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Yoga can make you feel taller because of an emphasis on correct posture.
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Yoga's emphasis on alignment and posture can make you feel taller, but beware of claims by teachers or websites that promise actual physical growth. As you develop better posture, including standing straight and relaxing the shoulders, this can help you look taller. However, scientific research does not substantiate claims that yoga can make you taller.
Yoga and Posture
Yoga instructors often talk students through the process of standing taller, especially in Mountain pose. In Mountain pose, students press their feet into the ground firmly, activating the quadriceps and relaxing through the knees for strong leg engagement. The abdominal muscles are relaxed and contracted, drawing the torso straight up the spine. Shoulders drop away from the ears, elongating the neck. Meanwhile, the crown of the head lifts tall, creating space along the neck for additional length. Taken together, these steps can temporarily add height to your previous slouched posture. Over time, better posture might become habitual and you will feel like a taller person.
Hunching Your Spine
Poor posture not only makes you look shorter, it can cause physical problems in the body. Too much curving in the low back, or lumbar spine, can create problems such as low back pain, slipped discs or circulation issues. Yoga can help strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, creating a more resilient protection from injury. Paying attention to your posture helps protect the spine and the surrounding muscles, since correct alignment relieves pressure from these sensitive areas.
Postures for Height
Certain yoga poses can make you look and feel taller because of their emphasis on a strong back, straight spine and proper posture. In Easy pose, sit cross-legged with your hands resting on the knees. Distribute your weight evenly through the left and right hips and buttocks, and then straighten your spine. Allow the shoulders to drop, lengthening through the neck. Locust pose is another effective way to promote good posture. Lie on your belly, extending both upraised arms directly in front of your body. Then, press your extended back legs together and lift them from the ground. On the inhale, reach forward as far as you can with your arms. On the exhale, kick both feet back as far as you can to extend through your legs. This dynamic tension allows your back and spine to stretch and achieve alignment.
Feeling 10 Feet Tall
According to yoga philosophy, appropriate posture and alignment has benefits that have nothing to do with adding a few inches to your height. For example, strong, powerful posture helps serve as a metaphor for inner strength and emotional alignment. Some branches of yoga, including Kundalini yoga, teach that the body's energetic fields line up through the spine so that when correct posture is achieved, centers of energy come into alignment that promote a sense of personal and communal well-being.