Let's Talk Anatomy, Part 2: The Spine
In this week's Teesha Talk Tuesday, we will continue our discussion of anatomy and its relationship with yoga. Today, we will discuss spinal alignment (and rotation) and how it aligns with yoga. Let's get started!
As you know, the spine, or backbone, is your body's central support structure. It connects different parts of your musculoskeletal system. Your spine helps you sit, stand, walk, twist and bend. Back injuries, spinal cord conditions and other problems can damage the spine and cause back pain, which is where yoga comes into play. Yoga encourages spinal alignment and improves the state of your posture overtime.
How does yoga tie into spinal alignment and rotation? Yoga helps stretch and strengthens both sides of the body equally. Proper body alignment and good posture, which helps maintain the natural curvature of the spine, is an important part of reducing or avoiding lower back pain. The yoga poses are meant to train the body to be healthy and supple. Consistent practice and application will result in improved posture, and an increased sense of balance, with head, shoulders and pelvis in proper alignment. Not only does continued practice train your body but it builds more self-awareness within you as a person and serves as a reminder to sit properly to avoid spinal issues. Awareness of the body through yoga increases with practice. In theory, specific positioning and repositioning not only limbers the body, but also trains people to understand the limitations of their body. An increased awareness acts as a preventative measure, in that the individual will know what types of motions should and should not be avoided.
An example of a common yoga pose that helps with spinal alignment and rotation would be the Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana). It's a pose where you begin sitting with your legs extended in front of you, seated with great posture, shoulders aligned with your hips and facing forward. Then, you proceed by crossing one leg over the other at an acute 45 degree angle, bringing the ankle of your right leg to meet the outside of your left knee. Then, you can begin to twist your torso, so your shoulders are parallel with the wall in from of you, targeting your lower back. The Seated Twist pose is effective in improving the rotation deep within the spine, which is necessary for healthy spinal mobility. It also stimulates the circulation and function of the internal organs and can assist in the elimination of toxins stored in the muscles and organ tissues.
Are you or someone you know experiencing back pain or has suffered spinal injuries and are looking to restore your spinal mobility? Join us for a session in Restorative Yoga where we will pinpoint your target areas and build the perfect yoga flow to conform to your personal needs. Reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or giving us a call at 470-591-0167. We look forward to seeing you soon! Until next time, stay safe!