Yoga for spinal cord: 8 exercises to target and strengthen the muscles supporting your spine | Health - Hindustan Times
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Yoga for spinal cord: 8 exercises to target and strengthen the muscles supporting your spine

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Apr 05, 2024 01:19 PM IST

Create a fitness sequence targeting the muscles supporting the spine and combine these 8 Yoga exercises in a fluid and intentional manner.

Yoga poses and sequences can be highly beneficial for strengthening and supporting the muscles surrounding the spine where, by incorporating specific poses into your fitness practice, you can improve posture, reduce the risk of injury and enhance overall spinal health. To create a sequence targeting the muscles supporting the spine, you can combine these poses in a fluid and intentional manner.

Yoga for spinal cord: 8 exercises to target and strengthen the muscles supporting your spine (Image by Freepik)
Yoga for spinal cord: 8 exercises to target and strengthen the muscles supporting your spine (Image by Freepik)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, advised, “Start with gentle warm-up poses like Cat-Cow Stretch and Child's Pose, then gradually progress to more strengthening poses like Bridge and Locust. Finish with calming poses like Seated Twist and Corpse Pose to release any tension and restore balance to the spine.” He suggested some Yoga poses and sequences that target the muscles supporting the spine -

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  1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides. Engage your core muscles and lengthen your spine, lifting through the crown of your head. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, focusing on alignment and breath awareness.
  2. Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana): Start on your hands and knees, with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Inhale as you arch your back, lifting your tailbone and chest towards the ceiling (Cow Pose). Exhale as you round your spine, tucking your chin to your chest and pressing through your hands and knees (Cat Pose). Repeat for 5-10 rounds, moving with your breath to increase spinal mobility.
  3. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Begin on your hands and knees, tucking your toes under and lifting your hips towards the ceiling. Press your hands firmly into the mat and lengthen through your spine, reaching your chest towards your thighs. Hold for 5-10 breaths, focusing on elongating the spine and engaging the core muscles.
  4. Child's Pose (Balasana): From a kneeling position, sit back on your heels and extend your arms forward, lowering your forehead to the mat. Relax your spine and allow your chest to sink towards the ground, releasing tension in the back muscles. Hold for 1-2 minutes, breathing deeply into the lower back and hips.
  5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Lie on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides. Press into your feet and lift your hips towards the ceiling, engaging your glutes and core muscles. Keep your shoulders grounded and interlace your fingers under your back, rolling onto your shoulders slightly. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release back to the mat with control.
  6. Locust Pose (Salabhasana): Lie on your belly with arms by your sides, palms facing down. Inhale as you lift your chest, arms, and legs off the mat, lengthening through the spine. Keep your gaze forward and lift from the strength of your back muscles, engaging your glutes and hamstrings. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release down and rest before repeating.
  7. Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana): Sit with legs extended in front of you, then bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot outside your left thigh. Inhale to lengthen the spine, then exhale to twist towards the right, placing your left elbow outside your right knee. Use each inhale to lengthen the spine, and each exhale to deepen the twist, keeping both sit bones grounded. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat on the other side.
  8. Corpse Pose (Savasana): Lie on your back with arms by your sides and legs extended comfortably. Close your eyes and relax your entire body, allowing your spine to settle into its natural curve. Stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes, focusing on deep breathing and releasing any remaining tension in the spine.

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