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5 Yoga poses for a strong and flexible spine

5 yoga poses for a healthy spine

15 sep 2015 by Esther Ekhart

Here are some poses that will help improve and maintain healthy movement, flexibility and strength of the spine. Includes a 6 min yoga video. 

There is this saying that you are only as young as your spine is flexible. If that is the case, the question arises what should/can we minimally do every day to keep our spine as strong, flexible and healthy as possible.

There are 5 major movements that the spine makes

These movements are:

  • Flexion, rounds the spine forward
  • Extension, rounds the spine back
  • Rotation, twists the spine
  • Side bending/Lateral flexion of the spine
  • Axial extension, decompresses and vertically elongates the spine

During a yoga class we usually practice all of these five movements. Especially unloading the spine through axial extension is what makes us often feel really good.

In daily life we tend to forget to take our spine through its full range of movements, the spine as a result gets stiffer and loses it fluidity.

A stiff or misaligned spine also has an effect on areas way beyond the spine

A stiff or misaligned spine also has an effect on areas way beyond the spine.
Chiropractors and osteopaths even claim the health of the spine has an effect on the health of your organs since there are nerve endings or fascia that connect everything together. This would then explain the claim that you are as young as your spine is flexible. 

Just a side note that flexibility is a personal affair. Flexibility looks completely different from one spine to another. It’s about maintaining the flexibility and fluidity in your spine. Not to get the spine of your neighbour.

5 Yoga Poses for a healthy spine

I have included a choice of two Yoga poses for each movement of the spine. Pick 5 to do everyday, to at least maintain but also in time increase the fluidity, flexibility, strength and health of your spine.

1 Flexion

Child pose or Cat pose - Flexion of the spine

Child pose or Cat pose

2 Extension

Cow Pose or Sphinx Pose - Extension of the spine

Sphinx / Cobra or Cow pose

3 Rotation

Simple Seated Twist or Marichyasana

Simple Seated Twist or Marichyasana

4 Side bend

Standing Side Bend or Triangle pose

Standing Side Bend or Triangle pose

5 Axial extension

Upward Salute Pose or Downward Facing Dog Pose

Upward Salute Pose or Downward Facing Dog Pose

Try it in this free class

5-yoga-poses-for-the-spine

5 Yoga poses to keep the spine strong, flexible and healthy

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