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Yoga for strong and supple spine: 4 exercises to cultivate healthier spine for good posture

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

Yoga is a powerful tool for promoting spinal health, offering a range of poses and practices that can strengthen and stretch the muscles surrounding the spine, improve flexibility and enhance overall mobility. A strong and supple spine is essential for maintaining good posture, preventing injuries and supporting optimal function throughout the body.

Yoga for strong and supple spine: 4 exercises to cultivate healthier spine for good posture (Photo by wee lee on Unsplash)

Importance of alignment

In an interview wth HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, revealed, “By incorporating yoga into your routine, you can cultivate a healthier spine and enjoy the benefits of improved well-being. One of the fundamental principles of yoga is the focus on alignment, which is particularly important when it comes to spinal health. Proper alignment helps distribute weight evenly along the spine, reducing strain on individual vertebrae and supporting the natural curves of the spine. Many Yoga poses are designed to encourage proper alignment, allowing practitioners to lengthen the spine and create space between the vertebrae.”

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Yoga asanas for spine health

He suggested the following Yoga asanas for a strong and supple spine –

  1. One of the simplest yet most effective poses for promoting spinal health is Mountain Pose (Tadasana). In Mountain Pose, you stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, grounding down through the soles of your feet while reaching upward through the crown of your head. Engaging the muscles of the legs, core, and back helps to align the spine and promote better posture. By practicing Mountain Pose regularly, you can improve your awareness of alignment and cultivate a strong, stable foundation for other yoga poses.
  2. Plank Pose (Santolanasana) is a classic yoga pose that effectively engages the core muscles while also improving overall strength and stability. To practice Plank Pose, start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core muscles and hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on maintaining alignment and stability throughout the body. As you build strength in your core, you’ll also strengthen the muscles that support your spine, helping to prevent and alleviate back pain.
  3. Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) can be practiced sitting on the floor or in a chair. To practice Seated Spinal Twist, sit up tall with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left knee. Inhale to lengthen the spine, then exhale to twist gently to the right, placing your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on the floor behind you. Hold the twist for several breaths, then repeat on the other side. Seated Spinal Twist helps to increase flexibility in the spine, improve digestion, and relieve tension in the back muscles.
  4. One of the most well-known forward folds is Standing Forward Bend (Padahasthasana), which can be practiced with bent or straight legs depending on your level of flexibility. To practice Standing Forward Bend, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hinge forward from the hips, reaching your hands toward the floor or placing them on your shins or thighs for support. Keep a slight bend in your knees if necessary to maintain length in the spine. Allow your head and neck to relax, and breathe deeply into the stretch for several breaths. Standing Forward Bend helps to release tension in the spine, calm the mind, and promote a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar recommended, “Incorporating Yoga into your routine can be a valuable tool for promoting spinal health and overall well-being. By practicing Yoga poses that strengthen and stretch the muscles surrounding the spine, improve alignment and posture and increase flexibility and mobility in the spine itself, you can cultivate a stronger, more supple spine and enjoy the benefits of improved physical and mental health. Whether you’re new to Yoga or have been practicing for years, there are poses and practices to suit every level and ability, making Yoga accessible to all who seek to support their spinal health and enhance their quality of life.”

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