3 Ways Yoga Can Help Improve Posture in a WFH World By Divya Balakrishnan

3 Ways Yoga Can Help Improve Posture in a WFH World By Divya Balakrishnan

Feeling crunchy after a day of grinding away at your desk? With a steadily increasing percentage of the population now working from home, we're spending less time moving and more time glued to our desk with our shoulders hiked up to our ears, perpetually hunched towards our computer. Try these 3 yogic practices to counteract tension built from WFH posture, plus a surprising bonus addition at the end!

1. Uttanasana (Forward fold)

The forward fold is commonly known as just another step within the sun salutation sequence. It's rarely practiced as a standalone pose - yet it can be incredibly supportive for our overall posture. If you work at a desk, it's very normal for your spine to slightly compress over a period of time. This can lead to lower back pain and weakening of the abdomen.

How to practice:

  1. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, engaging your pada bandha (foot bind) for stability
  2. Hinge forward at the hips and drop the crown of your head towards the floor
  3. Place your hands on the floor, your feet or some blocks and feel free to bend your knees
  4. Draw your navel into your spine to create space
  5. Take 5-10 slow breaths before gently coming back up


  • Loosens up the spine, particularly through the neck and lower back
  • Stretches the hips and hamstrings
  • Allows for better blood flow through the upper body

2. Malasana (Garland pose)

The spine isn't the only thing that can feel compressed after a day spent at the desk. Your hips are bearing the weight of your upper body in a static position without much room to open up. Over time this can affect our mobility, so it's important to pay attention to this region of the body.

How to practice:

  1. Bring your feet slightly wider than hip width, and squat down as far as is comfortable
  2. If your heels lift when you lower your body down, try placing rolled up towels underneath them to stabilize your stance
  3. Join your palms in prayer position and gently push your elbows into the inside of your knees
  4. Inhale to lift the crown of your head and lengthen your spine
  5. Exhale to release your tailbone downward and press your hips open


  • Opens the upper chest and hips
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Builds ankle strength and mobility

3. Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Cat-Cow pose)

When we think of “good posture” we primarily associate it with the shoulders, chest, and back. However, the abdominal muscles have a lot more to do with our spinal alignment than it may seem. By engaging the core and pressing the abdominal wall back, the spine has more support to stay upright.

How to practice:

  1. Start in a neutral tabletop position with your hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips
  2. Inhale to lift your tailbone, drop the belly, and open your chest
  3. Exhale to tuck your chin, draw your navel into the spine, and drop your tailbone down
  4. Focus on keeping your core engaged as you flex your spine
  5. Allow your breath to guide into a seamless flow between the two postures


  • Stretches the abdominal muscles
  • Improves spinal mobility
  • Opens the chest and collarbones

Bonus: Ujjayi pranayama

Modern research has shown that posture can be affected by so many factors - from our physical habits, to our activity level and so on. However, the most surprising learning for me was that our tongue position - yes, you read that right - can also play into this. Keeping our tongue lifted to the roof of our mouth helps to maintain alignment of the jaw and the neck. And yes - there's yoga for that, too!

How to practice:

  1. Seal your lips
  2. Lift your tongue and flatten it to the roof of your mouth and slide it back to seal the throat
  3. Breathe through the nose in a slow, controlled manner

Benefits of Ujjayi pranayama:

  • Builds heat in the body
  • Keeps the tongue in the ideal posture
  • Strengthens lungs and improves breathing quality

Learn more from Divya by following her on Instagram



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