The yogis say that a person’s age is determined by the flexibility of his or her spine.
Now, I don’t mean to be rude, of course, but…. how old are you?
You don’t have to tell me, but let’s start with a lil’ bit of science, shall we?
Yes, I’m the daughter of a chiropractor, so I like to think I know a thing or two about spines. Now, we all know that when you sit, stand, or even lie down, your spine plays an integral role in maintaining this position. Of course. However, furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, your spine is a critical part of the central nervous system, which is, essentially, the control system for your body.
So why is this so important?
Well, the central nervous system interprets everything that our body senses – our perceptions, sensations, and feelings – and it sends this info to the muscles and glands, and then basically tells them what to do. Additionally, the central nervous system runs other systems that you might even forget are happening all the time like your cardiovascular and digestive systems. And lastly – now get this – the nervous system is responsible for your moods and your thoughts.
Whoa. Chew on that one for a while.
And if this is so – and it is – then it would behoove us to tend to our spines daily. Ideally we’d all have personal chiropractors at home, but if you don’t (and even if you do,) there’s yoga.
I’m reminded of a concept that I heard many years back: Flexible body, flexible mind.
The beauty of an asana yoga practice (the kind we usually refer to just as “yoga,” involving poses,) is that not only does it help to maintain the inter-vertebral space, and improve blood circulation, it also relieves pressure on the nerves between the vertebrae, hence protecting the spine.
Lower back pain and upper back stress are some of the most common health complaints in adults. When we feel anxious or stressed, tension can build up in the muscles at the back of our head and neck, potentially causing tightness or spasms. Practicing yoga helps to release all kinds of physical tension, hence relieving psychological stress as well. See, yoga is a somatopsychic science, meaning “relating to the effects of the body on the mind,” so when you practice yoga you’re doing your body and mind a solid.
And just rrrrull quick…
Energetically, the yogis postulate that spinal health is essential to keeping our chakras balanced, and that, by doing yoga, you evict all the dormant energy that hangs out in your coccyx. (Sounds pretty good to me.)
So let’s do it. I hope this quick, 15 minute practice will be an easy (and enjoyable) way to add years to your life… and life to your years.
I hope you enjoyed this morning practice! I highly recommend doing it a few days in a row to see how you feel, and I’d love to hear from you afterward!
In the words written on one of the little stuffed animals that my dad had in his office: Feelin’ fine because my spine’s in line.
To your health and alignment!
P.S. My sincerest thanks to all of you who responded to my last newsletter. Your support and encouragement means the world to me, and really gave me a needed boost. Thank you again. (Not getting the newsletter? Sign up here.)