I am not sure who said this first, but my husband says it often, and he is absolutely correct. "You are only as young as your spine." Did you know that nearly 3 out of 10 U.S. adults – 72.3 million people – currently suffer from chronic low back pain, surpassing the number of Americans who have arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease, according to a large new Harris Poll. Aug 11, 2022
That is a big number, and the reasons are pretty obvious. Sitting too long and not moving enough. Check out this article about the detriments of sitting too much.
If you practice yoga on a regular basis, you will notice an obvious difference when you miss your weekly classes. I teach and practice between five and ten classes a week, and when I fall short of those numbers, I feel the compression that I compare to someone standing on my shoulders. There is a big difference in my spine, length, and fluidity of movement.
This week's Vinyasa class is called FLUID SPINE.
Check out the postures focused on spine fluidity (flexibility, range of motion, and strength)
The goal of all postures and sequences is to move better without pain or restriction in everyday life.
I. Warm-up postures:
Supported bridge- placing a block (or several) under your sacrum (the flat part of your lower back)
Supported Savasana- from 1. extend legs out into a narrow star and extend hands over your head.
Flowing bridge - Remove the block and come down into a bridge set up with feet hip-width and fingertips able to make contact with your heels. Inhale as you lift your hips and arms over your head and as you exhale, articulate your spine one vertebrae at a time from your neck to your tailbone. (Think about rolling all the way down the spine, making contact with the mat as you unravel down to the mat. ) As you finish the roll down to the mat, your hands return to your sides.
Hold bridge pose and create a "shoulder shelf" by rolling your shoulders underneath and interlacing hands behind your back. Keep your thighs parallel and avoid letting gravity pull you down.
5. Apanasana- Bringing your knees up into your chest in a little ball (head remains on the
mat). From here, roll around massaging your lower back.
6. From 5. wrap your arms around your thighs, grabbing opposite elbows and lifting your head and chest toward your knees.
7. Roll up into Table Top- Stack shoulders over wrists and knees under hip bones. Inhale into cow pose by dropping your belly, sending your hips high, and opening your chest. Exhale into cat pose by rounding the spine, drawing your belly inward, and dropping your chin to your chest.
8. Camel pose
9. Childs pose
10. Downward facing Dog
11. Rag doll with shoulder stretch (center and opening right and left)
II. Sun A Variation
This Sun A variation incorporates an Astanga move called Knees-chest-chin, and then we transition into a Cobra pose by pulling everything through after knees-chest-chin. The Sun A looks like this starting from High Plank.