This week the focus is all on our spine. The spine is one of the most important bone structures in our body as it allows us to bend, twist and move. Your nervous system also runs up and down your spine, enabling your body to feel different sensations. When you injure your spine, it can be debilitating to your quality of life. Injuries can occur suddenly such as in accidents, but they can also occur gradually over time due to, for example, a poor posture. Therefore, looking after your spine is super important.
These 5 yoga poses focus on moving, stretching and twisting the spine in different ways to help promote healthy blood flow through the spine and spinal strength. Try completing these yoga poses regularly (at least 3 times per week) to help avoid long term spinal injuries and to relieve back pain.
Spinal twist poses - whichever variation you do - are like squeezing the blood flow in the spine like when you twist to squeeze water out of a wet cloth. After the squeeze, fresh blood flows through the time, bringing with it a rush of healthy blood cells. This helps to oxygenate the spine, helping to strengthen it.
Hold for 30s - 1 minute, then release with an exhalation. Repeat on the other side.
This pose is a moderate back-bend, helping to stretch the spine the opposite way to which it is normally held when we have poor posture (e.g. when slouching at a desk).
Stay in the pose for 20-30s if you can - breathing may feel uncomfortable but make sure to keep breathing!
This pose is fantastic for reducing back ache, and can help with sleep issues due to back-ache.
Try to hold the pose for a minute if you can. If you feel any neck strain whatsoever, do not do this pose.
This pose we re-visit from week 3 of the yoga series, so head on over there for details. It's a really effective pose for loosening up the back muscles and stretching the spine in opposite directions. Any time you feel any type of back strain, repeating cat-cow several times, while focussing on your breathing, can help to give immediate relief.
Hold for 15-30 seconds.
Again, avoid this pose if you have neck pain.
Written by Carina Pullen - a mother, triathlete, beach loving yogi. Her love and passion for teaching & practicing yoga is contagious and I'm so excited that she is going to share a 6 week yoga series with you!
This HEALTHY YOU yoga series will target not only the whole body, but will take you through poses that boost your health and wellbeing in ALL areas - physical, mental and emotional.