Spine alignment

For a yoga practitioner, understanding the interaction in the body allows to add the awareness into practice.

Spine is bearing pad and protective cage for the spinal cord at the same time. It is flexible and mobile system. Spine is a collection of bone formation – vertebrae, separated by a special padding – intervertebral disc. The total intervertebral discs height is up to 25% of the total height of the spine – that creates a powerful shock-absorbing system. Adjacent vertebrae are connected to each other via the interlayer – disk and joints on the upper and lower appendages. As a result, we have a network of small joints that connect the vertebrae together. Like any joint, each of them entwined with ligaments and receives nourishment in motion. Ligaments form an elastic frame, limiting the excessive mobility of the spine.

Spine with ligaments is like a layer cake, braided with a large number of muscles between vertebrae. Spine health depends on the state of the deep muscles. Improving blood flow in them during their work – allows to maintain health in the intervertebral joints.

The golden rule of hatha yoga is to have axial alignment of the spine while performing any asana, during the time staying in the asana and getting in and out of the pose.

The method of getting the axial alignment: Stay tall. Place the chin and eyes parallel to the horizon line. Put your fingers of one hand on you crown. This place is almost a projection of the first cervical vertebrae. Stretch the crown up, then increasing the distance between the base of the skull and the shoulder line, gently elongate on cervical spine. Alternately, elongate every next spine column, descend attention to its base – the coccyx.

By Kateryna Lemeshko

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