Better posture

How can Yoga help me get a better posture?

Q: How can I improve my postural health through yoga?

A: The sitting postures in yoga are used to bring agreement and solidity to both the body and mind — yoga allows the mind to focus on breathing [pranayama] and meditation. The postures also represent the true practice of yoga, for which the asanas are only a foundation.

There are many sitting poses in the practice — the best known is Padmasana [Lotus pose]. The pose looks simple, but it is not — especially for untrained limbs. It may take some time, if you are a beginner to achieve balance and relative comfort.

  • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Lift your left foot gently. Place it on top of your right thigh, allowing the sole to point upwards
  • Bend your right knee. Bring your right foot to your left knee
  • Now, lift your right foot onto your left thigh. Take it as high up and as close to the groin as you can. Straighten the spine and place your hands, with your palms facing upwards, on each knee. Link the index fingers to the thumbs
  • Relax, and breathe slowly. You may keep your eyes closed, if you want to.

For those who find Padmasana too difficult to begin with, or difficult to practice, for any reason, there’s no need to worry. You may, by all means, try the more easy posture — Sukhasana. Also, if you just can’t sit down you may simply sit on a firm chair with your back straight and chest open. Place your hands on your knees, or lap.

For Sukhasana, all you need to do is —

  • Sit on the floor, if you can, with your legs extended forward
  • Place your left foot under your thigh; your right foot under your left shin
  • Keep your spine straight, chest open, and shoulders and pelvis level.

Breathe in, and breathe out, slowly — and, relish in the delight of pranayama and meditation.

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