Slouching can cause a plethora of health problems – it plays havoc with your spine alignment and can drain your energy. Plus, you don’t look so good while doing it! Improving your posture will increase energy, prevent future spine problems, and give you a slender, more confident appearance.
And what better way to improve your posture than with some fun yoga belt exercises? These moves are simple, but powerful. Grab your yoga belt or strap and get started!
Begin by wrapping your yoga belt behind you, around the base of your shoulder blades. Pull the belt to the front and place the ends of the straps over each shoulder. Pull the straps across your shoulder blades creating a crisscross on your back. Gently tug both sides of the belt down. You’ll feel your lower trapezius release and your shoulders roll back. Buckle the belt ends at your breastbone. Stay in this position for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat daily until your muscles are retrained and your posture improves.
Start in a chair or on the floor, keeping your spine straight. Using both hands, hold a yoga belt at shoulder width. Pull in your stomach while pressing your shoulders and sitting up as straight as you can. Gently extend your shoulders so the strap is straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Holding it in both hands, lift it over your head. Keep your arms straight and lower the belt behind your head as far as possible. Bring the belt back to starting position. Repeat this press for one minute.
Begin in a standing position – feet together and back straight. Place your yoga belt under the arches of both feet. Bend forward, bringing your torso toward your thighs as far as you can without discomfort. Holding your yoga belt, reach toward your feet, gently pulling the yoga strap. You’ll feel a stretch in your shoulders as well as your lower and upper back. Hold the pose for one minute.
Start on the floor in a sitting position. Extend your legs in front of you, and loop your yoga belt around your feet, holding an end in each hand. Pull your abs in toward your lower back. Elongate your spine; sit up tall. Bend forward to your thighs. Gently pull the yoga belt as far as you can, resting your head upon your knees if possible. Hold the stretch for one minute.
These simple positions can produce profound results. Before beginning any Yoga belt exercise, it’s recommended your warm up your muscles with a complete set of Sun Salutations. And, as always, consult with your healthcare professional before starting any new practice.
For more posture help, don’t sit too long – take time to get up, move around and stretch. Join a yoga class, or find a yoga instructor that can help you one-on-one. A good yoga instructor can provide modifications to any pose that will enable you to meet your fitness goals and help you improve your posture.