Yoga for Spine Health | Badass Yoga For Active Bodies | Leah Yoga Chick

Updated: Jan 21



Have you ever heard someone say, "You're only as young as your spine is flexible"? We hear that a lot because it's true!


Your spine is what allows you to move through space and function at a high level physically and mentally. Your nervous system is also housed in the spine. It's important to take care of the spine as it's basically your lifeline! You rely on the spine to literally carry you through your day, every single day!


The spine has 6 movements that it can perform. Lateral side bends, twisting, forward flexion and backward extension. Moving your spine through it's 6 directions of movement can and WILL benefit you so in so many ways!


BENEFITS OF SPINAL WORK IN YOGA

- wrings out your spine and gets your blood moving and flowing through your system

- helps to move new oxygenated blood through your system

- daily practice will increase spinal mobility and flexibility

- lubricates your spinal disks for healthier function

- strengthens your spine and increases your ability to perform athletically

- lowers your chances of injury when doing other athletic activities

- if you don't use it, you lose it!


Put some extra focus on the mobilization of your spine by taking it through its 6 directions of movement regularly! A strong, healthy spine means you can live your life more freely without pain, and be able to do all the active things you love. You'll start to notice the increased mobility as you move through your day and be grateful that you invested the time into your spine!


Do some BADASS YOGA with me this week and get some much needed love into your spine. We'll move through a fun flow that will take your spine on a journey through its 6 directions of movement. You'll strengthen your spine and increase its mobility.


This week's class sequence is listed at the end of this blog post!


CAMEL POSE is one of my favourite ways to work into the spine and a great way to add a bit of heat to an already warm flow practice. Backbends like Camel Pose naturally create heat in the body.


Get yourself familiarized with CAMEL POSE and then practice with me to the BADASS YOGA: SPINAL MOBILITY FLOW either Live this Thursday or on demand in the FREE VIDEO LIBRARY after the class airs live.


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

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

ASANA LAB: CAMEL

Benefits:

  • A deep heart opening posture that strengthens your back while freeing your neck, chest, lungs, abdominals, and thighs.

  • Builds heat and increases stamina

Contraindications:

  • Pregnancy - check with your doctor

  • Back, neck, or disc injury

  • Knee injury

  • Low or high blood pressure

Getting Into the Pose:

  1. Come to a kneeling position and place your knees and feet hip-width distance apart. Bring your thighs perpendicular to the floor to begin. Press the tops of your feet, toes, and shins into the floor. Keep your pelvis neutral and your pelvic floor muscles engaged.

  2. Lengthen your spine and lift your chest. Place your hands behind your back with your palms to your lower back/upper gluteal area. Draw your elbows in slightly and engage your upper back.

  3. As you inhale, lift and expand your chest and reach back to take hold of your heels (one hand at a time) without compressing your lower back. Keep your shoulder blades firm against your back. If you are not able to reach your heels, you can curl your toes under to bring them closer, or keep your hands on your lower back until you gain more flexibility.

  4. Either your head and neck neutral and look up toward the ceiling, or drop your head back if it is comfortable for you. Be mindful not to strain or compress your neck.

  5. Keep your glutes firm but not overly contracted.

Alternatives & Options:

  • Stay upright with your hands supporting your lower back as you lean slightly backward.

  • Use a block or stack of blocks beside your feet to rest your hands if you can’t reach your feet

  • If you’re not able to reach your heels with the tops of your feet on the floor, you can flex your feet and curl your toes under to bring your heels closer to you.

  • You may place a block in between your thighs to help you engage inner thighs and find more length and stability.

  • Do one side at a time, bring one leg forward, foot firmly rooted on your mat in front of you, creating a 90 degree angle with the front leg. Place one hand on the front thigh, other hand on the hip. Reach back with your torso, lower the hand from the hip towards your back heel if your body allows.

  • Reach both hands back, if you have a flexible lower back, lower down to your forearms.

Coming Out of the Pose:

  • Come up slowly and with intention, leading with your heart and bringing your head up last. Pause in Hero Pose.

Muscles Affected:

  • Stretches the neck, chest, shoulder, abdomen, hip flexor, thigh, and shin muscles

  • Increases spinal mobility

  • Aids in deeper breathing by opening respiratory muscles

  • Strengthens back, inner thigh, and gluteal muscles

Recommended Hold Times:

  • 3-5 breaths

Other Names for this Pose:

  • Ustrasana

 

BADASS YOGA: SPINAL MOBILITY FLOW


Practice this sequence with me LIVE on Thursday January 20th at 8pm ET

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Supine Twist - other side

Ab Twists - 16

Alternate Toe Touches - 16

Cat/Cow


Warrior I - backbend

Humble Warrior

Warrior II

Peaceful Warrior

Extended Side Angle


Crescent Lunge - twist

Easy Twist

Wide Legged Forward Fold - twist

Low Lunge - side bend


Camel Pose

Bananasana - other side

Knees to Chest

 

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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