The spine is a part of the central nervous system and is responsible for all functions of the body. When the spine is aligned, the unremitting force of gravity flows easily through it. It is believed that if the spinal curves remain perpetually disturbed, tension builds around the spinal column as the body attempts to hold itself upright by the overusing of muscles and ligaments. This, in turn, stresses the tissues of the back tire. This can lead to muscle spasms or generalized fatigue. So it is always advisable to stand erect so that the natural curves of the spine are maintained and thus helps to release fatigue and stress.
There are very few people who realize the significance of the spine in their physical and mental health. The Yogic science, tracing its roots 5000 years back, has always emphasized on the importance of the spine and its protection. A healthy spine is one that is erect and flexible, which can provide substantial support to maintain the correct posture when sitting, standing, walking, etc. A defect in the spine’s structure due to the wrong posture, lifestyle, or stress; can cause problems in the nervous system. It is thereby leading to various diseases. The spinal cord and the 31 pairs of spinal nerves play an important role in how we interact with the world around us. A strong and healthy spine ensures efficiency, health, and longevity of the central nervous system. During yoga practice, when done consciously decompresses the spine providing a feeling of space. Hence, the spine can be regarded as one of the most important parts of the body. It provides structure, support, and without it, one will not be able to stand up, let alone keep oneself straight.
Significance of Spine
On the physical level
The importance of the spine in the anatomy of the human body is immense. A healthy spine allows us to bend forward, backward, sideways, and also facilitates twisting. The spine is also designed to protect the spinal cord, nerve roots, and other internal organs of the body. The spinal cord is a column of nerves that connects the brain with the rest of the body, allowing to control your movements. The spine also enables flexibility in motion. This, in turn, creates strength and suppleness in the shoulder hip girdles and their extremities. Practising yoga helps in maintaining the intervertebral space improving blood circulation in the muscles, and increasing muscle strength. It ensures alignment of the curvature of the spine, maintaining a full range of spinal movement and flexibility. It also helps to release pressure from the spine, which consequently relieves fatigue and anxiety from the body.
See Also: Best Yoga Poses for a Better Daily Life
On the psychological level
Today’s lifestyle is tumultuous and stressful. Most people do not have a proper schedule to perform everyday routine pertaining to having their meals or sleeping on time. This, in turn, causes a high level of anxiety and stress. Anxiety causes the muscles at the back and neck to become tightened and spasmed. It tends to distort the balance between the body and mind and may have perilous psychological implications due to emotional imbalances. With yoga practice, however, you can release this physical tension, which then directly relieves the psychological stress. Yogic science recognizes as to how pivotal the spine in maintaining the psychological sanity of a person. Keeping the back aligned and relaxed helps in maintaining one’s mental health.
On the energy level
Yoga believes that there are seven chakras on the spine, the alignment of which helps attain enlightenment and liberation. Spinal health is of utmost importance to keep the chakras balanced. The dormant energy that lies at the top of the spine gets stimulated. This is turn permeates the kundalini energy, upward through the spine. A strong is necessary to meditate and work on different chakras, so as to align and balance them in the right manner.
Asanas to maintain a strong spine
Yastikasana (Upward Stretch)
The spine is part of the central nervous system that is responsible for all of the body’s functions. Modern lifestyle tends to pose a serious problem on the structure of the spine and also causes high levels of anxiety and stress. Consequently, the body may suffer severe nervous system issues. So it becomes necessary to treat the root cause, so as to avoid further problems. Yoga aims at the prevention of such a situation by simply imbibing the right way of living. This also helps give the spine a proper posture.
Bhujangasana ( Backward Bend)
There exists a strong layer of muscles entangled together, around the spine, which helps movement and locomotion. There exists an array of asanas just directed to the movement of the spine in order to improve its overall health. These Asanas help in maintaining the inter-vertebral space, improving blood circulation in the muscles, and increasing muscle strength. Bhujangasana is one such pose that stimulates the entire spine with its backward bend. It stimulates the muscles of the spine and reduces the stiffness of the same.
Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
Salabhasana is known to strengthen the back and core of the muscles. This Yoga pose is best for beginners who want to strengthen their spine, as it has the lowest risk in the backbend family. It helps to elongate the spine and release any muscle spam in the chord. Just make sure not to squeeze the butt too tight as it will weaken the lower back and negate the entire purpose of the pose.
This yoga pose is to open the chest and stretch the spine. This pose helps to relieve minor back pain, which is mainly originated from the spine. It also helps to strengthen the back muscles which surround the spine. Dhanurasana is known to improve the posture of the body by elongating the spine and making it erect while performing the asanas, so as to activate the chakras.
Once you start to feel the alignment of the physical sensations of the spine, your body will manifest rejuvenating energies or prana, that will help in creating a balance between the mind and body. You will feel a lightness in the final column and the exhilaration from the upward movement of the spine. This, in turn, will boost your confidence and convey a sense of poise and self-esteem.