How you look and feel is directly related to your posture. Despite the importance of having good posture, most of us don’t do anything to improve it. We go about our lives with forward head, curved backs and imbalanced hips, and deal with pain because we think it’s normal. If you haven’t been paying attention to your posture, it’s probably high time to pay attention to your postures.
Correcting your posture may feel awkward at first because your body has become so used to sitting and standing in a particular way. You need to retrain your body to sit and stand correctly, this can improve your body awareness and confidence that your back is a strong resilient structure. Initially, this may require a bit of conscious effort and some strengthening and flexibility exercises to correct muscle imbalances. But with a bit of practice, good posture will become second nature and be one step to helping your back in the long term . Because posture often expresses attitudes and emotions we are experiencing, attention to it can bring a greater awareness of your underlying attitudes, moods, and feelings.
Head forward, shoulders forward, rounded upper back, curved forward neck, depressed chest, rounded lower back, overstretched abdominal, pot bellies, abnormal rib-cage alignment, and altered spine curvature are examples of defective poor postures. Pot bellies and Donald Duck postural defects are very common. They result when the lower back experiences an exaggerated curve.
Good posture is nothing more than keeping your body alignment perfect and relaxed. Good posture while standing is a straight back, squared shoulders, chin up, chest out, stomach in, feet forward, your hips and knees in a neutral position. If you can draw a straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee, to the middle of your ankle—–you’ve got it.
Get an honest posture assessment. Ask a friend to take full body pictures while you are walking, standing, sitting and lying down. Ask her take the pictures from the front, the side, and behind. Then review the postures in the pictures. You yourself also can do posture assessment. Close your eyes and march slowly towards a long mirror. Do not change your posture just notice the curves in your body. Look at your neck and head. Where is your head, does it come forward away from your shoulders? Or does sit directly on top of your spine?
Yoga Poses for Posture Correction
Here are six great yoga poses to correct your posture.
1. Cat/Cow Flow Poses
By flowing between the Cat and Cow Pose, you will gently massage your spine and inner organs in the belly area. In this flow of poses the beginning of the Cat Pose will actually be the ending of the Cow Pose and the beginning of the Cow Pose will actually be the ending of the Cat Pose.
2. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
It stretches the entire front body and shoulders, thighs, and hip flexors and is great for someone who sits all day because it helps to open up the chest and improve posture. Suitable for almost everyone. Except those, who have health problems. Beginners who aren’t able to reach their heels can use a block (or stack of books) on the outside of each foot.
3. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This is an ideal pose for strengthening the back and opening the chest. Place your hands on the mat in front of you in a sphinx position and then slowly straighten your arms into your full extension of cobra. Bring your shoulders away from your ears, while keeping your pelvis and toes on the mat.
4. Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)
Stand up straight, keep your back straight too. Bend your legs a little. Start bending forward to your legs, moving your stomach towards your thighs. When it becomes impossible to keep your back straight, lower your head and grab your legs with your hands. Try to touch the back of your ankles with your palms. It keeps your spine strong and flexible. Relieves tension from the spine, neck, and back.
5. Half moon pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
Stand up straight. Raise your arms through your sides. Clasp them over your head, stretching your index fingers up. Bend your torso to the right, keeping your arms straight and stretching to the side. Like that after 3o second bend towards left. Do this for ten times.
6. Fish pose (Matsyendrasana)
It allows the body to float quite easily like a fish. Stay flat on your back, and bring your feet together. With your arms straight by your sides, lay your palms on the floor, then tuck your hands in underneath your buttocks. Having arched your spine, tilt your head so that your crown rests on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. To come out of the Fish, slide your head back and then lower your chest. To finish, relax by lying in the Corpse. It Stretches the chest and neck.