Yoga is more than just a physical exercise, it’s also a philosophy that is all about balance, relaxation, and harmony. Yoga is the only known physical exercise that can give you the benefits of both physical training and relaxation. It’s the ultimate practice of balance, flexibility, and tranquility. If you’re a beginner, or are looking to improve your current flexibility, these yoga poses will help you to improve your overall flexibility. They are simple, yet effective for increasing your back and neck flexibility.
Most of the spine’s flexibility occurs in the neck and lower back, which is why most yoga postures focus on these areas. However, not all yoga poses focus on these areas equally, with some being more beneficial for this area than others.
Millions of people complain of back and neck pain due to the use of cell phones and computers, heavy backpacks, and many physical activities that affect spinal health. Although sufferers complain, many are unaware of the discomfort and spend years dealing with the pain.
The yoga poses below are some recommendations to increase flexibility and improve overall spinal stability.
1. Spine rotation in sitting position
This pose is ideal for improving spinal flexibility, promoting digestion, increasing blood flow to vital organs, and stretching the neck as the gaze moves to the shoulder.
How? While seated, extend the right leg and cross the left leg over the right, placing the left foot on the floor next to the right hip. Keep your left knee pressed against your chest. As you exhale, twist into a bent knee. Put your left hand on the ground behind you, near your sacrum. With your right hand, gently hold the left leg in place or to the side of the left leg. Repeat the process on the other side.
2. Cat and cow
The Cat and Cow pose is an ideal pose to improve spinal flexibility and shoulder mobility.
How? On all fours, knees under hips, wrists under shoulders. As you inhale, slowly lift your chest and chin and pull your shoulders back and away from your ears. As you exhale, turn your back, lower your chin to your chest, and mentally press your palms to the ground. Repeat several times, following the breathing.
3. Thread and needle
This is another simple spin for the spine that stimulates digestion and opens up the shoulders, back and neck.
How? In the same pose as the cat and cow, bring the right arm under the body and extend it to the left side. Gently place the right shoulder and ear on the floor. Watch your hips and keep them balanced with each other. If the feeling is normal, raise your left hand to the ceiling or place your left hand on your right thigh for support.
4. Baby Cobra
The baby cobra is an excellent energy pose that opens the chest, shoulders, spine and abdominal muscles and strengthens the neck.
How? Start at your belly and go along your upper chest with your palms. Point your toes straight back. As you inhale, press your arms down and lift your chest. Keep your elbows close to your body and your hips on the ground. You can keep the belly on the floor as the navel enters the spine, or lift the belly off the mat and transition into the king cobra.
5. Bow pose
Bendopens the chest, neck, back and abdominal muscles. It energizes the body, stimulates the abdominal organs, relieves stress, improves metabolism and promotes kidney health.
How? Lie on your stomach, bend your knees and grab your ankles or the tops of your feet. As you inhale, press your feet/ankles against your hands, naturally lifting your chest. Breathe in and hold the pose.
Take these yoga poses easily, paying attention to areas of tension and listening to your body to know how far to go when stretching. Make these postures a daily routine and forget about back and neck pain.