In contemporary times, it’s quite easy to get lost in all the hubbub between work & school and forget about the essentials of self-care. However, it’s easy for you to get back on the bike towards proper fitness. Amazingly, it doesn’t have to involve a lot of physical effort on your part. Yoga just happens to the centerpiece in this elixir.
For quite a while now, there has been a lot of talk about the importance of yoga. The distinction on what it really is still seems lost in the minds of many. At its very fundamental element, yoga can be an excellent way for you to stretch out and correct bad posture.
Unbeknownst to many, bad posture is prevalent in modern society. The long hours spent sitting before desks and computer screens actually do take a massive toll on not just your eyes, but also your metabolism and posture. If left unchecked, the long-term effects may lead to avoidable circumstances like depression and obesity. Other life-threatening issues like cardiovascular complications, back pain, and digestive troubles can also occur when bad posture habits are ignored.
As such, it’s important to start the self-care regimen early in advance before things spiral out of control. In our analysis today, we’ll be looking to provide a couple of pointers that will help you get on the mend in no time.
The breakdown features a couple of excellent yoga poses that focus more on the back and shoulders to help you achieve that upright posture. After a couple of practice sessions, you’ll find yourself able to connect better with others emotionally and have an aura of positive invincibility. Sounds great right? Let’s dive in!
It’s always a good idea to start easy. The mountain pose is quite simplistic since it’s almost akin to standing in place. The ease of execution should not be translated to mean that there’s little benefit in the exercise. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The mountain pose is regarded as the core foundation for all standing postures. By practicing the move, you’re bound to see noticeable changes in improved posture, confidence, and stability.
- Assume a standing position and have your feet together with the hip-width apart. Raise up your toes and have them spread wide before firmly planting them on the floor. As you do this, you’ll feel your weight at the sole of each foot.
- Pull up your kneecaps before proceeding to squeeze in the thighs with the tailbone tucked right under. Doing this will enable you to feel the hips positioned right above the ankles. Keep in mind that in this maneuver, the legs are straight. However, the knees will not be locked back.
- Gently inhale and raise up the waist. As you do so, the crown of the head should be facing skywards.
- Exhale and have the shoulders drop down whilst your fingertips reach out for the floor. During the move, you need to press the chest forwards.
- Keep reaching towards the floor with your fingers and inhale with the arms up. Ideally, the arms need to come to a H position with the palms at about shoulder height.
- Exhale and move the shoulders down from the ears whilst maintaining contact with the crown of the head and the fingers pointing upwards.
- Keep breathing and hold for about four to eight breaths.
- In the final move, exhale with the arms down on your sides or have the palms come together before your chest.
Doing this pose right before bed after hours of a grueling travel experience can be quite pleasant. This is because the yoga move relaxes and invigorates the mind and body simultaneously. At times, it may be incredibly hard for you to get back to normal sitting posture due to the comfort levels.
Photo Credits: https://yourviewsite.co/heart-chakra-yin-yoga-sequence/
- You’re going to need two yoga blocks to kick things off.
- The two blocks will be instrumental in the stretch exercise. For enhanced support, the top block should rest on the tallest height. Alternatively, both blocks can be set on the medium height to achieve a “T” configuration.
- The longer section of the “T” should be situated between your shoulder blades. On the other hand, the top block at the “T” is where your head should lie.
- You need to take your time to find that sweet spot between the blocks for you to be comfortable.
- Ease your body into the blocks and relax your shoulders. Your palms need to be right by your sides.
- Remain in this position for no longer than 5 minutes.
The Plank Pose
This yoga pose will prove to be priceless if you’re looking to build your core strength.
Photo credits: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/plank-pose
Getting to It
- Have the fingers spread wide and the hip width maintained at a distance.
- Press against the floor with the hands whilst ensuring that the leg muscles are active. This means that the thighs need to lift the kneecaps with the energy going all the way to the back of your heels.
- Raise your hips to be right in line with your shoulders without ever letting them sag or sink towards the floor.
- To ensure that the core remains active, draw the navel inwards to the spine and activate the abdominal lock.
- Keep at it and hold the pose over 30 seconds before extending the routine to a minute.
This yoga pose is also referred to as the Bhujangasana and is renown for strengthening the arms and opening the shoulders and upper back.
Photo credits: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/cobra-pose
- With your belly on the floor, put your hands right beneath the shoulders.
- Spread out your fingers out wide and slowly press downwards to raise your chest, neck and head off the floor.
- Without applying any strain to the neck, gently squeeze the elbows to the side body and tuck the chin a bit.
- Hold this position for no more than 5 breaths and repeat 2-3 rounds.
- Let go and assume a Child’s Pose.
Bridge Yoga Pose
This move is quite important since it will help you open up the neck and spine regions as it strengthens the lower body. The regimen is quite good since it allows for some degree of comfort in execution. This means that you can decide on just how deep to go purely based on how your body is feeling.
Photo credit: https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/bridge-pose
Getting to It
- With your back on the mat, have your palms facing downwards on your side and your knees upwards as the soles of your feet are planted on the mat.
- The feet need to be close to the fingers and the hips-width not touching.
- During inhalation, raise the hips to the ceiling and press downwards on your hands and the soles of your feet.
- Hold this position for about 3 breaths.
- During exhalation, lower your back one vertebrae at a go.
- In the subsequent round, start as your first did, inhaling with hips towards the ceiling.
- For a deeper backbend, place your hands behind your back and have the shoulders roll right under.
- Hold this position for 3 breaths before exhaling as your release one vertebrae at a go.
- In the third round, you can choose to redo either the first technique or the second.
This excellent yoga pose conveniently helps undo the hunching that typically occurs after you sit by your desk over extended periods. The pose is also referred to as Ustrasana and is vital if you’re looking for ways to open up your shoulders, throat, and heart.
Photo credits: http://www.marthyfit.com/2017/09/14/ponte-2-2-8-2-2/
- Careful to shield the lumbar spine, press your palms into your lower back.
- Move your hips forward and gently lift your heart.
- Set your sights upwards whilst maintaining the things active with the shoulders quite a distance from the ears.
- Hold this pose for about 3 breaths before stopping.
Cow Face Arms
This yoga pose is regarded as one of the easiest to do. So much so that you don’t need to have a mat at the ready to get it done. You can pull off the regimen even while seated at the office or on a couch.
- To kickstart the move, it all depends on where you’re seated. If you’re on a chair, you’re going to have to ground both feet. If you’re on the floor, find a relaxed position.
- Raise the right arm towards the ceiling before bending the elbow region and extend your right fingers down your spine.
- Move your left arm behind your back and try to establish contact with the right fingers.
- Have the hands as close as possible together. Ideally, the right fingers should hold onto the left fingers.
- If you’re unable to make the fingers touch, you can always make use of a belt or strap to establish a direct connection.
- With the elbows back, lift the chest and inhale.
- Hold this position over 5 breaths before you switch sides. The left arm should now be the first to extend down the spine as the right fingers try to make contact with the left arm’s fingers.
Wide Leg Forward Fold
To execute this yoga move, you’ll have to smartly interlace your fingers behind your back in order to facilitate the opening up of the chest and shoulders. The pose is recommended by yoga enthusiasts because it is a neat way to extend the length of the spinal column.
Photo credits: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/wide-legged-forward-bend
- After assuming a standing position, have your hips about 4 feet apart.
- With your fingers interlaced behind your back, deeply inhale to open up the chest and draw your palms close together.
- As you exhale, fold your body forward and have your arms positioned overhead.
- If you happen to encounter difficulty interlacing your fingers, try making use of a strap on your back to replicate the same stretch without much strain.
- Keep breathing for about 30 seconds.
- Keep the core engaged and inhale with your back straightened to a normal standing position.
Downward Facing Dog
Most debutants to yoga poses usually start off with this move. With practice, you’ll be able to bulk up on the shoulders, arms, and the core. As you do so, you’ll realize that you open up the shoulders, back, hamstrings and chest.
Photo credits: https://intouchyogabyronbay.com/downward-dog-a-lifes-work/
- Starting with a Plank Pose, press your hips and back upwards before proceeding to press your hips towards your chest.
- With your heels at a hip-width distance, reach downwards for the mat.
- Spread your fingers wide and try to evenly distribute the weight in your hands.
- With your neck and head relaxed, move your shoulders a distance from the ears and shift your eyes towards your toes.
- Hold this pose for about 5 breaths lasting up to a minute.
Legs Up the Wall
This yoga pose is a fantastic way to reset the spine and relieve stress while at it. The move is also an effective way to boost blood distribution in the body and avoid possible incidences of leg inflammation.
- With your side leaning on the wall, assume a seated position.
- Lean against your hands and slowly slide your legs up on the wall as you recline your back. While at it, make sure that your feet are facing skywards.
- Subtly make movements towards the wall to eliminate the space in between.
- Place your hands onto your belly and then spread them out forming a “T” with palms facing upwards.
- Relax and close your eyes.
- Hold that pose for about 3-5 minutes.