Drink all the milk you want, but once your bones stop growing there is really only one way to make yourself taller: yoga. Integrating a yoga practice into your daily workout routine can add up to an inch in height over two years simply by elongating key muscle groups to help you stand up straighter.
Try these simple yoga poses three times a week to stretch your spine and improve posture:
Mountain Pose. During this standing posture, focus on separating each vertebrae and aligning your spine. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, tuck your tailbone under your torso, slide your shoulder blades down your back and open your chest while extending the crown of your head toward the ceiling. Hold for two minutes and breathe deeply, taking the same amount of time to inhale and exhale slowly through your nose.
Downward Dog. This floor pose is intended to strengthen the shoulders and elongate the spine. Start by kneeling on all fours with your palms placed firmly on the mat slightly in front of your shoulders. Slowly lift your knees off the mat, straightening your legs and pushing your heels toward the floor. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and extend your tailbone up and back, letting your head and neck hang between your separated shoulders. Breathe in this pose for one minute and try to find stillness as you create length in the spine.
Wheel Pose. Because this inversion can cause strain to the spinal cord if not executed properly, this pose should only be done by intermediate to advanced yogis or under the supervision of an instructor. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet placed firmly on the mat two inches below your bottom. Place your hands beside your ears with your elbows pointed directly upward. Push off the mat, lifting your pelvis and balancing on your feet and hands. Relax the head and neck and use your inner thigh muscles to pull your knees inward to support the lower back. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds, release, and repeat for another 30 seconds. Make sure to follow this pose with a forward fold to equalize your muscle groups and avoid injury to the back.
For more ways to stretch and strengthen during Grow Month, check out the April experience schedule for on-property fitness classes like Grow an Inch Pilates and Yoga for the Spine.