How to Take Care of Your Spine

Updated: Apr 28

Yin Yoga sequencing to give your spine some love!


Your spine is an important aspect of your health and it's mobility matters!


When I plan a Yin Yoga class with the spine in mind, the first thing I think about are the 6 ranges of spinal movement:


💖 Forward Flexion (forward folds)

💖 Backwards Extension (backbends)

💖 Lateral Sidebend (left and right)

💖 Rotational Twist (left and right)


You'd also want to consider Axial Extension (lengthening) when planning a spine focused class.


Now, it's just about creating a balanced class with a mix of all of these spinal movements.


THIS WEEK'S CLASS SEQUENCE IS POSTED BELOW! 👇


When I created this week's 15 minute sequence, I started with our ASANA LAB pose, SUPPORTED FISH. This pose covers a backbend and starts the class laying down on your back.


From there, I want to choose another of of the spinal movements with a smooth transition. Since you'll roll over to one side into a fetal pose to come out of SUPPORTED FISH, moving into a Supine Twist is an easy transition that makes sense, and covers the twisting movement in the spine.


It's really just thinking about what poses can work as a nice smooth transition from one to another.


I also considered having a more yang aspect in this class to wake everyone up, so I chose to add in Dragons with a sidebend to balance the reclined work we did before it.


Finally, I close with a simple forward fold, Caterpillar and another SUPPORTED FISH to come full circle. This 15 minute class covers all 6 directions of the spine and is a nice quick practice!


Practice with me to the BADASS YIN: SPINE LOVE FLOW either Live on Thursday or on demand in the FREE VIDEO LIBRARY after the class airs live.


BADASS YOGA WORKSHOP is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom for 15 minutes!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

ASANA LAB: SUPPORTED FISH POSE

Benefits:

  • Opens your heart and rotates your shoulders back helping to improve posture and undo the effects of slouching

  • Gives the lower back a nice release

  • Reduces anxiety and depression and increases metabolism

  • A great way to start a yoga practice for centering

Contraindications:

  • Lower back injury

  • Neck injury

  • High blood pressure

  • Migraines

  • Pregnancy (check with your doctor)

Getting Into the Pose:

  1. Place a bolster or blocks on your mat and lay down over them with your feet flat on the floor and knees to the sky. 1 block can be supporting your head or you can choose not to use a block and open up your throat. The other block supports your ribcage (bra strap line). Don't allow the block to go into your lumbar spine or neck.

  2. Allow your chest and heart to open and your shoulder blades to wrap around the bolster or block as you relax your arms alongside your body, palms facing up.

  3. Shift your hips back to ensure your pelvis is grounded on the mat and your lumbar (lower) spine feels long

  4. You can extend your legs out long on your mat as if you're going into savasana, bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to fall open in butterfly or keep your feet on the floor with knees to the sky.

Alternatives & Options:

  • Start with both blocks on the lowest setting, and adjust the setting of the blocks for what your body needs

  • Use props to support you on the floor such as a blanket, blocks or a bolster

Coming Out of the Pose:

  • Engage your core and bring your feet to the floor and knees to the sky (if you're not already there), extend one arm and roll to that side in fetal pose.

Muscles Affected:

  • Stretches the intercostal muscles between the ribs

  • Stretches the muscles and fascia of the chest, shoulders, abdominals and neck

  • Stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat

Recommended Hold Times:

  • 2-10 minutes

Other Names for This Pose:

  • Ada Matsyasana

 

BADASS YIN: SPINE LOVE FLOW


Practice this sequence with me LIVE on Thursday April 28th at 8pm ET

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


Supported Fish Pose - 3min


Supine Twist - right - 2min

Supine Twist - left - 2min


Dragons - side bend - right - 1min

Dragons - side bend - left - 1min


Caterpillar - bent knees - 2min


Supported Fish Pose - 2min

 

Check out my FREE VIDEO LIBRARY for more BADASS YOGA classes!


BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom and uploaded to my website video library afterward!

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