A healthy and flexible spine, which is the body’s central support structure, is vital to one’s overall health. A strong and supple spine not only improves one’s overall health and longevity but also the efficiency of the nervous system. There is an ancient Yogic saying that – “You are only as young as your spine is flexible”. Let us look at some of the Asanas which work wonders for spinal health.
1. Child Pose (Shishuasana)
Sit on your heels touching the big toes together. Bend forward and rest your torso between your thighs and touch your forehead to the floor. Lay your hand besides the torso and relax your shoulders. Feel the stretch on the back. Rest for 30 seconds.
2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Begin by lying on your belly. Raise your upper body using your hands with elbows directly below the shoulders. Stretch your legs backwards and the top of your feet against the mat. Stay for 5-10 breaths in this pose.
3. Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)
Lie on the belly with arms on the side of the torso, with your palms facing upwards and forehead resting on the floor. Exhale and lift your head, upper torso, arms and legs with the weight on the pelvis and belly. Stay for 30 seconds and then relax.
4. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Kneel with thighs perpendicular to the floor and the knees and feet equally apart as much as your hips. Arch backwards and place your palms over your feet. Keep the arms straight and bend the neck without straining.
5. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Lie on your belly with the feet as apart as your hips and the arms by your side. Bend your knees and hold your feet with your hands taking them backwards. Breathe in and lift your chest and legs upwards. Look straight and take 4-5 deep breaths. Stay in this pose for 20 seconds.
Proper spinal alignment helps the flow of gravity and prevents muscle tension. A flexible spinal column keeps the spinal cord, which is housed inside, and the nervous system in good health. No wonder a healthy spine is called the Yogi’s “fountain of youth”.
This article is part of a series on Yoga.