I’ve been writing a lot over at Medium.com, and cross posting it here, but those posts have been a little more story telling, and a lot less “Overcoming Pain, Regaining Mobility, and Learning to Stand Up Right.” So for those of you who come here for a more specific reason, Imma add more specific content, exclusively here.
I’ve written extensively about how the toolbox I assembled in yoga aided me in fixing my back and my posture, but I haven’t really drilled into it. This is to be the first in an ongoing series of posts on specific exercises that are helpful in develop good posture.
Let’s begin with baby cobra.
Lie on your stomach, forehead on the floor, legs straight behind you, palms flat to the floor near your floating ribs. It doesn’t matter too much where you place your hands because you’re not going to be doing anything with your arms or shoulders.
Once you have your body position:
- squeeze your glutes
- tighten your thighs
- engage your core
- lift your chin straight up 1 inch while continuing to look straight down at the floor. THIS IS KEY. Don’t raise your eyes, don’t lift your chin. Keep looking down.
- hold for a few seconds
- lower your forehead back to the floor, exactly opposite to the way you raised it
- perform 3 to 5 repetitions
That’s it. Simple, easy, low stress, low strain. But it activates, uses, strengthens and trains your erectors, the muscles which hold your spine erect. Start with a few short holds and increase both number and duration as your back gets stronger.
Also, keep in mind that by facing to the floor, you’re not putting undue stress on your neck; not the muscles, not the connective tissues, not the discs. Too many of us hold our heads forward of our shoulders, (I may have written something about that), weakening the neck muscles and changing the natural curve of the cervical spine.
Baby cobra helps to undo that, while strengthening the posture muscles along the entire spine. So, practice baby cobra to help learn to StandUpRight.