December 10, 2021

Can Yoga Improve My Posture?

Our posture is something we don’t often pay attention to. In reality, how we hold ourselves when sitting or standing has a significant impact on not only our health but the manner in which we are perceived by others. An upright yet relaxed posture indicates you are comfortable and confident in your surroundings. Hunched shoulders and a rounded spine, on the other hand, could suggest that you are disengaged or would prefer to be elsewhere.

Improved posture is just one of the many physical benefits of regularly practising yoga. However, like any type of exercise, these advantages are best obtained through proper technique, which can take time and practice to achieve. Mount Martha Yoga offers private and semi-private yoga classes in the Mornington Peninsula with the belief that one-on-one support is the best way of improving performance and getting the most out of your yoga journey.

Why is posture so important?

As a child or a teenager, you were probably told to ‘sit up straight!’ When we’re young, this instruction is often given to make sure that we’re being polite and concentrating on what’s going on around us. As we get older, good posture remains a way of showing engagement but also becomes very important from a physical perspective. Maintaining proper posture can be an effort, but it comes with an extensive range of health benefits, including:

Reduced back pain: Slouching in your office chair puts tremendous pressure on your lower back, leading to potentially severe back pain.

Fewer headaches: Poor posture causes increased muscular tension in the neck, which often results in frequent and unpleasant headaches. You will probably be able to tell if a headache is linked to poor posture — your lower neck will feel incredibly tight and strained.

Improved overall joint health: If you’re prone to crossing your legs when sitting in a chair or leaning to one side while standing, you risk injuring other parts of the body, including your hips and knees. Having good posture means that your weight will be evenly distributed throughout your body, not putting undue strain on your joints.

Increased lung capacity: We don’t often stop to consider the effect that poor posture has on our lungs. Hunching over significantly reduces our capacity to breathe, decreasing circulation and causing lethargy. Proper posture, on the other hand, ensures we always have a good supply of oxygen in our lungs.

Yoga to develop good posture

Good posture means that you are balanced and weight is evenly distributed throughout your body. Achieving this state is incredibly important in yoga. Without it, you will struggle to achieve many of the poses, both basic and complex.

Yoga requires you to acknowledge and concentrate on how your body is feeling. Oftentimes, we fall into the habit of slouching or dropping our shoulders without even realising that we are doing it. While holding a pose, your teacher will suggest that you pay attention to the position of your back, shoulders, and neck, asking that you align your weight evenly while maintaining awareness of how your body feels. This approach to movement and posture can easily be applied to our daily life.

Yoga is also a great way of increasing core strength — without putting your body through painful ab sessions at the gym. Our core includes many more muscles than just the abdominals, including the external obliques, diaphragm, and erector spinae. These muscle groups act as a scaffolding for the spine, so the stronger they are, the easier you will find maintaining a straight posture.

While all yoga poses will contribute to improved posture, there are certain movements that focus specifically on abdominal and spinal strength. If this is a particular goal of yours, be sure to speak to your yoga instructor before starting your lessons.

Mount Martha Yoga

If you’re considering taking yoga classes in the Mornington Peninsula, why not try Mount Martha Yoga? Emily teaches private and semi-private lessons, providing her students with one-on-one support to help them achieve their physical and mental goals.

As an experienced teacher and practitioner, Emily understands the importance of proper technique. She works closely with her students to ensure they are confident with the basics of yoga, providing an excellent platform from which to move onto more complex movements. As a teacher, Emily believes in providing her students with a holistic experience, teaching physical, mental, and soulful philosophies behind this ancient practice.

Emily’s studio is located in the beautiful hills of Mount Martha — if you’re local to the Mornington Peninsula and are searching for yoga near me, contact Mount Martha Yoga today to find out more.