Have you been suffering from intense back ache and a stiff neck off-late? Your posture could be the culprit. We, quite often, do not care about the way we sit or stand, and over a period of time, this paves way for aches and sprains that do not go away even with long term medications. That is where yoga comes to your help. While there are many best yoga poses for posture improvement, here are 10 simple postures of yoga that could even be practiced by beginners. Glide through to get a hang of these poses.
The article is divided into 5 sections – standing, sitting, supine, prone, and inversion positions. Each position acts in a different way, but helps in improving your posture.
Standing Yoga Postures:
1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose:This is a very simple-looking, yet active yoga pose. Good for your back and thighs, this pose when practiced the right way could improve your posture. Along with helping you breathe properly, the Mountain Pose strengthens your entire body.
- For better posture
- Stronger ankles, knees, and thighs
- Strengthens and improves the mobility of your hips and legs
- Tones your abs and butts
- Improves spine strength and flexibility
- Eases pains experienced by the entire body
- Enhances blood circulation
- Allows you to harmonize your physical and mental activities
- Creates awareness about your body and breathing
2. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose:This is one of my favorite posture improvement poses as I literally experience my spine elongating as I bend forward to touch my toes. Stand erect, take a deep breath, and allow your body to fall away from the hips in such a way that you can touch your toes, or even better the floor.
- Elongates and strengthens the spine while improving its flexibility
- Strengthens the knees, thighs, hips, and hamstrings
- Eases tension experienced in the back, spine, and neck
- Calms the tensed nerves, eases depression and stress
- Eases backache and headache
- Tones and strengthens the abdomen, spleen, liver and kidneys
Sitting Yoga Postures:
3. Virasana – Seated Hero Pose:Bye, bye, slouch! Practicing this yoga for posture improvement will yield benefits from day 1. You have to sit in between your legs and there is no other choice than sitting erect. If you have a knee issue, take the help of a cushion. Alternatively, you can use an ergonomic chair that will help you practice this pose on the chair, while retaining the benefits.
- Helps in posture improvement
- Improves blood circulation to the feet, easing its fatigue
- Elongates and strengthens the feet, ankles, knees, thighs, and hips
- Tones your abdomen
- Therapeutic benefits for asthma
4. Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose:Along with your back, your shoulders and arms should also be in shape for your posture to be correct and this is one of the ideal yoga sitting postures for that. Along with easing the tension experienced by your shoulders, it helps in stretching the shoulders as well as arms. The focus is on the shoulders and hips – both of which are prone to pain and tension.
- Stretches your shoulders, chest, arm pits, laterals, triceps, hips, spine, thighs, and ankles
- Improves your posture
- Strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles
- Relaxes and eases the entire body
- Eases tension experienced in the shoulders and hips
- Ideal for easing pain and inflammation experienced due to sciatica
Supine Yoga Postures:
5. Sethubandhasana – Bridge Pose:This supine yoga pose is a gentle backward bending pose that helps in opening up the shoulders and chest, which otherwise get tight due to incorrect postures. This strengthens and elongates your spine while strengthening your back muscles. If you are finding it tough to hold yourself, use a cushion or a block to support yourself.
- Strengthens the hamstrings, butts, abs, and back
- Elongates and strengthens the hips, spine, neck, and chest
- Strengthens the arms
- Stimulates and tones the abs
- Eases chronic back ache and tired legs
- Therapeutic benefits for arthritis and osteoporosis
6. Naukasana – Boat Pose:With your hands and legs stretched out and head kept high, your body will look akin to a boat. While it could be a little difficult to balance your legs and hands together, regular practice will definitely help you get out of your back pain. However, if you are suffering from intense headaches, migraine, or have some chronic health disorders, please check with your doctor before practicing this yoga for posture improvement. Pregnant women and women whose periods are ongoing should refrain from practicing Naukasana.
- Corrects your posture by strengthening the back
- Strengthens and tones the hips, back, abdomen, neck, and shoulders
- Tones your arms and legs
- Helps to get rid of belly fat
- Improves blood circulation levels
- Helps women with their menstrual and menopausal problems
Prone Yoga Postures:
7. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose:This is the most effective pose to strengthen your back. Childbirth often has a huge impact on your back and the pain is quite unbearable. Practicing this pose regularly after your delivery helps to ease that pain. Take a deep breath and try to lift your upper body, right from the hips and bend backwards gently till you feel the stretch. Performing this pose regularly bestows you with a flatter tummy too.
- Improves your posture by easing the stiff back
- A good stretch for your abs, back, chest, and shoulders
- Strengthens the shoulders and arms
- Improves your flexibility
- Tones the lower abdomen and strengthens it
- Tones the butts
- Opens up the chest, enabling better absorption of oxygen
- Regulates menstrual cycles
- Eases anxiety, stress, and depression
- Strengthens your spine
- Beneficial for relief from sciatica
8. Salabhasana – Locust Pose:This is yet another prone posture of yoga for strengthening your back. My guru had advised me to practice this when I started experiencing sciatica pain after lifting weights at the gym. Spend just 10 minutes a day and in 2 days you can experience the difference. Along with relaxing a tight back, this pose improves flexibility and eases the pain experienced on your back and behind your thighs.
- Eases the stiffness experienced by the spine and back
- Strengthens the lower back muscles
- Strengthens the shoulders and arms
- Relieves sciatic and chronic lower back ache
- Eases digestive disorders
Inversion Yoga Postures:
9. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose:Your body will look like a doggy that is stretching out to relax himself. The benefits are so fabulous that you will be tempted to practice this pose regularly. Along with helping you unwind, relax and rejuvenate, this pose is known to ease back pain triggered by incorrect postures.
- Stretches your hamstrings, calves, hands, and shoulders
- Elongates and strengthens the legs and arms
- Regulates and eases menopausal and menstrual issues
- Regular practice eases chronic lower back and shoulder pains
- Ideal to obtain relief from sciatica
- Eases stress and calms your mind
- Prevents osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
10. Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand:This is called the mother of all asanas as it helps you harmonize and coordinate your entire system. The good thing is that this asana comes with a multitude of benefits, offering relief from various ailments. An inversion yoga pose, it helps in stretching and toning the entire body as you balance yourself against the gravitational force.
- Corrects the structure by strengthening your back
- Strengthens the legs, abdomen, and upper body
- Stretches and strengthens the neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Opens up stiff chest muscles
- Eases varicose veins
- Tones and strengthens the pelvis
- Eases anxiety and fatigue by improving blood circulation levels
General Tips For Improving Posture:
- Be aware of the way you sit, stand, and sleep.
- Sit erect always, consciously avoiding slouching.
- Keep reminders to correct your posture.
- Lift weights the right way.
- Try sitting on a chair instead of slouching on a sofa.
Practicing the above outlined yoga poses for posture improvement regularly without fail will definitely help you to improve your posture. Combine this by creating self-awareness about your posture and you will definitely feel the vast difference it brings about!