We are kicking off our Spring detox, with a 3-part series focused on improving the health of your spine. Each week, delve deeper with author, international yoga competition judge, and Senior BYL teacher Sam Magee. This week, we focus on mobility.

Mobility

Your spine, 33 individual bones, or vertebra, set in five different regions.

From your neck down, the five regions are the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal (coccyx). Between each of your vertebra is a disc that works as a shock absorber limiting excessive movement of the joint.

The space between the vertebrae allows the spine to move freely and the support from surrounding muscles maintains good posture.

Healthy movement of the spine comes from ‘good’ alignment of the spinal column.

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Posture) increases the flexibility in the entire spine, particularly the lumbar area.

Flexibility

The spine has 4 natural ranges of movement, forward, backward, sideways and twists. For good mobility, the spine needs to maintain all of these movements. In our daily life, we tend to do more forward bending than anything else. Flexibility is key as we age, stiff muscles affect your balance, increasing the risk of a fall.

A strong and balanced yoga practice will have the spine moving in all the ways to keep it healthy and vital.

Your organs and the 12 body systems are based around the spine. If you look after your spine the rest of your body is, usually, healthy and functioning well.

The central nervous system, the information highway of your body, runs through the spinal column. A healthy spine fosters a better connection between mind and body.

Back-bending is a vital part of a strong and healthy spine as it counteracts the excessive forward bending that we do in daily life. The movement provides essential nourishment to your spinal column, supporting good posture.

In conclusion, back-bending helps to keep the chest area open, free to allow for better breathing. From a yogic perspective, your breath is the key to a long and healthy life.

Want to improve flexibility while achieving deeper backbends in your Bikram Yoga practice? JOIN US for BYL’s special foundations workshop, Bikram Yoga Backbends on Saturday, 28 MARCH at the Canary Wharf studio!Led by BYL senior teacher Sam Magee, this workshop explores key Bikram postures in more detail, provides hands-on corrections and key tips to improve your flexibility, balance and strength. Book your space here.