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When I first started practicing yoga, people started asking me if I was getting taller, and as weird as it sounds, I “felt” like I was getting taller. Because of their reactions, I looked into if yoga makes you taller and here is what I found.
Does yoga make you taller? Yoga does not help you grow taller after puberty because the average person stops growing at 21 years old, but the practice of yoga can make you taller by 1-2 inches because of its ability to improve your posture and get you lean.
Even though yoga may not make you taller after puberty, it has the potential to make you appear taller by practicing a few specific poses we are about to talk about. But first let’s talk about why yoga makes you appear taller.
Why Does Practicing Yoga Make You Appear Taller?
When you start practicing yoga you are going to quickly find out that it is going to engage your core and many different muscles you have never trained before that relate to your posture.
These are the muscles that have become weak because of the way our society has developed. Most of the time throughout the day the majority of us are sitting. We are sitting when we eat, when we drive a car, and when we work at our desks.
If you do not train certain muscles to help your posture, your body becomes weaker and causes you too slouch. The muscles also shorten because they are not being used as much as they should be.
Remember the body adapts to what ever you put it through.
If you are spending most of your time sitting down, your body is going to adjust to the length of which your muscles are usually at. If your body is active, it will adapt to whatever intensity you put your body through.
This is why being active is so important because if you don’t use your muscles you will loose them. So for those of you getting into living a healthier life style yoga is the best place to start.
Causes of Poor Posture
Most people know that sitting at a desk hunched over all day will contribute to poor posture, but did you know that your workouts could be causing you to naturally slouch as well?
People will often find themselves focusing more on “push” exercises when they go to the gym or working out in general. Push exercises tend to involve movements that cause you to push away from your body.
Overtraining with this type of movement without incorporating “pull” exercises will cause the body to become imbalanced. This imbalance occurs because you are only training specific muscles instead of your entire body.
This is why incorporating a full yoga routine is essential for fixing these imbalances that cause bad posture.
What Muscles Should I Train to Improve my Posture?
The main muscles you are going to want to train to have good posture is your core, back and shoulders. Strengthening these muscles will reduce the urge to slouch and naturally make you sit up straight, which will effectively add to your height.
The reason you are slouching is because your muscles in these specific areas are weak. Working on these areas with the yoga poses we are about to show you will help you reverse bad posture.
Improved Posture: Before and After Video
Need proof to show you the power yoga has over posture and height? Here is a video about a grandmother that is 85 years young being introduced to yoga. The transformation in this video is remarkable.
Yoga is very powerful and this video shows that it can help you in any stage of your life. Use this video as motivation to take control of your life to improve it for the better.
9 Yoga Poses To Make You Taller
The following poses are great to practice to improve your posture and help you stand taller. They stretch, strengthen, and create more space in your spine, neck, shoulders and chest, along with numerous other benefits such as stress and tension relief.
- Seated Forward Bend
- Triangle Pose
- Tree Pose
- Cat and Cow Pose
- Standing Forward Bend
- Reclining Hero Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Wheel Pose
- Plow Pose
1. Seated Forward Bend
This is a nice relaxing stretch for your spine and hamstrings. Doing this pose regularly is really going improve your flexibility in these areas and release all of the tightness.
- To get into Seated Forward Bend, sit on the ground and straighten out your legs. Make sure your feet are flexed and shoulders relaxed.
- Inhale your arms up with the palms facing. On the exhale, hinge from your hips and bring your hands to the side of your feet, ankles, or shins.
- For a deeper stretch grab your feet.
- For an even deeper stretch place a yoga block in front of your feet and hold the block.
- For those of you that aren’t as flexible (like me), bend your knees until you can grab your feet, or let your hands rest on your shins instead, lengthening through your spine.
2. Triangle Pose
Triangle Pose engages multiple parts of your body at the same time. While getting into the pose you will notice it engages the core, stretches your legs, and opens up your hips.
- Begin in a standing position and spread your feet out about 3-4 feet apart. Turn your right foot toward the front of the mat and bring your left toes slightly inward, make sure you have heel to heel alignment.
- Inhale your arms to shoulder level, parallel to the floor. Shift your hips to the left side while extending over the right leg. When you have shifted as far right as you can bring your right arm down and your left arm up into the air.
- Based on your flexibility level you may have your right hand on the floor or on your shin. Gaze up towards your left hand and hold the pose for a couple breaths.
- Repeat the same exact process on the opposite side.
Modification: Use a yoga block for support if you find it difficult to maintain good alignment while reaching towards the ground.
3. Tree Pose
This pose can be a bit tricky if you are just starting your yoga journey. For those of you that don’t think you can hold your balance on one leg I would highly recommend having a chair close by for support.
- Stand tall and begin to shift your weight over into your right foot. Bend your left knee and bring it up into the air, hinging it open by reaching your knee towards the left side of the room.
- Grab your left foot with your left hand and place it on the side of your right thigh.
- IMPORTANT: Never place your foot on the knee joint. If you can not place it on the thigh place it below your knee joint. Placing it on the knee joint can result in injury.
- Bring your hands into prayer to help you find your balance. Make sure you relax your shoulders and focus on the mid line that is running from the top of your head to the bottom of your foot.
4. Cat and Cow Pose
One of the best ways to start your day is by warming up your body with Cat and Cow Pose. Not only is it going to get your spine and body warmed up but it is going to help strengthen your core to make you appear taller.
- Start on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are below your shoulders and your knees are hip distance apart. To keep the pressure off your wrists make sure you press your fingers firmly into the ground.
- On your next inhale, arch your back, drop the belly, keep your shoulders back, and open up your chest. Make sure your gaze is upward toward the sky. This is Cow Pose.
- On the exhale, reverse the pose by rounding out your back and bringing your head down keeping your gaze at your naval. This is Cat Pose.
- Flow in and out of this pose a couple times, guiding each pose with your breath.
Modification: If you feel pressure on your knees, place a blanket or two underneath them to reduce the pressure.
5. Standing Forward Bend
Standing Forward bend is a great pose to release tension in the neck and shoulders, as well as lengthen the spine. It’s also a good pose to get into if you’re feeling stressed.
- Start in Mountain Pose. Stand tall and relax your body. Inhale and bring your arms above your head with the palms facing each other.
- Exhale and hinge from your hips very slowly and controlled while keeping your legs straight. Keep your hands to the side of your legs or place them behind your legs for a deeper stretch.
- Breath into this pose and let gravity decompress your spine and neck to give it an opportunity to lengthen.
Modification: If you have very tight hamstrings, try using yoga blocks to rest your hands on for support.
6. Reclining Hero Pose
Not only is this a great stretch for you thighs and ankles, you will really feel your chest and shoulders open up when you get into the reclined position.
- Start off with your knees on the ground and slow bring your butt toward the ground in between your feet. Take a few deep breaths while sitting here to prepare your body.
- Slowly move your torso backwards. Make sure your elbows are touching the ground just behind your feet, bring the right elbow down first followed by the left.
- Once both elbows are on the ground slowly straighten out your arms toward your feet to allow your back to touch the ground.
- Remember to do all of these moves very slowly, controlled, and relaxed.
- Take a few deep breaths and really feel your body stretching.
- To come back up from this pose place your hands on your feet and slowly come back to your elbows. Once on your elbows slowly bring your weight forward. You can either place your arms by your sides to rest or stretch them overhead for a chest and shoulder stretch.
7. Cobra Pose
This pose is going to help you open up your chest and shoulders. I love doing this pose after holding Downward Dog for long periods of time.
- Start off in Plank Pose and make sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders.
- Exhale and slowly lower your body down to the floor. Untuck your toes, roll your shoulders back, and press your elbows inward.
- Send your chest forward and slowly lift your torso. Remember to maintain a strong base with your legs and feet to keep yourself stable.
- Once fully lifted, keep your gaze straight ahead and make sure your shoulders are back.
8. Wheel Pose
This pose may seem daunting to some of you. Don’t worry, you do not need to lift completely off the ground when starting out. It really is on the the best poses improve shoulder mobility and posture.
- Lie down on your mat and bring your heels close towards your bottom.
- Place your hands under your shoulders by bringing them behind your back with your elbows pointing toward the sky.
- Press into your heels to lift up your hips, this is going to feel like bridge pose for those that have practiced our core yoga routines.
- Once the hips are in the air, press into your hands to lift up your body off the ground. For those of you starting out this pose keep the crown of your head on the ground for support.
- To take the pose even further push into the ground to lift your head off the ground. When fully in the pose you will really begin to feel how this pose strengthens the muscles of your back.
9. Plow Pose
This is a great pose to help you decompress the pressure on your lower back and spine. Before attempting this pose we would highly recommend you warm up your back with the Cat and Cow Pose flow for a couple breaths.
- Lie down on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Make sure your hands are planted firmly on the ground by your side for support.
- Move your hands to your lower back to support your body. Walk your hands down slowly to bring your lower back upward.
- Slowly straighten your legs up into the air. With your legs straight, hold this pose for a few breaths.
- After a couple breaths slowly bring your feet to floor behind your head. Remember to not force your feet to the ground.
- If your feet cannot touch the ground bring them down as low as possible and you will still feel a stretch in your lower back and hamstrings.
I hope you have found a lot of useful information in this article and that it has shown you just another benefit yoga has to offer. For more useful information sign up to our Free Yoga Resource Library. The library has printable sheets that visually make it much easier to follow along with our yoga sequences.
Victor is the co-founder of Yoga Rove with his fiance Ally. He has been practicing yoga for 10+ years and is a long-term student and practitioner of alternative healing methods such as myofascial release and meditation. Victor has a passion for teaching others and is always learning new ways to heal and enhance himself through nutrition, movement, and mindfulness.