Tackling Forward Head Posture – Julie Gudmestad on Preventing One of Today’s Most Common Posture Problems

What is one of the most ubiquitous issues holding your students back in their yoga practice, an issue that also affects their energy and well-being in numerous ways?

Forward head posture! Forward head posture – and its more advanced relative, hyperkyphosis – is rampant in today’s sedentary, computer-centric society. Next time you are in the airport or at the mall, look around: You may find it difficult to find anyone – young and old – without some degree of forward head posture and rounded shoulders.

This isn’t just a cosmetic problem. Forward head posture can cause strain and tightness in the muscles of the neck and shoulders, potentially resulting in shoulder and neck pain, headaches, jaw pain, and in its more advanced stages, even compressed chest and breathing issues.

Since forward head posture affects many yoga students as well, how can we help students overcome this common issue before it develops into chronic structural problems? And, how can we prevent forward head posture from triggering common alignment issues holding students back in yoga postures?