It takes many years of practice to achieve and maintain correct posture, but doing so is absolutely necessary for the health of the spine. The manner in which an individual chooses to sit, stand, or lie down will determine the quality of their posture, whether it be proper or poor. You may have seen individuals with poor posture walking along the sidewalk with their backs hunched or sitting at a bus stop with their shoulders rounded as they wait for the bus. Those who have poor posture in their waking life will often fall asleep in positions that put unnecessary strain on their necks, backs, and other body parts. Most of us don’t have perfect posture due to various anatomical and environmental reasons. However, a normal routine with an improper posture will likely lead to the development and advancement of pain and discomfort throughout the body.
Lower back pain (LBP) is one of the most common problems that can be attributed to poor posture. People have treated lower back pain in a variety of ways over the years, but one treatment method that is becoming increasingly studied by scientists is yoga. According to an article published in 2021 by Harvard Health Publishing (HHP), titled The safe way to do yoga for back pain, yoga is essential for preserving the flexibility and strength of the back. Researchers found that yogis who focus on their breathing while maintaining slow and careful movement during practice can alleviate back pain by first reducing some of its aftereffects like depression and anxiety. In An Introduction to Yoga (a more detailed Special Health Report), Harvard Medical School doctors further note that “yoga can help alleviate arthritis pain”.
It is no surprise that more and more people with neck and back pain are considering yoga not only as a form of feel-good exercise but also as a legitimate treatment for physical ailments. Over the last hundred years, the global perception of yoga went from something like ‘weird exercise for Indian contortionists’ to the well-established powerhouse industry that we see today. Because of this, online directories such as proYoga have emerged to help individuals wade through the digital world of all things yoga. With the goal of directing people who suffer from chronic back pain (and other disorders) to the best yoga studios and teacher training courses (or YTTCs, as they are called), proYoga is striving to become the largest yoga directory in the world. Anyone in search of free yoga classes in their local area can use the site to quickly narrow down their options to the one that best suits them.
What are the best yoga poses for improving posture?
Poor posture has an impact on digestion as well as muscle and joint function. It is also believed to affect the mood because people tend to sit up straight when they are happy, whereas when they are feeling down, they may slouch. Headaches, slouched shoulders, and knees that are bent when standing or walking are some of the indicators that someone has poor posture.
When doing yoga, there are specific poses that are used to lengthen the spine and correct its alignment. The following asanas are some of the best for improving posture, and they are in no particular order:
- Plank Pose
- Balancing Table Pose
- Cow Face Pose
- Seated Twist Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Camel Pose
- Standing Yoga Mudra Pose
Yoga has been shown to be one of the most effective methods available for correcting posture, which, as a result, can help individuals avoid or alleviate issues like lower back pain. According to the academic journal Pain Research and Management, the effect of yoga on chronic lower back pain was “large” and “significant”. Because back pain is such a global problem and has been historically difficult to treat, additional research will continue occurring on this topic by researchers all over the world.
Using Yoga to Disconnect from Technology
Because yoga originated thousands of years ago, and because many teachers strive to maintain a connection to what they perceive to be original yoga, there is a kind of irony in marketing yoga to students via the internet so that they can practice yoga in digital studios. For better or worse, today’s world is guided by technology in nearly every aspect of life. The more we are consumed by the digital domain, the more people feel the need to disconnect from the cacophony of digital distractions. With so many internet companies, social media platforms, games, work and communication apps, and other digital products (most of which are almost unavoidable), it is no surprise that many people have scattered attention spans. However, some people are turning to ancient yogic and meditative (mindfulness) practices in an effort to escape the constant noise of the “modern world”.
The practice of yoga (which actually is itself a type of meditation) has helped people in the technology industry stay balanced during those hectic work days where stress management is needed just to get a fresh start the next morning. IT clerks, engineers, and CEOs alike have reaped the benefits of meditative concentration after a yoga class. In fact, many technology companies have already implemented in-house wellness programs for their employees. Yoga gives people the chance to disconnect from the outside world and connect with their inner selves while also releasing them from external influences like technology. Are there benefits to doing yoga? Yes. Many. What are the drawbacks of a healthier, focused and more relaxed world? We’d love to hear your comments.