure your shoulders are aligned with your hips, this elongates the spine. Then lift the right foot and place it on the inside of the thigh. Hands must be placed in front of the heart in the prayer position. Stretching the head up towards the sky with your shoulders back will stretch the back and help to strengthen the spine.
The Cat-Cow pose is brilliant for posture and teaches you what proper posture is whilst helping you to develop it. Getting down on your hands and knees and facing forward, inhale and push your back upwards to the sky in what would be a hunched position. Then when exhaling, arch your back and push deep into the stomach. Doing this exercise a few times back and forth will help you to feel the difference between a normal and a neutral spine position, which will teach the back to know when it’s hunching.
Another great pose for a healthy back is the Bow Pose. This strengthens your back greatly! By starting on the stomach and reaching back to grasp your ankles, you inhale and pull your thighs and upper torso off the floor. Each time you inhale, you lift the heels higher and repeat. Doing this a couple of times helps the spine to realign into its correct position.
There are a number of different positions out there which can help to improve your posture and in turn create a healthier back. When performing Yoga, it is important to know exactly what each pose can do for your body, and by starting out looking for posture specific positions you will definitely be on your way to developing a better back.