Warming up the spine
Spine is made out of 33 individual bones and is the biggest support for your body. It is very important to warm up the muscles, joints and ligaments around the spine before you try to do any advance yoga postures. A great way to warm up is practicing the Sun Salutations, as it really does get your heart rate up and warms up all the muscles. However, I prefer, even before the Sun Salutations, to do a few warm up exercises on the floor as our spines have to be really pampered and taken care of. Although our spines are designed to carry weight, bend, twist and support us, it takes one wrong move to injure the spine, especially if practicing advance yoga postures without supervision.
Here is a short video of my favourite spine warm up.
- Start on all fours and do a few (5-10) Cat Cow stretches. (Flexion and Extension)
- Then continue with a circle motion movement (as demonstrated in the video) of the spine. Make 5 circles to the right and 5 circles to the left. (Adding Lateral Flexion and Reduction)
- Then we continue with some gentle spinal twists and shoulder stretch as demonstrated in the video. 5 breaths each side. (Rotation)
- Then relax in child's pose for a few breaths.
- If preparing for some backbends: From all fours keep your hips up towards the ceiling and lower your chest down with arms extended in front of you. (Hyper Extension)
- And the last one, if your spine is extra flexible, you can try straightening your legs, for an even deeper Hyper extension.
- Finish off with a child's pose and you are ready for some yoga fun :)