Grow taller with yoga? Before you start yoga, measure your height. After practicing regularly for some months, check again and see how much you are standing taller. Differences in breathing and changes at an even more subtle levels, like psychological, are there as well.
Rounded shoulders and the head forward of shoulders is a fairly common posture. Exaggerate this posture as you read this. Notice when you round the shoulders the chest caves in. How easy is it to take a breath in this slumped posture? Now let your head hang forward a bit more. What is the sensation in the back of your neck? Check and see if you feel more or less energetic. Slowly straighten again.
The basic standing yoga posture, Tadasana, teaches how to stand still and well. And dynamic movement like Cat/Cow also help draw shoulders back and down to open the chest. Muscles in the upper back are strengthened when a poses like the Cobra is held.
Lengthening the Spine
To learn how to increase height first understand through experience the role of the spinal muscles to hold us erect. This group of 3 sets of muscles run parallel to the vertebral column and are aptly named the erector spinae. Explore the first exercise again. Round shoulders, protrude the chin. Now contract the erector spinae to straighten the spine.
A long flat muscle in the front of the body, the “washboard”, called rectus abdominus, runs from the pubic bone to the bottom of the sternum. It is divided into four. Let’s explore again. While sitting we’ll gently contract these muscles. Begin by breathing consciously. Then gently draw the lower abdomen in and up and continue conscious breaths. Relax excess tension. Even more gently draw the solar plexus area in and up, continue breathing consciously.
There is one more muscle to engage. It’s the strap-like muscle located on both sides of the front of the neck from the sternum and clavicle to the skull behind the ear. Draw the chin in not down, and notice the chest lift slightly. Help the ribcage to lift evenly on all four sides. Relax shoulders.
As you enter a yoga pose, lengthen the spine. While holding the pose, lengthen the spine again. Practicing yoga exercises in this way will keep the spine safe and increase your height in and out of the pose. Who would have thought of growing taller with yoga!