Hunched Back? Yoga Can Help: How to Prevent Hyperkyphosis (Dowager’s Hump) and Live Longer


With baby boomers entering their 60s and 70s, many are developing posture problems, particularly an excessively rounded upper spine and forward head.  Also sometimes referred to as hyperkyphosis, this slow deterioration of posture can contribute to numerous health issues, and can even affect how long we live.

Poor posture is one of the most overlooked health issues in today’s society. Bad posture lies at the root of much shoulder, neck, and back pain, and it can even be involed in recurring migraines and headaches. The rounded shoulders and forward head posture, which is so common in our computer-age, also compresses the chest cavity and heart area, restricting the breath and lowering your vitality and well-being.

Worse, if poor posture is allowed to progress into the full-fledged hyperkyphotic posture, a.k.a. dowager’s hump, it causes numerous health issues. Studies of elderly in nursing homes with the seriously hunched back of dowager’s hump have found that people with advanced hyperkyphosis tend to suffer more health problems and die earlier than their peers.

Fortunately, whether you are new to yoga or a yoga teacher looking for new ways to help students enhance alignment in yoga poses, there is much that can be done over time to improve posture awareness and strength. Studies have shown that yoga in particular can help strengthen the core posture support muscles and stretch and release tight muscles, which otherwise keep you trapped in a bad posture. Even better, as your posture improves, so does the structural health, balance, and vitality of your body.

The earlier you begin, the better. In this online course, we look at some of the reasons posture deteriorates as we get older, and what you can do to help prevent or reverse the early stages of hyperkyphosis. (Please note: People with advanced hyperkyphosis should be working with a PT or other health professional when doing exercises to improve posture.)

This course Also Includes:

  • Yoga Practice Videos for Posture Improvement: You will get two 20-minute yoga practices with a corrective posture sequence to help strengthen your back and improve posture in a holistic and complete way.
  • Recordings of Both Sessions: Yours to keep. It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get the recordings of both sessions, enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of Both Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.

This course qualifies for 3 CEs with Yoga Alliance.

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Eva Norlyk Smith is a co-founder of YogaUOnline & creator of Healthy Back, Healthy Body, a series of therapeutic yoga courses. Terrance R. Smith, Ph.D., RYT 200 has extensive training in bodywork and myofasical release.

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