Do these 13 beginner yoga poses to improve posture as a quick 15-minute daily yoga routine for rapid improvements in your posture.
Bad posture can cause a whole world of pain, luckily yoga poses can be a great way to help improve your posture and help you to stand tall and proud again.
When I was a kid mom would always tell me to “stand tall, chest up, shoulders back”. Slouching was just what I did as a tall kid, but as you get older when all we seem to do is hunch over its even more important that we look after our posture.
From your feet right through to your head, everything is connected. Bad posture can start from your toes, it could be an issue with your hips or neck.
Left untreated bad posture can lead to many complicated issues such as the most obvious which is acute pain such as back pain, neck pain, sciatic nerve issues, or sacroiliac joint pain. You may indeed be suffering from acute back pain right now as a result of bad posture.
Some more uncommon or unknown complications of long term bad posture is digestion issues. When you slough you are crushing your internal organs such as your stomach and intestines. For them to work effectively, they need room. Improving your posture through yoga will help with digestion.
As we mentioned before, bad posture reduces the space organs have to function. Taking up a large space in your ribcage are your lungs and of course, nestled in there is your heart.
Your lungs need space to work, the more room they can occupy when they inflate the better (source).
Why is this important? Your lungs bring in oxygen to your body, your heart then pumps blood, carrying oxygen around your body to your muscles, your brain, and all the cells in your body that need it. We need oxygen to live and function.
It’s natural to slump over when you are feeling down, improving your posture will also make you feel better about yourself.
People will look at you differently. They will perceive you differently, in a better light. Who wouldn’t want that, I certainly would?
Luckily, yoga is a great place to start to improve your posture. Since most issues with posture tend to be due to a combination of tight and/or weak muscles that are not doing their jobs correctly to hold and support you.
Through a combination of strengthening and stretching yoga poses you can successfully have noticeably better posture after just one yoga session.
Your main aim is to reduce the tension of the muscles in the front of your body and tighten the muscles in the back of your body, yoga is perfect for this.
Therefore, we will be focusing on choosing yoga exercises that will mainly stretch your chest, shoulders and your abdominal muscles with the addition of some yoga poses that will strengthen the muscles of your back, spine and glutes.
These yoga asanas (pose) will help you improve your posture and should help to reduce any back pain you may have that’s associated with it.
The 13 Beginner yoga poses to improve posture
These beginner yoga poses to improve posture should be done once a day, perhaps in the mornings before you set out with your day, over the coming week and see just how much you can improve your posture in one week.
The asanas (poses) should be held for a minimum of 5 breaths. That’s slow deep breathing where you are under control. This type of yoga should be relaxing, although there may be some poses that you may or may not be able to control at first, with practice you will get there.
If you would prefer to be timed then as a guide start with 1-minute holds of each pose, once through allowing 10 seconds or so to transfer between poses. Controlling your breathing and relaxing into each pose.
Complete 1 round for a 15-minute yoga routine.
Heart opening yoga poses
The heart opening yoga poses are ideal for improving your posture as they stretch your chest and open up your ribcage.
They usually include back bending actions and include the following poses that we will use today to help improve your posture;
- Heart bench
- Cat-cow pose
- Cobra pose
- Bridge Pose
- Camel pose
- Cow face pose
- Bow pose
Using a yoga block or a rolled-up towel to prop up your upper back and shoulders. Lye down and reach your arms above your head and let them rest on the floor.
Hold this position for 1 minute.
Cat Cow Pose
The cat camel pose is ideal for maintaining a healthy spine and therefore good posture.
Kneel on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
Tilt your pelvis under, draw in your belly button and round your back. Tuck your head in for cat pose.
For cow pose lift your tailbone, drop your belly down and lift your head up as you try to arch your back as much as you comfortably can.
You may feel some pain and discomfort as you do this pose if you have bad posture. Over time this pain will go as your back healthy improves.
Inhale for cow and exhale for cat pose. Repeat each poses for 1 minute.
The cobra pose is a progression from the sphinx pose, both of which are great for spine health and posture.
There are two ways to do the cobra pose. The first way is dynamically and the second is to hold the pose to stretch your abdominals. To help improve your posture you should include both. Firstly to strengthen your back muscles and secondly to help stretch your abdominal muscles that have negative effects on our posture when they are tight.
Strengthen- To do the cobra pose, lay on the floor, place your hands to the side of your chest and lift your chest up off the floor as high as you can arching backwards as you inhale. As you exhale, rest back down to the floor. Try not to use your arms too much.
Repeat this movement for 1 minute.
Stretch – Then this time use your arms to support yourself and lift your chest a s high as you can and hold this position for up to 1 minute.
You may have done this as a glute bridge exercise to strengthen your glutes but its also a great chest opener in yoga.
To do the bridge pose lay on your back, bring your heels close to your glute (butt) within arms reach, feet together.
From this position lift your hips as high as you can, resting you r body on your shoulders and upper back.
Hold this position for up to 1 minute as your muscles in your posterior chain work hard to hold you in position.
If you can’t hold for a minute, relax every so often and repeat this movement.
Camel pose is another yoga pose that will help to improve your posture and relieve any back pai you may have. Again we are trying to open our chest and rip cage.
Whilst kneeling, gently lean back and hold onto your heals, lifting your chest up high.
If you cant reach your heels, simple place your hands together behind your back, tilt your head back and gently roll your shoulders back, open your chest and hold that position.
Hold yourself in this position for up to 1 minute.
Cow Face Arms
The cow face arms pose is another great pose that will help to open your chest up and improve your posture.
Sit cross legged, reach one arm up and behind your back and the other hand down and to your back and try to meet your hands in the middle.
This is a great triceps stretch whilst forcing your chest to open up. If you cant reach your fingers together, hold a strap or towel. Sit up as tall as you can through this pose.
Hold for up to one minute and change sides.
One of the more advanced yoga poses is the bow pose. If you have tight quadriceps, reduces spine flexion, or tight chest or shoulders muscles then this will be a change for you but even more so beneficial.
To do the bow pose lye on the floor, take hold of your ankles and pull, as you do so, lift your head up as high as you can. Of course you will only be able to so far, especially of you have tight muscles and limited flexion in your spine. See how you process over a few weeks.
Try to hold this pose for up to one minute. If you need to come in and out of the pose that’s fine, just like we did in the cobra pose.
The plank pose is great for your core and helps to strengthen the muscles that surround your spine.
To do the plank pose, simply hold yourself in position.
Hands on the floor, arms straight. Trying to maintain a straight line from your head , through your spine and down to your heels.
Always keep your hands directly under your shoulders.
Aim for 1 minute.
Standing Forward Fold
Lengthening your spine is a good way to start improving your posture, the standing forward lean will help do just this.
Stand with your feet together and gently lean forwards, you are trying to nestle your head between your legs.
Most people will struggle to perform this pose. If you are having trouble, start by having your knees bent. What we want to get out of this pose is a lengthening of your spine. The wide leg forward lean is a great little modification/ alternative that gives you the added benefit or stretching your inner thighs. As pictured below.
Wide Leg Forward Fold
Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog helps improve posture by helping your body strengthen the muscles of your upper back and shoulders while lengthening your tight hamstrings which can so often be a postural problem.
To downward facing dog, start in a high plank position and then lift your hips as high as they can go, let your chest and body move in slightly so that you create a triangle with your body.
Down ward dog is a pose that can be quite difficult for some if so there are some modifications such as having your knees slightly bent or using a block or step to raise you hand position.
Hold in position for 1 minute.
Part of correcting bad posture is to get used to standing with correct posture. Mountain pose and the high lunge are great for this.
For the high lunge, take one big step forwards, bend your front knee ad keep your back leg straight. Place your hands together and reach them up high and over your head. You can lean back very slightly as to open up your chest. Hold for up to 1 minute.
Mountain pose is the simplest of poses and one of the best for improving posture as it helps you stand correctly ad teaches your body how it should be held.
To do the mountain pose, simply stand with your arms placed by your sides, hold your chest high, shoulders down and back slightly. Knees slightly bent just so that they are not locked and draw your navel in slightly.
Hold the pose for up to 1 minute or 5-10 breaths.
When to do these Beginner yoga poses to improve posture
So there you have it, 13 beginner yoga poses to improve posture that you can do as a quick 15-minute yoga routine right away to see noticeable improvements in the way to stand and sit.
Try to do these yoga poses three to four times a week for a month and then as your posture improves you will be able to reduce the number of days a week you practice.