‘BhramhaDanda’is what our spine is called in Sanskrit and means ‘the walking stick of the almighty’. Correlating the two, it simply signifies its importance to the body as similar to a walking stick.
In the ancient yogic scripts, the spine has been considered as the most essential part of our body as a fit, well aligned and strong spine is vital for a pain-free and healthy life. It is why a number of yogas and yoga asanas have been targeted to improve the health, flexibility, and well-being of our spine and back.
The importance of Yoga for our Spine
Good health of the spine is the key to the good health of our entire body. Many of us know how important are our arteries? Malfunction and damage to our arteries may lead to many serious health hazards like heart attacks and erectile problems. Hundreds of years ago, Thomas Sydenham mentioned that ‘a man is as old as his arteries’. But do you know that the flexibility of our spine predicts the flexibility of our arteries and yoga is the most effective mean to keep our spines flexible? So now you must be admiring the magic of yoga and the importance of our spine.
Our spine is the control tower of our body and it is crucial that we keep them energized within its boundaries with the help of yoga. Yogic postures that influences the five natural movements of the spine is most important. These five movements are:
The Axial Rotation:
This is the position the spine twists in order to allow various daily functionalities. Through yoga asanas, this spinal functionality is improved. The half twist, fish twist and sage twist postures of yoga strengthen the spine that further assists in the daily routine movements with ease.
This movement of the spine allows the body to bend forward and the yogic postures that endorse this particular movement are the cat pose, the downward dog pose, and the child pose. These postures assist the spine in maintaining its natural posture.
It is a natural spinal movement that allows is to stretch and lengthens us. Yoga asanas that help this spinal pose to strengthen are the cobra pose, camel pose, and the upward dog pose.
The Lateral Flexion:
This spinal pose allows us lateral movements like bending sideways or turning sideward. The revolving head and knee pose and the side stretch are the yogic poses that influence these spinal actions making it more flexible and strong.
The Axial Extension:
This is the most common and naturally occurring spinal movement and there is no fix yoga possess to support this particular movement but yoga as a whole has its influence on this pose too.
The Benefits of Yoga on the Back and Spine
Yoga is practiced worldwide for its myriad health advantages. There are many forms of this ancient Indian practice, from easy and normal ones combined with meditation to the more physically involving ones. For people who are conscious of the health of their back and spine, yoga is a fantastic way to strengthen the muscles and improve the health of the spine.
- Yoga helps improving posture: Poor posture is the root cause of back and spinal problems. Performing yoga is an excellent way to improve our posture. It helps to maintain an erect spine in a sitting, lying or standing position.
- It helps stretching muscles and reduces tension: One of the major reason why many of us suffer from back pains and spinal problems is that of tension in the muscles at the back and shoulders. Yoga sessions strengthen back muscles and thereby reduces pain and muscles tensions.
- Promotes muscle strength: Weakness of the back muscles puts extra tensions and stress on the spine. Yoga gives muscles the time it needs to stretch, thereby increasing its flexibility and improving its strength.
- Promotes overall body awareness: Spine specialists will always tell you to improve your body awareness to improve the health of your spine. Yoga encourages us to think of our body and our health. It teaches us what to do to maintain better positions and postures, thereby, providing us with the knowledge to keep safe from spinal or other injuries.
Yoga is an art and also a healing technique that teaches us to improve our posture, promote a healthy way to align our spine and strengthen it and the muscles.