A healthy spine is critical to your overall wellbeing. Here, we explore the importance ofspine health as well as a series of yoga asanasto help keep your spine strong and supple.
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Yoga For Healthier Body
Your spine is the main support structure in your body, which distributes the weight between your upper and lower body and allows you to move with freedom (stand upright, twist and bend), along with connecting various parts of your skeletal body to each other.
Steps to follow for yoga exercise:
Begin by lying on your back, with your feet flat on the yoga mat. Take a few minutes to centre, by bringing mindful awareness into your body and the breath and acknowledging the overall sense of your being.
When you feel ready, lift your hips a little, and move them slightly to the left, as you lower both of your knees to the right, entering the revolved abdomen pose. You can experiment by keeping your knees closer or further away from your abdomen. Allow your right hand to rest on your left thigh, and your left arm either extend to the left or bend at the elbow.
Turn your head to the left, away from the direction your brought your knees in, remaining in the pose for five breaths. Then, slowly turn your head to the right, and stay in the supine twist for a further five breaths, before repeating the pose on the other side.
Remaining on your back, place your feet flat on the floor comfortably apart and away from your hips. Extend your arms to the sides with your palms pressing down. As you inhale, press your feet and the back of your shoulders into the floor and lift your hips, lower and mid-back up (setu bandha sarvangasana).
On your exhale, begin to lower your hips down, and at the end of the exhalation, hug your knees tightly to your chest (apanasana). This completes one round. Continue for next five to seven rounds, lifting the hips into the bridge pose on your inhalations (incorporating the optional addition of lifting of the arms above your head half-way through the sequence), and drawing the knees to your chest on exhalations.
After the last round, hold bridge pose for six breaths, either holding onto the outside edges of your yoga mat, or with your fingers interlaced underneath your back. Then come out of the pose and draw your knees towards your chest holding apanasana for a few breaths,
Have cow pase pose
Begin seated on the floor with your legs extended or at the edge of a cushion, if you prefer to have your hips elevated. Bending your right knee, cross your right thigh over the left, bringing your right knee above the left, allowing your thighs to adduct. On the inhale, bring your left arm up, expanding across your left ribs, and on the exhalation keep your left arm extended lean to the right side, either keeping your right arm extended or bending at the right elbow.
Keep your sitting bones grounded and stay in the pose for six breaths. Come out on the inhale. Then, while keeping your right leg on top, place your right fingertips behind you, and rest your left hand or forearm above your right knee. As you breathe in, press the floor away with your back fingertips lengthening your spine. As you breathe out, twist to the right, keeping your neck relaxed.
Raised hands pose
Begin standing in mountain pose, with your feet under the hips and arms by your sides. Inhale sweep your arms upwards, and let your shoulders relax on the exhalation. Bend your elbows or increase the distance between your arms, if you experience discomfort in your shoulders.
Keep your spine long and stay in the pose for three to five deep breaths. Release on the exhalation, and then repeat twice more, noticing how the pose feels in your body. From here, you can add three to five rounds of sun salutations to further warm your body.
Sit on the floor or elevate your hips by sitting on the edge of a folded blanket or cushion. Place the soles of your feet together and slide your feet away from your groin. Fold forward, allowing your back to round and your head to relax. Avoid pulling yourself deeper into the butterfly pose. It is a yin posture — trust the time in the pose to allow for passive connective tissue traction. Remain in the pose for three to five minutes. Breathe deeply. To come out, slowly unroll, using your hands t
o press the floor away and to bring your knees in towards each other .GGet m