Thanks to the modern lifestyle, where we end up travelling long distances, sitting in front of the computer for hours at a stretch, stress, anxiety and complex social environment that our postures have gone bad. More and more people are complaining of pain in the back and shoulders sciatica. People with good posture are known to remain happy and away from anxiety and depression. So let us learn how to correct posture of sitting and in general.
Posture vs Personality
What we tend to notice about a person at the first instance is his posture. While a person standing tall and straight gives a feeling of pride and self confidence, a slouched person seems to be hiding in himself for reasons best known to him. Correct posture while helping you to look slimmer and fitter also makes your voice sound better.
Let us look at some wrong postures that we normally get into while reading, sitting and standing:
Another common sitting posture
Wrong Sitting Posture – Side View
Yet given below is another posture which we tend to drift into while sitting and reading a book. This is especially true for students.
Sometimes we just sit on a chair thinking that it will help our back but it is dangerous and painful in the long run. Some of the examples of such wrong sitting postures are as follows:
The second one
Posture can be wrong when standing also as shown in the next two images
The second one
If you are used to sitting in these postures and continue with some, let me warn you your slowly heading towards –
This picture below shows how wrong posture effects our internal system
Benefits of Correct Posture
After discussing so much about the wrong postures, let us now focus on how to correct your posture and the benefits to be obtained from it.
Some of the benefits of correct posture are:
- Correct postures can help feel better, confident and energetic.
- Correct posture helps prevent and treat back pain.
- Correct posture helps live longer.
- Correct posture improves balance of the body.
- Correct posture reduces unnecessary wear and tear of the joints and muscle fatigue.
- The spine is the central channel and a healthy spine ensures that nervous system remains strong, healthy and clear.
- A straight back not only has anatomical benefits but also biomedical.
- It is simple, a correct posture improves the quality of breath and increases the area available for fresh breath phenomenally.
- It improves the blood circulation in the body and aids digestion.
- It is important to maintain correct posture while sitting, walking and even sleeping.
Let us start by defining what is a correct posture.
What is a correct posture?
A posture is said to be correct when it is in complete alignment. The back should be straight, shoulders squared but relaxed at the same time, chin up, chest out and stomach in. Irrespective of the plane from which the body is viewed the body should be a straight line.
Let us look at the correct way of sitting and standing:
Another one below
Here is the correct way to stand
Position of Feet
While sitting the feet can be placed in different positions as shown in the following pictures:
The second one
Can yoga help?
The answer to the above question is a big YES!! Yes, practicing yoga can help you correct your posture. Correct posture requires self awareness and training and that is what yoga is all about.
Which asana can help in achieving a correct posture?
Every time you get into a correct yoga posture, you are more aware of your body. This further helps you in maintaining a correct posture. As such every asana in yoga corrects your posture in some way or the other but some specific asana that can help you improve and correct your posture are:
- Balasana or the Child’s Pose: A pose that relaxes your shoulders and complete back.
- Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose: A strengthening pose for the back, it opens the shoulders and the chest.
- Marjariasana or the Cat Stretch: An excellent pose for improving flexibility of the spine.
- Tadasana or the Mountain Pose: The tadasana helps improve the body posture while standing.
- Utkatasana or the Chair Pose: Provides strength to the knees and lower back.
- Vajrasana or the Diamond Pose: Elongates the spine.
- Veerbhadrasana or the Warrior Pose: A graceful series of postures that works on the shoulders, the lower back and the knees.
Some Quick Tips
Along with practicing the above asanas, there are some quick tips that you can follow for a healthy, straight and a flexible spine. Remember to:
- Make a conscious effort not to slouch;
- Sit Straight;
- Distribute the body weight equally while sitting, standing and walking.
- Set reminders, sticky notes reminding you to check your posture every now and then
Images Courtesy: Shri Sunil Trikha from Himalayan Yoga, Ludhiana