As your reading this ask yourself - what my posture like right now? Are you slouching? Have you been sitting for most of the day? According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, one in three workers spent at least three-quarters of their time at work sitting while the average Australian adult spends around four hours a day sitting during their leisure time.
What effect does all this sitting have on our posture? The answer is nothing good! Too much sitting weakens the muscles in our backs and cores and tightens the muscles around our hips and shoulders leading to aches, pain and injuries.
Adding some regular stretching exercises like yoga can be a good way to counter this issue. Try these four posturing enhancing workouts.
Start from kneeling with your knees hip width apart and your feet flexed with toes on the ground. Place your hands on your lower back, squeeze your elbows together behind you as you lift your chest and look to the roof and inhale. As you exhale push your hips and thighs forward and allow your back to arch opening the front of the body, hold for five to seven breaths and then release back into child's pose.
As you become more flexible and confident you can try the same steps again but this time gently releasing your hands from your lower back and reaching back behind you to touch your heels.
Crescent Moon pose
Start from a lunge position with your front leg, knee bent and your back leg resting on the floor, back foot relaxed and flat. Inhale as you push your hips forward, sweep your arms out and up over head until you feel the stretch in the front of your hip, if you want to increase the stretch gently lift your chest and arch your back as you continue to push your hips forward. As your flexibility increases aim to arch your back more and more - creating a crescent moon shape from your back leg curving through your spine and reaching to your fingertips.
Lie flat down on your chest with arms straight in front of you in a superman pose. Lift your legs and arms off the mat while keeping your pelvis in place. Extend the tips of your fingers forward and your toes outstretched in the opposite direction
Standing forward fold
Stand straight with your feet flat on the ground. Slowly bend on the exhale, and let your torso fold over the front of your thighs and hang there. Grab each elbow with an opposite hand and hover folded arms above your head. Your spine will lengthen. Release your arms, lift your head, and flatten your back on an inhale. Exhale and fold back down.