Updated: Apr 13
A healthy spine isn't just important for our physical health and wellbeing, but it also accounts for our mental wellness too!
A healthy spine can help us to move freely, twisting, bending, extending and flexing when walking, sitting or standing. The spine is a central structure that helps to keep us steady and balanced, allows the limbs to move smoothly and also influences the quality of our breathing! However, if the spine becomes compromised, often through lack of movement or accumulated stress in our modern lifestyle, it can cause poor posture, pain and injury which limits our ability to move easily.
So we really do need to mind our spine!
Our spine is broken down into three distinct sections: the cervical spine (neck), the thoracic spine (upper back - across the ribs) and the lumbar spine (the low back). The most mobile part of the spine is the neck, while the mid section or thoracic requires a little more attention.
Within our yoga classes we'll often integrate side bends, shoulder movements and twists to help create more stretch and space in the upper back and neck, however for many bodies - especially those that are desk dwellers, as well as cyclists, swimmers and athletes this integral part of the spine benefits from targeted mobility movements including self-massage release using a variety of tools such as pranayama (breathing exercises), a stability ball and or a foam roller.
More and more research points to the relationship between breathing, the spine and the pelvic floor in allowing us to move with greater ease while also providing stability and support from the inside out. Plus we know now that better breathing nourishes the nervous system and improves mental clarity.
For the last few years, I have integrated mobility movements into my weekly routine using the stability balls you might see in the studio; I use these practices specifically to de-stress and I have also found they improve the quality of my sleep.
If you struggle to breathe well, suffer from ongoing stress, have poor posture or back pain - this might be just the medicine you need to move better in your body and find freedom in your spine!
Join me for a 90 minute Yin, Roll + Release workshop where we'll explore the anatomy of the spine using stability balls, breathing and movement to release stress, while improving posture, mobility and flexibility of the spine. Included in the workshop is a 20 minute downloadable practice you can use at home as well as your own stability ball to maintain your practice moving forward. Open to all ages, abilities and bodies regardless of your yoga experience.