Namastay at my desk all day— does this sound like you? If you’re among the 86 percent of American desk workers, then you can likely relate to spending the majority of your days sitting at a desk. It happens to the best of us and is sometimes completely inevitable; we slouch, roll our shoulders forward, and in turn, our muscles shorten and become weak.
Practicing yoga to improve posture is an easy way to combat some health ailments that come with sitting for too long. Plus, most physical asanas physically strengthen the core while also mentally building awareness, which offers a solid workout for both your mind and body!
Next time you feel yourself sitting for too long, try these yoga for posture correction poses that will help improve your flexibility and strength, while also introducing some movement into your life.
Stand up nice and tall with your feet parallel under your hips. Roll your shoulders back, relax your neck and let your arms hang by your side. While it may seem like you’re only standing, Mountain Pose is actually a very engaged yoga position. Feel your feet press against the ground, stay strong in your core and close your eyes. As you stand tall and strong, focus on your spinal alignment and posture.
Kneeling on your mat, place your palms on your lower back to protect the lumbar spine and push the hips forward. Opening your chest, allow your heart to open towards the sky while floating your gaze up and back. This pose counteracts the constant forward position we hold while sitting at the desk and while also looking at our phones.
Laying face down, bend the knees placing the bottom of your feet towards the sky. Grab your ankles with your hands and keep the knees hip width apart. On an inhale, breathe through your belly and allow your legs to kick back, stretching through your arms and shoulders. Breathe through this posture for 5-10 breaths focusing on opening the chest and rolling the shoulders away from the ears. Try to keep your thighs lifted off the mat.
Facing the mat, place your hands under your shoulders and align your hips with your heels. Push yourself up and brace your core, keeping the spine in neutral alignment. Stabilizing the core will strengthen the surrounding muscles, allowing the body to support itself more while sitting at a desk.
Cat Cow Pose
Align the body on all fours with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. On an inhale, round the back and tuck the chin. On the exhale, arch the back and lift the chin. Moving between the two poses, try to move the spine vertebrae by vertebrae. After 10-15 breaths, take a moment at a neutral position to simulate good posture.
Practicing yoga poses for slouching will help build a strong core and increase awareness of the body, while also improving your posture. These poses focus on strengthening and stretching the back, abdominals, shoulders, and chest, which can help prevent kyphosis and keep you standing tall. Good posture is something we sometimes neglect, but it is actually a powerhouse for strong health. With a solid posture, we can help prevent many common ailments such as lower back pain, headaches, and fatigue.
Whether your goal is to get through the work day with more comfort or to take care of your overall health, implementing yoga poses for posture correction into your at home yoga routine can improve far more than just slouched shoulders and sore backs.
About the Author
Courtney Paige Johnson is a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer living in Phoenix, AZ. She has been teaching fitness classes for over eight years and has several certifications including yoga, Pilates, and strength training. In 2017, Courtney completed her M.S. from Arizona State University in Community Resources and Development where she researched exercise motivation in the wellness tourism industry.