From Evolution to Devolution

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It is a common sight to find people slumping over on the chair. Whether it is the adults at work in front of their laptops or the kids in front of their study tables, unknowingly we are being plunged into a dangerous condition. Our ancestors used to walk with a hunch and we have slowly and steadily evolved over a period of time. But if the ‘Homo Sapiens’ continue to overlook this slumping habit, soon we will begin with a new phase of ‘devolution’. Many a time we tend to be so engrossed in our screen work that only seldom do we realize of our poor posture. Kids on the other hand are not bothered until and unless their mothers call out a warning.
Yoga comes to your rescue in this critical time. One needs to take care as yoga poses need to match how the body is designed to move in real life. It has the potential to strengthen your body muscles and calm your mind. Sparing a little amount of time from your hectic schedules could do wonders for not only your posture, but also save you from the future necessity of severe back problems and visits to the doctors or physiotherapists. The spine holds up our body all day long, so it’s naturally important to tend to it. Apart from that it is also the chief part of our central nervous system. Naturally one cannot afford to overlook its well-being. A few of these exercises which are said to be efficient for bad posture and back aches:
1) Bhujangasana:

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Also called the cobra pose (bhujang means cobra, asana means exercise) due to the similarity of form with that of a cobra snake, this exercise enables strengthening of the back muscles.
Lie down on the mat with your face towads the ground. Place hands near the chest and lift your head and chest slowly extending like that of a cobra. Keep still for a few seconds and slowly put head back to the ground. While lifting the head you need to inhale slowly. Repeat this for a few times.
This exercise is ideal for the spinal cord as also strengthening of stomach muscles.

2)Salabhasana:

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Also called the locust pose, this one is all about balance. It opens shoulders and neck, Strengthens the back and abdomen. It is also an efficient way to reduce upper and lower back aches. Just like in bhujangasana lie down with face towards the ground. Lifting your head upwards and opening up the chest, this time even the feet need to be moved upward. Balance the whole body on your stomach and stay still for a matter of 20 seconds. Then slowly rest your head and legs to the ground for a short rest. Repeat the procedures twice.
3) Uttanasana
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Trough this pose you can feel your spine lengthen as you fold your body over towards your feet. With some similarities to padahastasana, all you need to do is stand straight initially. Next bend your body forward without bending your knees and just hang there, grab your elbows with your opposite hands. After that breathe. Release your arms and try looking up by opening the chest and flattening your back. Inhale deeply and slowly during this procedure. Then exhale and bend again. This pose is also beneficial for toning your back and stomach muscles. It is like a counter exercise for bhujangasana.

4)Tadasana:

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This is perhaps the simplest of poses and many might even doubt its validity as a yoga pose. All you need to do is stand straight and by this it means you need to stand with your chest open, belly tucked inside and shoulders backwards. Look straight ahead, then tilt your head backwards and roll your shoulder upwards and back down.
It will improve the body alignment. Also after long hours of improper seating, you can take a short pause and perform this short routine and later resume your chores.

Care needs to taken while performing these yoga postures as improper methods may lead to undesirable consequences such as back injuries or muscle cramps. Also avoid excessive straining of the muscles and forceful workout sessions.
Apart from these yoga practices, it is of utmost importance to practice good posture in everyday life. A few tips on maintaining a healthy spinal cord are as follows:
• Sit straight without arching the back forward. Similarly while standing.
• While walking tuck your stomach in, push your chest backward and hold your chin up.
• Avoid sitting in front of your computer for long hours at a stretch.
• Occasionally change your posture, walk around and ease the stiffness before starting over again.
• Avoid straining your back or neck unnecessarily.
• Use a chair which is appropriately cushioned or has a comfortable back for seating.
• Avoid lifting heavy weights in case of back problems.
• When visiting the gym, always take help from a trainer during cardio and other heavy weight training to avoid any kind of back injury.

Just like it takes some time for good habits to develop, practicing the right posture will require some amount of patience. But if you want to deviate from the process of devolution and begin looking like your ancestors, it’s never too late to start afresh. So, here’s adieu to the devolution and back problems!