Yoga for Posture – Bear Pose

This weekend I was blathering on about unused capacity, and how I applied the time I spent ascending stairs at Casa Andrew to improve my posture by modifying Bear Crawls.

Which made me realize that I haven’t discussed Bear Posture. Oops. So…

Bear Posture.

Bear posture is a terrific exercise for working your neutral spine, core strength and balance. When you ad the crawling/walking component to it, it also adds a wonderful dynamic aspect to the work, making it a little more like life, and a little less like exercise on a mat.

Begin in tabletop; on hands and knees, arms and thighbones vertical

  • Take your neutral spine
  • Look straight down at the floor
  • Pull your chin slightly in (straight up toward the back of your neck
  • Raise your knees 1 – 2 inches up off of the floor
  • Hold for 15 seconds

15 seconds? Yes, for a start. Try it, you’ll find it harder than you might think. After you can handle 3 to 5 sets of 15 seconds, start to increase the time you hold the posture.

Motion in Bear Posture

Once you can hold bear for 30 seconds to a minute, dial it up.

  • Take your bear posture
  • Begin to crawl forward on your mat
    • Go slow
    • Take care to maintain your neutral spin
    • Take care to keep your chin tucked slightly in
  • Take a few steps forward
  • Reverse it and crawl back whence you came

Simple and easy, right? Okay, now put a yoga block on your lumbar spine, covering your waistband and do it again, without the block falling off your back.

As mentioned, this will help you practice maintaining your neutral spine and work your core through dynamic, non-linear motion. It is excellent for developing both strength and stability along both your front and back lines, all the way from hips to shoulders.

And, if you find it too hard to do while on the floor, try bear crawling up the stairs.