While Yoga experts acknowledge that the stretches can only help you get taller while you are still young, it is also accepted that yoga can improve your posture even at a great age. As we age, our spines start to shrink, visually decreasing our height. A lot of us also tend to slouch, either because of a lack of confidence or the mere negligence to keep our back straight. This can make us appear shorter than we actually are. Yoga asanas can help in strengthening our spine and back muscles and aligning our shoulders, hips and pelvis in its correct shape. Yoga's ability to relax the mind and remove stress also stimulates your body to produce important growth hormones.
This International Yoga Day we present to you 5 yoga asanas that will help you in aligning your body and increase your height:
1. Surya Namaskar (sun salutation)
Surya Namaskar is a series of 12 physical postures which comprise backward and forward bending postures. This stretches the spinal column, giving a profound stretch to the whole body. The best time to practice Surya Namaskar is when the sun rises, and you need to do it on an empty stomach.
2. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
Usually, this posture focuses on the calf muscles and leg muscles and plays a key role in toughening them. As these muscles become stronger, your chance of gaining height also goes up. This pose, unlike many other yoga poses, requires you to keep your eyes open while doing it. It is best to do this asana in the morning as it requires focus and concentration, which are better in the morning as you feel fresh after waking up. Practice this basic level Hatha Yoga asana for one minute on each leg.
3. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
As the name suggests, our body gets a triangular form while performing this asana. It is highly beneficial for shorter people as it increases body height at a rapid pace. Apart from this, the pose also helps in reducing stress, enhancing balance and improving posture. In Trikonasana, the eyes must be kept open to maintain balance. It is best to practice Trikonasana in the morning on an empty stomach. This beginner level Vinyasa Yoga pose needs to be held for at least 30 seconds.
4. Marjariasana (Cat Pose)
During the practice of this asana, the spinal cord gets completely extended in both forward as well as backward directions. It facilitates the expansion of every single cartilage disc present in the spinal column, which ultimately increases height. There should be a gap of at least 4-6 hours after eating to allow your body to digest the food and generate energy to do the asana. Hold the pose for 10 seconds.
5. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
It has been found that this asana can make the spinal cord and limbs (arms and legs) stronger. It also helps in making the whole body agile, which is really beneficial for height gain. Tadasana is one of the few poses that can be practiced at any time in the day. But if you plan to precede or follow it up with other asanas, make sure your stomach is empty and your bowels are clean. Practice this basic level Hatha Yoga pose for at least 10-20 seconds.