Remember when your mother told you to stand up straight? There was a good reason for that. Over time, your back will lose the effortless flexibility of your youth due to slumping over your work desk during the day and into your sofa in the evening. Many people will develop a condition called kyphosis, which is a hump in the thoracic spine. Correcting this problem requires strengthening your back and opening your chest area which has become compressed from slouching. Practicing yoga can help get you over the slump.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Reach under the fleshy part of both outer hips with your hands and pull them out to the side and settle onto your sitting bones. Flex your feet upwards. Draw your big toes back and your four smaller toes towards you. Hunch your shoulders up towards your ears and then lower them while pulling your shoulder blades down your back. Center your head over your shoulders. Lengthen your torso up from your waist. Position your hands flat on the floor right next to each hip. As you sit in Staff pose for up to five minutes, maintain the downward thrust of your shoulder blades as this will force you to keep your back straight.
Upward-Facing Dog Pose
Lie face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you. Keep the top of each foot flat on the floor. Bend your elbows and place your hands next to your waist. Press into the floor with your hands and on an inhale straighten your arms and lift your torso and legs off the floor a couple of inches. Look straight ahead or tilt your head slightly back. Breathe normally while balancing in Upward-Facing Dog pose for 30 seconds. If raising your torso and legs off the floor is too difficult for you in the beginning, keep the tops of your legs on the floor while lifting through your torso.
Sitting on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you, transfer your weight onto your right buttock. Bend both of your knees. Let both of your legs flop to the right and draw both feet to rest on the floor behind your left buttock. Straighten your torso. Exhale and then twist from your waist to the right. Place your left hand on your right knee and the fingertips of your right hand on the floor beside your right buttock. Breathe normally in Bharadvaja's Twist for up to a minute and then repeat on the left side.
Lie on your stomach on the floor with your arms close by your sides. Rest your forehead on the floor. On an inhale, raise your head and shoulders a couple of inches off the floor and your arms and legs off the floor about four to six inches. Press your pelvis into the floor. Stay in the Locust pose for up to 30 seconds pressing back through your legs and arms as they hover off the floor.