Since we all are guilty of not paying heed to our posture while we work for long hours, slouched over the several iterations of digital screens we own, we’re almost always setting ourselves up for some serious postural repercussions. While we can reduce the damage we cause to our posture by being conscious of it through the day, we can also avoid and correct our postural issues by spending some time on them.
Mumbai-based celebrity yoga expert Sunaina Rekhi says, “The number of youngsters facing back, shoulder and neck pain is only increasing by the days. It is important for one to relax these stress muscles.”
These are some of the key postures that can prevent and correct most of your postural imbalances:
#1. Balasana (Child’s Pose) – Rounds out your shoulders
The child’s pose is going to round our shoulders forward to get us into the dysfunction, so when we actually open up, our body is more excited about doing so. This helps counter all the rounding in of the shoulders that takes place while sitting in a slumped position. Sit back on your heels and reach your arms alongside your body, letting your head and shoulders relax to the ground.
#2. Trikonasana (Triangle pose) – Stretches and opens out the entire body
The triangle posture is a classic yoga position that stretches and strengthens your spine, inner thigh, abdominal and side muscles. It also helps to open the pelvis by stretching the pelvic ligaments. It is a great posture to help create alignment, space and openness in the body while releasing stress and improving blood flow across your body.
#3. Dhanurasana (The Bow) – Great stretch and strength builder for the spine
The Bow raises both halves of the body at once. Like an archer strings a bow, you use your hands and arms to pull your trunk and legs up together to form a curve. This tones your back muscles and maintains the elasticity of the spine, improving posture and vitality. Balancing the weight of the body on your abdomen keeps the digestive system healthy and reduces abdominal fat.
#4. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) – Stretches out the neck, spine and hips
This is a gentle backbend that helps to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. It is also good for stimulating the thyroid gland, which can become unbalanced. Practising this pose will, therefore, help to regulate your metabolism and energy levels. Plus, it is great restorative pose at any time to counteract negative emotions. It helps to strengthen the back and opens the chest.
#5. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) – Strengthens the muscles that help hold your posture in place
This posture really strengthens the muscles of the back, butt, hip and leg muscles. It also works on the shoulders and helps rectify tension and poor posture. It also stretches out your Achilles tendons, shin, shoulders and helps open out your chest.
#6. Naukasana (Boat Pose) – Strengthens your core and abdominal muscles
This asana stimulates the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, tones all the organs and removes lethargy. It is especially useful for eliminating nervous tension and bringing about deep relaxation. This posture really helps to be aware of your centre, your core, and strengthen it.
#7. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Fish Pose) – Enhances the elasticity and functioning of your spine
Placing your right foot at the root of the left thigh, grasp the toe of the right leg with the left hand and let the right-hand pass over to the back. Staying in this posture one can increase appetite and overcome diabetes, constipation and dyspepsia. Not only does it improve the elasticity and functioning of your spine it relieves you from pain and stiffness in your vertebrae.
#8. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) – Stretches muscles in your shoulders, chest, abdominals and lower back
‘Bhujanga’, which means Cobra in English, is called so because of its posture like a hooded snake. To perform this, lie down, hands by the side and fold hands at the elbow. Placing palms on the ground, take your chin up without raising the level. Maintain the posture for some time. This Asana affects the muscles of the body. It stretches the muscles in your shoulders, chest, abdominals and lower back alleviates postural related tension.
#9. Gomukhasana (The Cow-Face Pose) – Helps with the treatment of sciatica and diabetes
Stack the right knee over the left in a sitting posture. Take the left arm up towards the ceiling and right arm down from the centre of the back to hold the left hand. It stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders, and chest. The posture helps with treatment of sciatica and improves the functioning of your kidneys, thereby helping people who suffer from diabetes.
#10. Ustrasana (Camel Pose) – Stretches chest, abdomen, quads, and hips, improving overall posture
Known as the Camel posture, it opens the rib cage to give more space to the lungs, produces maximum compression of the neck and spine. Sit on the ground in the kneeling position. The body should be supported on the toes and the knees. Bend backward. Hold the heels with the hands. The fingers of the hand should point outwards and the thumbs should point towards the toes. While inhaling, gradually lift the pelvis. Press the upper torso, both outwards and upwards and bend the neck downwards. The arms should be kept straight. While exhaling return to the kneeling position.
#11. Yoga Mudra – Increases flexibility in the arms and shoulders, stretches the front of the body and spine
This asana is good for the digestive system, vertebral column, abdominal muscles and muscles of upper and lower limbs. In a seated position, the right foot is placed on the left thigh with the sole facing up. Then the left foot is also placed on the right thigh in the same way. This is the Padmasana posture. Without raising your hips from the seat, the body is bent forward and forehead touches the ground. The hands are kept behind the back with the left wrist held in the right hand.