If you’re a blogger or work a desk job, then you know the struggle with posture! Look no further because here are my top 7 simple yoga poses to improve posture. In April I started living my dream and switched from an on your feet job to a desk job. Every job I’ve ever had has been walking around on my feet! It only took me about 3 weeks to notice some pain in my left shoulder where I have a previous injury and then about one more week to notice an old feeling in them both. A feeling I had felt before in the past and tried oh so hard to eliminate! I looked in the mirror and sure enough, my shoulders were not as far back and proud as I thought they were. I busted out some of my favorite yoga poses to improve posture from the past and added a few to my routine and started practicing them again regularly to help with the pain… and sure enough they did! Notice it says easy. Have you ever opened an article or done a class and they said the pose was easy, but come to find out, you can’t even do the super modified version! Well, I mean it. I’m not trying to trick you on this one. I picked the simplest poses I could think of that gave me the most relief from my shoulder rounding issue and pain.
Yes this looks easy, but Mountain Pose is really the easiest way to find a problem with your posture. Watch, stand up and look at yourself sideways in a mirror. Now roll your shoulders back and try to stand up as tall as you can. Did your body move… a lot? Yeah, I thought so. We don’t even realize how bad our posture has changed until we see the correct version. Well, this is it. Start improving your posture simply by standing up straight… go figure. Pull your shoulder blades together and down to open up the chest nice and tall.
Forward bend while clasping your hands behind you open up the chest and shoulder muscles, so just let your shoulders relax when you fold forward and let gravity work in your favor and pull your arms down towards the floor. I usually stay here for a while because it feels awesome. Bonus… this also targets the greatly ignored biceps and forearms!
Just like downward facing dog, Wall Dog focuses on alleviating tension in the neck and shoulders AND low back. Push back with your hips and press into your hands. You can put your hands lower on the wall to get a good hamstring stretch as well.
I call this one The Clock, I’ve also heard it called a pec stretch, chest stretch, etc. Each level of arm height feels a little different and helps you hit a different angle of the shoulder. This is my favorite chest opener. Why is the chest important? When we sit at our desks all day, our chest muscles become tight from slouching and when they’re tight, they’re pulling us forward even more. Like gravity isn’t enough. Rest assured this is a battle that can be won!
If I had to choose ONE, it would be Bridge Pose while clasping my hands underneath me. This is an amazing chest opener, that also stretches your neck and hips and strengthens your back, glutes and hamstrings. How can you not do this one? It’s ok if you can’t bring your hands together yet, you can still participate and work towards it! The focus on this pose is to teach the neck and upper back proper posture. Imagine standing with your back up against a wall, pressing your head and shoulders into it. If that feels weird… you might have less than perfect posture! Bring your heels close to your booty and place them hip width apart, no closer than that. Before you even lift up try and think about pressing your head, upper back, neck, shoulders and upper arms into the floor.
Contrary to popular belief, the idea of Cobra is not to just push your body up as high as you can. The idea here is to open up the chest and relax the low back. Notice how low I am in the picture? Try and keep your neck long and tall and look straight ahead, not upwards. Arch your upper back, NOT your lower back! This will help bring your head back where it needs to be! My neck is still a work in progress. 🙂
Last, but certainly not least we have a couple variations of Locust Pose. Again, I’m going with the simple yoga poses to improve posture, not the scary ones, like inverted locust might be a little out of my league at the moment. Haha! This pose strengthens the entire back of your body, ribs and torso. This focuses on the upper back muscles that MUST be strong in order to keep up from slouching.
If you’re a stay at home blogger or have a desk job, I want to know… how do you keep good posture? Leave it in the comments below!