If you spend most days at a desk, then you’ll know all about the aches and pains that come with rounded shoulders, a sore back, tight hips and lazy glutes.
Here are seven simple yoga hacks to prevent a hunch back and fix your internet posture for good.
Benefits: gently opens hips, deepens breathing, stretches sides of body
Bring your toes together and spread your knees apart. Lengthen your arms along the floor in front of you and rest your forehead on the floor (or a block if it doesn’t reach).
Gradually lengthen your inhales and exhales. With each exhale, try to relax into the pose a little more and release any tension you might be holding in your shoulders, neck and hips. Lengthen your arms as far as you can for a deeper stretch down both sides of your body.
Stay for 10-12 breaths.
CAT COW (WITH WRIST STRETCH)
Benefits: mobilises spine, creates breath and body awareness, stretches wrists
Rest on all fours, with your hands underneath your shoulders, fingers spread wide, and knees directly underneath your hips. Look to the ground and slide your shoulders away from your ears so you have length in the back of your neck. On your inhale move your sitting bones up and look forward.
On your exhale, roll your tailbone down, press your hands into the mat an lengthen your arms, which will create a big upper-back stretch. Let your head gently tip towards the floor.
On your next inhale, reverse the move by sliding your shoulders back, lifting your sitting bones and looking forward. Keep moving back and forth for 10-12 repetitions.
To stretch your wrists, flip your hands so your palms are still facing down but your fingers are facing towards you. Gently rock back and forth 10 times.
Benefit: creates space between vertebrae, gentle lower back stretch
Stand with your feet hip-with apart and fold forward, deeply bending your knees. Let gravity do its job by letting your head hang towards the floor, holding no tension in your shoulders or neck.
Catch hold of opposite elbows and gently sway from side to side. Try to get your stomach as close to resting on your thighs as possible, without tensing your body.
TADASANA (WITH BACK BEND)
Benefits: gentle back bend, full-body stretch, helps improve posture
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Evenly distribute your weight through all points of your feet. Consciously stand as tall as you can, gently pulling your shoulders back, lightly tensing your glutes and pulling your navel in towards your spine. Very slightly tuck your chin so your ears are in line with your shoulders.
Take a big inhale and bring your arms above your head until your palms touch. Bend your elbows and rest your hands at the nape of your neck. Look up slightly as you lift your elbows towards the ceiling, which creates a opening in your chest and a gentle stretch in your upper back.
Keep squeezing your glutes so you don’t over-arch your lower back. Hold for five breaths.
Benefits: activates glutes and activates core, gentle back bend, strengthens shoulders
Lie on your stomach, the tops of your feet flat on the floor, thighs and glutes engaged. Bring your fingertips in line with the top of your shoulders and hug your elbows close to your sides.
As you inhale, squeeze your shoulderblades together and pull your shoulders back so you’re in a gentle back bend. Pull your navel into your spine so your core is engaged and you’re not over-arching your lower back.
Hold for five breaths.
LUNGE (WITH ROTATION AND CHEST OPEN)
Benefits: stretches hip flexors, mobilises spine, stretches hamstrings, opens chest
From downward dog, step one foot in-between your hands into a lunge. Keep your back knee off the ground for a deeper stretch in your hip, or on the ground if that’s too intense. For the lunge rotation, put your opposite front hand on the ground underneath your shoulder and lengthen your other arm towards the ceiling.
For the chest open, have your back knee on the floor. Bring both hands to the back of your head and open your elbows wide until you feel a stretch across your chest. Slightly tuck your tailbone and push your hips forward so you’re opening your hip flexor and not sinking into your lower back.
Hold each variation for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
COBBLER POSE (WITH TRAP STRETCHES)
Benefits: opens tight hips, activates back muscles, gentle upper-trapezius stretch
Sit upright with the soles of your feet touching, your knees out to the sides. If you round through your back a lot or feel uncomfortable sitting upright, perch yourself on the edge of a block or rolled-up towel.
Catch hold of your shins and gently try to pull your elbows back towards you. This will lengthen your spine and turn your back muscles on. Keep gently pulling your shoulders back.
From this upright position, slowly move your chin towards one shoulder until your feel a gentle stretch down the side of your neck and top of your shoulder. Hold for a breath, then move to the other side.
Continue doing this for as long as you like.
Try these poses in a sequence, check out the video:
TRY A YOGA CLASS AT FITNESS FIRST. FIND YOUR NEAREST CLUB HERE. New to yoga? Check out these tips before joining your first ever yoga class.