One of the benefits of yoga is that it helps your posture, aligning the core areas of your body and facilitating what Eastern medicine calls ‘perfect energy flow.’ But even Western doctors praise yoga for the way it develops flexibility.
Here is a description of basic yoga movements and how to establish proper alignment of your core areas. They can help you in your yoga workout. By doing the moves correctly, you can reap the full benefits of this great exercise.
Proper leg posture
Stand with your feet together. Draw down behind the big toe, pulling in the outer ankle and he side of the lower left up to the knee. Push out along the inner thigh. Make sure your calves are forward and push the thighs back while your knee stays soft (it’s like a ‘microbend’). Don’t lock your knees while bearing weight on the legs.
Proper pelvis and spine posture
Imagine a diamong, the four lines crossing different points of your body: the tip of your public bone, the center of your navel, and the opposite sides of your hip. Stretch these points away from each other evenly, leveling out the space. Then imagine another diamond on your chest from the top of the navel, the top of the sternum and the opposite sides of your chest right under your underarms. Stretch once again. Imagine that the pelvic and the chest diamonds are in a straight line.
To keep the chest open, imagine your chest is a book and the spine is the center. Keep it ‘open’ by stretching from the sternum out to the sides of the ribs.
Proper posture during twisting
Lengthen the spine and rotate the thoracic spine to bring the shoulder in line with the opposite hip. Turn the head after completing the twist.
Tips for maintaining proper posture
In the first sessions of your yoga class you will be more focused on trying to learn the basic movements. But as you grow more and more familiar with the routine, pay attention to your body: are the muscles aligned? Can you feel the stretch? Many yoga classes will have mirrors so you can check your form throughout the routine. If you are just doing a yoga DVD, you may want to pause it to look at the posture of the instructors and double check your own. This will only be tedious at the beginning—once you familiarize yourself with the posture, and how it ‘feels’ when you do it right, you can proceed with the routine uninterrupted.
photo from dummies.com