Did you know that a correct body posture can make you look tall, slim and, most importantly, confident? And yet, something as simple as a right posture is what most of us lack today. Today's modern lifestyle has strained the spine by keeping it curved for a long time. Sedentary jobs, long working hours and excessive use of gadgets make our body more slouch and hunched.
We are so engaged in these activities that we forget the way we sit, walk or, for that matter, the way we sleep! And that’s the reason we end up with pain in different parts of the body. By practicing some easy yoga poses regularly and also by simply being aware of the way you stand, sit or walk, you can get free yourself of body aches.
What is a correct posture?
Your body is said to be in the correct posture when it is aligned in such a way that the back is straight, shoulders squared and relaxed, chin up, chest out, and stomach in. Just like a straight line.
How yoga can help achieve this?
The first benefit of regular yoga practice is that it brings awareness. And a good posture is all about being aware of your body. Here is where yoga will help. Practice the following asanas (postures) with awareness to correct your body posture.
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose) – It is the best pose to learn the correct way to stand.
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – It helps open up the chest area and shoulders; also strengthens the back.
- All-Direction Back Stretch – An effective stretch to improve body posture, strengthen back muscles, lengthen the spine, and relax the tired back.
- Marjariasana (Cat Stretch) – Another good posture for the spine that helps make it more flexible.
- Shishu Asana (Child Pose) - A deeply relaxing exercise for the entire back and shoulders.
- Veerbhadrasana (Warrior Pose) - It is a very graceful yoga pose that soothes the shoulder plates and also massages the lower back and knees.
- Utakatasana(Chair Pose) - An excellent posture for lower back hips and knees. It relaxes and warms up the knees and hipbones.
Other tips to get your posture right
- Make a conscious effort not to slouch. Slouching causes our lungs to bend which constricts the flow of oxygen to the body and causes headaches. Try not to watch television slouching on the sofa. Instead, sit straight but comfortably.
- Sit correct. Most people complain of knee pain because they tend to sit with their ankles behind their knees. Make sure that your legs are well supported and the feet evenly on the ground. The ankles should be in line with the knees while sitting. Even while meditating, start the practice by sitting straight.
- Set reminders to keep your posture correct. This will help you particularly in the beginning. Put sticky notes on your work desk, near the TV set, on walls, or set reminders on your phone that keep telling you to sit, stand and walk straight.
- Carry your body weight equally on both the shoulders. This is an oft-repeated mistake made by most office-goers who carry laptops. As such, most people complain of consistent back or shoulder pain even at a young age. Try and carry a laptop bag with two straps, which equally distributes your body weight on both the shoulders. Otherwise, make sure that you keep shifting the bag from one shoulder to the other often.
- Follow the correct guidelines while lifting weight. Most people end up hurting their back in the process of lifting some heavy weight as they don’t follow the correct process in doing so. While lifting, always remember to bend your knees first and then the back.
A correct body posture will go a long way in keeping your body in shape as well as maintaining a smart, confident appearance.
Learn effective Postures from Art of Living Yoga Expert!
Based on inputs by Dr. Sejal Shah, Art of Living Yoga teacher.