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3 Yoga Poses to Improve Posture and Correct Rounded Shoulders

neck pain

Even when you are not sitting at your computer, you are likely checking something on your phone.  This postures typically mean that you are looking down at your screen with rounded shoulders and a forward head posture.    It doesn’t take long for a posture to become a habit.

Poor posture has more than just less than optimal aesthetic side effects.  It can lead to bony changes in the spine, headaches, back pain, hip and shoulder pain, even poor digestion and less than optimal cardiovascular function.  (2, 3, 4, 5)

Yoga for Forward Head and Neck Posture

Adding in yoga postures to your daily routine can not only help to reverse less than optimal postural habits but it can make you more aware of your posture in general.

Here are a few yoga postures that you can do anywhere or anytime decrease the tendency for rounded shoulders.   All you need is a few minutes and yourself.

1. Mountain Pose

  • –Start with your feet separated pelvic distance apart.  Allow your arms to fall at your sides and turn your palms so they are open facing in front of you. 
  • –Let your shoulders move away from your ears..  Often we shrug the shoulders up toward the ears and we don’t realize it. 
  • –Feel the openness in the front of your chest as you perform this pose and allow slow ease of your breath in and out for about 5 breaths.

This is a good way relax the upper shoulders and trap muscles and allow the shoulder to be in an open position in the socket by gently facing your palms forward.

2. Arm Spirals

  • –From mountain pose, move your arms to 45 degrees with your palms and the creases of your elbows facing up.

  • –For an additional stretch in your arms, see if you can maintain an open shoulder position with the creases of your elbows facing upward as you turn the palms downward.  This separates the movement from of the upper and lower arm. 

  • –If you can do this, add a wrist extension for additional stretch. 

  • –Continue to keep the shoulders rolled back in the sockets as you add to the stretch positions.
  • –If you can maintain your form, lift your arms so that they are parallel to the ground and repeat the variations.

3. Low Lunge with Bound Arms

A low lunge is a great way to reverses bad posture by opening up the shoulders, chest, and hips. When we sit, the muscles that flex our hips shorten by almost three inches. This is important to remember because if the lower body is pulling the upper body forward, then it’s difficult for the upper spine to continue to remain upright so the shoulders may tend to round.  

  • –Come to a lunge position with the right leg forward and the left leg back. The leg that is behind you is the side that is being stretched.

  • –The idea in this stretch is to stretch the muscles in the front of the left hip by allowing the both knees to bend as shown. 
  • –Rock your tailbone underneath you gently to feel additional pull in the area of the front of the left hip.
  • –You can either use your arms to help you balance. Or, for an extra shoulder stretch, bring your hands behind your back with your arms straight. Keep your shoulders back and down.

Medical Therapeutic Yoga and Rounded Shoulder Posture

Medical Therapeutic Yoga and physical therapy is a great combination to help correct rounded shoulder posture. For more on how yoga can support you physical therapy treatment, click here to schedule a complimentary phone consultation with one of our physical therapists.

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