From a physical perspective, one of the main benefits of a yoga practice is to cultivate and maintain spinal flexibility and strength. There’s a saying ‘You’re only as young as your spine is flexible’. Having a stiff, tense and weak back not only makes us feel old, but it has a negative knock-on effect on the mobility throughout the entire rest of your body. This is why I often focus in my private sessions on helping clients to improve their spinal health and to realign the spine if their posture is poor.
The spine has five ranges of motion – flexion (forward-bends), extension (back-bends), lateral flexion (side-bends), rotation (twists) and axial extension (lengthening/traction). A nice way to sequence a yoga session is to see if you can incorporate all five of these movement patterns into the practice. If you’re short on time, or it’s first thing in the morning and you just need to gently bring some energy into your body, try the following five yoga exercises. Hold each pose for 5-8 breaths (each side if there are two sides) and you’ll be good to go!
Remember if you have any back injuries or current back pain these poses may or may not be appropriate and you might want to check with your healthcare provider beforehand.
The spinal column can move in four basic ways: forward (flexion), backward (extension), sideways (lateral flexion), and twist (rotation). The Yoga side bend is often the least practiced. This missed opportunity is unfortunate because side bends help to stretch and tone the muscles along the sides of the abdomen, rib cage, and spine, keeping your waist trim, your breathing full, and your spine supple.
Many people with back or hip problems have a hard time sitting upright on the floor. The all-fours position gives the spine more freedom and is an easier side bend from the floor. Follow these steps to enjoy the benefits.
We strongly recommend that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself.