How’s your posture? Do you spend hours a day sitting down at a desk hunched over a computer or paperwork? Most of us, at least for part of our day, do just that.
Tension creeps into our muscles, tightness and knots fill our necks, shoulders and backs. Sure the idea of 90-minute yoga classes seems lovely, but for those of us time-poor, stressed out individuals, it’s a luxury we are rarely afforded.
The Yoga Solution for Improved Posture
Do a few minutes, every day or every second day, or once a week, if that’s all you have time for. Here are three, simple poses for every body type, age, and skill level to do every evening. They can be done in just a few minutes and I guarantee you’ll feel more relaxed, have less tension in your body and sleep more soundly than before. What have you got to lose?
This one is amazing for relieving tension in the lower back from all that slumping in your chair. It also gives a nice stretch and lengthen to you hamstrings and neck muscles. It’s as easy as can be.
Simply stand with your feet hip width apart and fold your body forwards. Be sure to bend the knees as much as you need to, let the belly hang loose (not a hard ask, am I right?) and let the head and neck relax. Hang out here for a few, deep breaths. You can grab opposite elbows if you like, or simply let the hands rest wherever is comfortable.
Optional extras for complete release of tension:
Open and close your mouth a little to relieve tension in the jaw (you would be surprised how much builds up with there and no one can see how ridiculous it might look). Then shake your head in a ´yes and no´ fashion, which releases into the neck. A final addition that feels amazing is to interlace your hands behind your back and let them fall forward. This releases deep into the chest and shoulders. Feeling better already? I told you so!
This little beauty gets right into those tight hips, giving a beautiful stretch to the glutes and the hip muscles. And trust me, these need tending to.
With one leg straight behind the body (knee on the ground) have the other leg bent at the knee, running along the ground at a 45° angle. If you want you can remain sitting upright (better if you are more stiff) otherwise you can fold your body over your front leg and relax. Depending on flexibility, it might feel nice to rest have a pillow handy and to rest your head on a pillow. Breathe deeply and enjoy. Swap to the other leg after a few minutes. If hips are especially tight, pop a pillow or rolled up blanket under your hip so it’s not floating in the air and has some support.
This pose is heaven on tight shoulders, as well as providing upper and lower back release. It really gets into the nooks and crannies of the spine and is pure bliss after a stressful day!
Lie on your back and draw one knee into your chest, then let that knee fall over your body the opposite side and rest on the floor. Take arms out to the side, or rest opposite arm on the bent knee to a little extra oomph! Relax, breathe and enjoy! Do the opposite side when ready.
These simple poses will have you in a blissful state in no time, or at the very least, significantly more relaxed that before
This sequence works perfectly just before going to sleep, but could also be done at lunch times, as soon as you arrive home from work, or any other time you have five minutes to spare. **It could also be drawn out to a longer session and you could stay in each pose for a few minutes, making sure to come out of them slowly and consciously, and finish with a glorious shavasana to make for a longer yoga session.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Written by Stephanie Johnson, yoga teacher and blogger. For more information on the author, check out her blog at https://stephaniejohnsonwriting.wordpress.com/ or connect with her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/stephj_inchile/?hl=en