The Benefits of Yoga: Spinal Health
Because yoga has so many proven benefits, it is helpful to break them down by category. Our blog has already covered the benefits of regular yoga classes, how yoga classes support mental and emotional well-being, and the particular advantages of hot yoga classes. In this blog post, we will focus on how yoga protects and maintains your body’s most imperative pathway: the spine.
Unlike other forms of exercise, running or weight lifting, yoga has particular benefits for the spine. Yoga classes encourage you to move your spine in six different ways and across different planes of the body. Think of your spine as a freeway with moving traffic. If there is a bottleneck, cars are stopped and energy slows. In order for traffic to move freely, you must clear these pathways. Yoga classes are like the green light in this scenario — they encourage energy flow through your spine by directing it in different ways.
Spinal Extension and Flexion
Spinal extension involves arching your spine, whereas spinal flexion means rounding your spin. Cat-Cow is a great example of spinal extension and flexion in a yoga class.
Benefits of arching include undoing the hunching posture we exist in almost all day on our computers, phones, or driving. Additionally, rounding our spines help us to expand our lung capacity and strengthen our core muscles.
Bending Laterally (left and right)
Think of making the C-shape with your body, that is a lateral bend. In yoga classes, you laterally bend in any pose that requires side-to-side arching, such as reverse warrior.
When you bend laterally, you open across your rib cage and out of your lower back. These poses also flush out your lymphatic system, as they stretch your ascending and descending colon.
Not only do twists encourage detoxification of your internal organs, but they also require your spine to move to the left and right. When we twist our spine, we increase the space between our vertebrae.
In a yoga class, you might hear the phrase “lengthen” your spine, and this is the same premise: we want to create space between our vertebrae so that they can receive vital nutrients and remain supple.
Flexible Spines Reduce Pain
As you take yoga classes and move your spine in ways that daily life often does not encourage, you also can reduce back pain.
For one, yoga classes gently stretch the muscles of your lower back that are otherwise crunched and tight all day. When your lower back muscles release, fresh blood can flow to this part of your body and heal tightened tissues.
No matter what type of yoga class you take at Yoga Pod Fort Collins, you will activate your spine and reap these tremendous benefits of yoga.
Stop by our yoga studio in Fort Collins today to sign up for $30 For 30 Days! We would also love to chat with you about any spine strengthening postures, sequences, or questions you might have about the benefits of yoga!