Feeling low, tired and sluggish along with back pain are some of the health problems that come with the amount of time we spend sitting in front of our computer screens or being hunched in front of our phones but like many other ailments, Yoga has a solution to fix these too. Since the Covid-19 lockdowns left us with no other option but to work from home and then chill watching Netflix or movie marathons on our laptops for more than a year now, poor posture has become a part of our sedentary lifestyle.
A straight line from our ear to shoulder to hip area is a myth for most of us and what we have instead are rounded shoulders, a slouch with head tilted forward and knees bent which are all signs of a poor posture. Here are 5 easy Yoga exercises to try at home and improve your drooping posture and hunchback problem:
This backbending or bow pose exercise of Yoga increases and regains spinal strength and flexibility. Dhanurasana has the ability to improve posture amid work from home as we crouch before our laptops and computer systems, working extended hours during the Covid-19 quarantine. This exercise helps to bounce back on a healthy note and maintain a good posture.
Lie down on your stomach, keep your feet slightly apart and almost parallel to your hips while placing your arms on the side of your body. Slowly, fold your knees up and raise your hands backwards to hold your ankles.
Inhale, lift your chest off the ground, pull your legs up and stretch it out while feeling the tension on your arms and thighs. Breathe deeply and hold onto the pose for 12-15 seconds before bringing your chest and legs back to the ground slowly.
Also called the cat-cow stretch, this Yoga asana targets the spine and abdominals and involves moving the spine from a rounded position (flexion) to an arched position (extension).
Stand on all fours to form a table top with your back while your hands and feet from its legs. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor and place your hands flat on the floor, right under your shoulders while keeping your knees hip-width apart.
Curl your toes under and tilt your pelvis back so that your tailbone sticks up. Without moving your neck, let this movement ripple from your tailbone up your spine while letting your belly drop down.
Draw your navel in and keep your abdominal muscles hugging your spine. Now, without cranking your neck, take your gaze gently up towards the ceiling.
All this arching was for the cow pose while inhaling and now for rounding the cat pose, exhale and release the toes you had curled. Tucking your tailbone, tip your pelvis forward and let this action move up your spine again to make it naturally round.
Draw your navel towards your spine, drop your head and take your gaze to your navel. Matching the movement to your own breath, repeat the Cat-Cow Stretch on each inhale and exhale for 5 to 10 breaths.
Yoga’s side plank pose is a miracle asana which helps in both physical and psychological benefits. It improves posture by stretching and strengthening the back, opening the chest, shoulders and throat.
This exercise works on the muscles that run along your core’s side. These muscles are called obliques and strengthening them through side plank pose can help improve your posture, protect the spine and reduce the risk of back injuries. Apart from improving a sense of balance, side plank exercise also stretches your wrists and strengthens them along with your arms, legs and belly.
Start with the high plank pose of Yoga. Keep your wrist under your shoulders and you’re your toes strong. Turn your body to the left side and shift your body weight on your left palm and left foot.
Take your right hand over your head and try to take your left leg straight, in front off the floor and keep it before your waistline. Look towards your left palm, hold for a few breaths and release the posture.
With the festive week drawing to a close and mouthwatering delicacies vanishing in the blink of an eye, give your body a little exercise in order to double up the festive fun and do not procrastinate burning all those calories and unwanted fat. Utkatasana or the chair pose of Yoga is known to be therapeutic for flat feet as it stretches the Achilles tendons and shins, strengthens hip flexors, calves and the back.
It also stimulates the heart and abdominal organs. It works on the shoulders and helps rectify tension and poor posture.
Stand straight with your feet together and arms by your side. Take a deep breath and raise your arms straight up, then fold them in a namaskar mudra before your chest.
Exhale and bend your knees as if seated on a chair. Straighten your back and push your tailbone to the ground to get into the final position.
Try to stay in this pose for 15-20 seconds before releasing the posture. While inhaling, come back to the first position.
This pyramid pose of Yoga calms the brain and flushes out the sinuses with mild inversion. Apart from elongating the hamstrings, stretching the spine and strengthening the legs and spine, this Yoga asana also aids in digestion and improves posture.
Bend down into a downward-facing dog pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana and inhale while bringing your right foot forward to the inside of your right hand. Maintain a distance of 3 to 4 feet and draw your left foot at 45 degree angle with the right foot toes pointing at the shorter edge of the mat.
Align your heels, lift your torso up and turn your face in the same direction as your front foot. Exhale and simultaneously reach your arms behind your back.
Clasp each elbow with the opposite hand or if your shoulders are more flexible, join your hands behind your back into a reverse prayer position. Maintain the length of your spine and keep the crown of your head extended forward while your tailbone reaching behind you. Hold onto the pose for 10 to 15 seconds before releasing the posture.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have had a disastrous impact on our livelihoods as we juggle work, family responsibilities and household chores all while packed within the four walls of our house which left little or no time to prioritise exercising. Frequent numbness, tingling sensations in the hands from all those hours of rigorous typing, obesity, stiffness in the lower back and cervical pain are some of the common health hazards reported by office-goers sitting at the office desk for long duration or those of us working from home hence, these exercises are important to fix health problems.