The spine of a person is responsible for the posture. Albeit it may feel as though spine is like cement set over the years whose faulty structure cannot be corrected once set, there is still a good chance you can get rid of the incorrect posture and the pain and breathing problems it brings along with it with just a few yogic exercises.
Hunchback and/ or slouchiness is one of the major concerns in todays world with practices like constantly sitting in front of the computer, carrying really heavy bags, wearing high heels, etc. ; practicing just a few yoga poses on a daily basis can help reverse this and as it has been recorded, people who correct their posture have also increased a few centimeters in length.
IMPEDIMENTS OF A BAD POSTURE
To some, a bad posture may mean nothing more than just a hunchback however that is not true there are a number of problems associated with a bad spinal structure. A bad posture doesn’t just reduce a few inches of your height or give you a hunchback, it also gives you a number of physical, medical and psychological problems.
Health related effects:
Poor circulation of blood, poor digestion, breathing obstruction, high blood pressure and heart diseases are some of the most prevalent long term effects of a poor posture. Disc degeneration leading to spondylitis, cervical stenosis, scoliosis, compression fractures, etc. are extremely common with a poor spine and are seen especially in the taller population.
Physical ( pain related ) effects:
Chronic pain due to a poor spinal posture is seen in almost every individual. A study conducted on the same revealed that 1 in every 3 people face chronic back pain due to hunchbacks. With time, other symptoms like arm numbness, soreness, etc. develop these then go on to cause fatigue, tiredness exhibiting fever vomiting, etc.
With constant and chronic pain and fatigue it is instinctual to feel irritated, depressed, anxious at all times, thus having a negative mood, self consciousness, and a low self esteem. This may hence affect ones performance ability as well.
The first step towards improving a bad spinal posture is recognizing your current posture and comparing it with the accurate spinal posture.
Recognize yourself in a proper standing posture. To do this,
- Stand with your head shoulders and back against a wall, and your heels around 3-6 inches away from the wall.
- Now decrease the arch between your lower back and the wall. This is the posture we are aiming for.
Yogic exercises to help maintain a good posture:
Tree pose (vrikshasana) :
- Transfer your weight over to the left side.
- Reach down and hold on to your ankle and place the heel as close to the groin as possible.
Keep a proper alignment, press back with the left thigh and straighten your spine lengthening your upper body.
- Downward dog pose (adho mukha svanasana):
- Place your hands down on the surface and make sure to evenly space them out, tuck your toes. Engage your naval and do not let it lose.
- Slowly start lifting yourself up while focusing on lifting your hips up first lengthening your spine try lifting your heels up as well.
- Drop your head down without bending your elbows.
- Stay in the position as long as you can and then start dropping your heels staying in the V position for about 5 breaths.
- You may continue this cycle 2-3 times more.
Cobra pose (Bhujangasana):
- Lay on the floor with your stomach facing the floor. Place your hands on the floor just above the head keeping the feet together, inhale and lift the shoulder, chest and head, look up and keep your elbows straight. Exhale while returning to the original position.
- Move your palms placing them just below your ears on the floor lift your head up with elbows straight.
- Move the palm just below the shoulders on the floor, lift your head up keeping the elbows straight and back down exhaling.
Repeat the same while placing your palms on wither side of the chest and again with hands on either side of the waist.
Bow pose (Dhanurasana):
- Lie down on your stomach with your feet slightly apart.
- Fold your knees up and hold your ankles with your hands.
- Lift your chest off the ground pulling your legs up and stretching them out. Hold the pose for 15-20 secs.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
Camel pose (Utrasana):
- Stand on your knees. Bring your fingers facing downwards onto the back of your hip.
- Push your hips forward slowly and look up while inhaling and exhaling.
- Slowly move your hands from the back of your hip to your ankle holding the position for about 10 – 15 secs.
If it wasn’t for your spine, you wouldn’t be able to carry out half the activities you do today. Thus, it’s vital to understand how to fix bad posture
Don’t let a poor spinal posture and the problems associated with it interfere with your work or mind-space; recognize and correct your spinal posture with yoga at the earliest because if this process is ignored or delayed, the health problems start to afloat especially chronic pain causing a poor mental health impeding with your other everyday activities which may also be a cause of setbacks.