Do you work a desk job? If so, mind your posture. Working at a desk all day is the perfect set-up for back problems and pain. Luckily, yoga can save the day.
If you don’t take care of your posture, back pain is inevitable. It already affects so many people. In fact, more than 25 percent of American adults have at least one day of back pain in a three-month period.
Poor posture also worsens with age, poor diet, and lack of exercise. It’ll increase the risk of back injuries – something no one likes to deal with.1
To strengthen your back, do yoga poses to improve your posture. You’ll prevent injuries and pain before they even start.
1. Mountain Pose
Mountain pose or Tadasana doesn’t look like much. But it’s pretty powerful! The pose forces you to stand straight like a person should. You’ll actively focus on correct alignment, making it excellent for back posture.
- Stand on top of your mat, big toes touching each other. Keep your feet parallel and facing forward. Check in with your weight to make sure it’s evenly distributed.
- Let your arms drop to your sides, palms facing outward. Lengthen your neck and skull. However, make sure your chin is parallel to the ground. Widen your shoulder blades back.
- Imagine a line running through your body, top to bottom. Focus on staying centered.
2. Cobra Pose
Cobra pose or Bhujangasana is one of the best yoga positions for back health. It counteracts the movement of hunching over. Plus, you’ll stretch out your spine, which feels amazing after sitting down.
- Start on your stomach. Separate your feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Place your hands flat on the mat, underneath your shoulders.
- Pull the upper half of your body upward. At the same time, widen your shoulder blades back. Tuck your elbows in.
3. Plank Pose
Plank pose or Kumbhakasana will strengthen your core. This is vital to support your spine and back! You’ll feel powerful and strong afterward.
- Start on all fours. Step your feet backward, hip-width apart. Tuck your toes in. Straighten your arms so that your shoulders are right above your wrists.
- Engage your abs to keep your body strong and straight. Make sure your neck and legs are in line with your spine.
4. Downward-Facing Dog Pose
As a classic move, downward-facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana is great for poor posture. It reverses the hunching action from desk work. The neck, shoulders, and hips will also become stronger.
- Begin on all fours. Place your palms flat on the mat, then repeat with your heels. Lift your pelvis upward so that your body creates a “V” shape.
- If you can’t completely flatten your heels, don’t worry. Try your best. You should still feel a stretch in your shins and thighs. Over time, you’ll gain more flexibility.
5. Bridge Pose
Bridge pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is another way to reverse that dreaded hunch. This one’s perfect if you have tight shoulders. Even your core, butt, and chest will get a workout.
- Lie down on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Take a few steps inward, so that your feet are close to your butt.
- Lift your pelvis upward, engaging your core. Shift your shoulder blades under your body. As for your hands? Hold your ankles if you can reach them. You can also place them against your back for support, or place them flat on the floor.
If you’re a beginner yogi, hold each move for 15 seconds. As you get better, hold for at least 30 seconds. Doing these moves as a post-work ritual will work wonders.
Check with your doctor before practicing yoga. If your posture is really bad, you might need a special instructor. Back injuries and bone problems also need extra attention.2