Five Ways To Improve Your Posture

If you are anything like me, you may have noticed that winter is taking it’s toll.

I’ve become seriously aware of how dry my hair and skin can be in this harsh weather. I’ve also noticed that with the temperature drop, maintaining my posture has become quite the challenge, cold weather instinctively makes me want to slouch and round my back as if I am trying to keep all of my warmth inside. With temps dropping and snow falling from the sky, staying inside curled up under blankets or near the fire is too good to pass up. To be honest, sometimes it’s just too cold to step out into the freezing streets to walk to yoga class. The motivation to move and stretch my body after a day of sitting at the computer is, dare I say, sometimes lacking. So I enlisted Ali, a friend, passionate yogi, and Store Manager of the Free People Rockefeller Center store, to share with me her five favorite poses to improve posture and strengthen back muscles during these winter months. I love referring to these moves if I have free moments throughout the day or if I notice that my posture is losing the fight against gravity. Being aware of your body, whether waiting for the subway, sitting in class, or shopping at the farmers market, is half the battle. If we remain aware and notice our posture, we have an opportunity to correct it.

Read on to learn how to do the five poses that will help combat bad pasture:

yogastand2The Standing Crescent Pose: This pose is great to start and/or end your practice with. It opens the chest and rib cage so the breath can deepen. Be sure to stretch your shoulders away from your ears as you reach up. Keep feet grounded, abs strong with your belly button pulling back to your spine. Reach to the right, center, left, center, and then reach back, keeping abs tight. Return to the center.

yoga posture

Triangle Pose: This pose improves posture by helping with lower back pain and inflammation of the lower spine. Triangle pose strengthens and improves flexibility in the last five vertebrae. The three different poses below open the chest, allowing a deeper breath. Again, remember to keep your shoulders relaxed away from your ears.

yoga triangle

yoga triangle

triangle yoga

Tree Pose: This pose is one of my favorites. Not only does it improve posture, it improves patience and balance. It strengthens the internal oblique muscles (which helps keep the back strong) and also improves thigh, calf, and ankle strength. Tip: push your palms together to find a balanced center. Open hips and pull your belly button to your spine.

tree1 yoga tree

Chair Pose: The benefits of chair pose are many if done correctly. It strengthens the core, thighs, calves and ankles, and stretches the shoulders and chest. In addition to improving posture, it helps protect the knee joint by building stability.

chair yoga

Camel Pose: Now, this is more of a challenging pose so you may have to work to get to it. But that’s ok! The camel pose produces maximum compression of the spine — it improves the flexibility of the spine and neck.  This pose is also known for relieving back pain and firms the abdomen and slims the waistline.  It stretches the neck, chest, and hip flexors.

camel yoga

There are many practices, poses, and stretches that you can do to improve posture. This list just barely scratches the surface

+ I would love to hear what you practice to improve and maintain your strong posture. 

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Definitely going to try this! Yesterday, I ran a Half Marathon in the cold. Brrrr. Like you said, good posture is extremely important in the cold. I am going to work this poses into my work out. :)

Thank you!
Raquel
http://www.raquelmanuela.com

Great post – I have been working on these poses in my yoga class in fact. I do want to note tho for anyone out there new to yoga that these poses are difficult and do take time to master – esp. with the balance and flexibility. I know that the article mentions this, but I just don’t want anyone to get discouraged too fast and to remember to be kind to your body and also to not push it too far because you could def. hurt yourself!

Rae | love from berlin

Love this! Triangle pose is so great to remind yourself to keep the heart lifted and lead with it. I’ve been meaning to set a reminder on my laptop and phone to prompt me to pay attention to my posture every 20 minutes or so.

Warm Regards,
Alexandra
http://www.littlewildheart.com

Yeaahhhh Ali!! This is my boss and she is the coolest xox!

Jelly

I think it’s really important to note that people born with scoliosis, kyphosis and other skeletal health problems that result in a crooked spine SHOULD NOT do certain postures you have listed. Back bends are one of the first things physical therapists will tell scoliosis patients not to perform….

I like this pose too!
It’s really good for health.

http://www.safran-bolu.com

Great! Makes me want to get back into yoga.. thanks

Great! Makes me want to get back into yoga.. thanks

http://LifewithSaph.blogspot.com

awesome! I need to get back into yoga!

http://StorybookApothecary.com ♥ stop by and chat!

Just what I needed to read, thank you so much for sharing :)

The chair pose is very challenging for both your arms and lower body but it also has several health benefits, strengthening the diaphragm and heart. For those starting out, try doing it while you’re against a wall, it will help you have better balance and focus on your posture more.

Posture is so important! Here are some tips to follow to help improve posture. http://www.braceability.com/blog/quick-fixes-tips-for-perfect-posture-without-looking-silly/