It’s no secret that sitting at a desk all day or hunching over your phone can do major damage to your posture.
So, we called on Kate Kendall, yoga instructor and co-founder of Sydney’s Flow Athletic, to share with us four quick and easy yoga moves that will help improve your posture and in turn relieve any associated pain and discomfort.
Unless you want to resemble the hunchback of Notre Dame, do these poses every day (or at least three times a week)—you’ll notice a difference in no time!
1. Locust Pose
Great for: Strengthening the lower back, which supports our architecture or frame.
1. Lying down, flat on stomach, bring big toes together and internally rotate the thighs.
2. Energise the legs slightly so that the kneecaps lift and, keeping all ten toes on the mat, inhale to ease the chest forward and up so that the hands, shoulders, and chest lift.
3. Stay for three calm breaths and then ease the feet back and up. Another three breaths.
2. Bridge Pose
Great for: Counteracting the effects of sitting as well as opening up the chest and hips.
1. Lie on back and bend knees so feet are hip distance and parallel under sit bones. Turn toes in slightly.
2. Place palms flat by side and on an inhalation press into all four corners of your feet to lift through the lower back, mid back and upper back until the whole of your torso is lifted.
3. Try wriggling the shoulders under the body and interlacing the hands for more of an opening in the chest and shoulders. Stay 10 breaths or around 1 minute.
3. Downward Facing Dog
Great for: Lengthening the whole back line of the body, which can be tight and affect posture.
1. From all fours, take hands out in front of shoulders.
2. Curl into toes and on an exhalation, lift the knees and ease the chest to thighs.
3. Press firmly into palms and get long and strong into the arms as you roll the outer edges of upper arms in towards each other.
4. If you round out through the spine (which will undo all that great postural work), bend the knees, tilt the tailbone up and back and ease the chest to thighs. The point is to lengthen the spine. Stay 10 breaths or at least 40 seconds.
4. Mountain Pose
Great for: Postural awareness. How can we know where imbalances are until we stand still and check in?
1. Stand up, take feet to either hip distance apart or big toes together with the heels slightly parted.
2. Ground into all four corners of feet, slightly energise the legs so that the kneecaps gently lift and ease the tail bone down to heels.
3. Lengthen gently from tailbone, along the natural curves of the spine and then up into the crown of the head – lifting lightly. Simply be here for a few minutes noticing if you shift your weight forward or back or into one hip or leg more than the other.