Are you a sloucher? If you’re like the common computer user or 9-5 worker, you probably are. Most people spend an average of 12 hours a day sitting in front of a screen—something which can wreak havoc on your posture.
If posture is a concern for you, yoga may be the solution. Yoga strengthens the core, lengthens the spine, and increases body awareness. Plus, it’s fun and relaxing and offers a nice break when you’re sitting in front of the computer all day. The following poses are some of the best for stretching out and strengthening your back.
1. Standing Forward Bend
To perform this pose, start in the standing position. Exhale as you fold over at your waist and allow your head to drop toward the floor. Fold your arms below your head, like an upside-down genie. As you release your arms, inhale, open your chest, and flatten your back. Then exhale and fold up again. You can quite literally feel your spine lengthen.
2. Child Pose
Also known as the resting pose, this position begins by sitting on your heels. Exhale as you fold yourself over and stretch your arms out in front of you. You can also rest your arms on the floor beside your legs if that is more enjoyable. Remain in this position as long as is comfortable.
3. Hero Pose
The hero pose should not be performed if you have trouble with your knees. To perform this pose, sit on your heels and lengthen yourself like you are trying to touch your head to the ceiling. Sit up straight and relax your arms and body.
4. Locust Pose
Lay on your stomach on the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you. As you inhale, lift your legs, arms, head, and upper chest off the floor, like you are flying. Lower as you exhale.
5. Cobra Pose
As with the Locust Pose, lay on the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you. Pull your arms in so that your hands lay flat under your shoulders. Slowly straighten your arms until your chest is raised off the ground. Continue lifting your head, open your chest, and imagine yourself basking in the sun.
Poor posture affects more than just your appearance—an occupational health expert with an online safety degree says office workers often experience back problems and injuries as the result of poor posture in the workplace. While you might not expect it, yoga can be the answer to your posture problems—especially if you spend your days at a desk. If performed properly, it can have an immense effect on your posture. So get away from the computer, pull out your mat, and get posing.