Yoga and spine: posture of bending forward

As well as the structure of our bodies is determined by the spine and health, much of the postures of Yoga are designed to encourage or develop the activity throughout their journey. Type Paul Rego.


If we take conscience that the spine is the hub of health and serenity, we can establish the importance that has the job of mobilizing each vertebra and every area of the spine in the structure of a Yoga session.

The possible moves on the spine are: Flex (forward), the extension (backward), side pushups and twist. In addition, you can combine these movements making postures that contain, for example, a Flex and torque combined.

It is important to emphasize that each zone, of course, allows different degrees of mobility and it is for this reason that there are also different postures that emphasize flexion of a specific part of the column.

Bending forward

The classical Hatha Yoga contains some typical flexion postures which are determined by the direction of the movement and permanence that requires the position. Asanas such as the plough (halasana), the clamp (patchimottanasana, which translated literally means position of the back stretch) or the Stork (padhahasthasana or foot clip) provide the benefits that this movement provides the column in particular and the body in general.

Within disciplines such as Yogaterapia, which are considered postures more specifically as vehicles to recover lost mobility or the recovery of ailments, although its practice is very valid as training to keep health, there are intermediate positions or of medium and low demand that can be used in a normal Integral Yoga or Hatha Yoga session, but as applied specifically to the structure of a therapy session , they provide the possibility of to make work a little or very little mobility or rigid column.

In this sense, asanas as the bee (bhramraasana), with legs bent clip and in all its variations, the Hare or rabbit (sasangasana), the phase of "cat-back" (or angry cat or upward curvature of the trunk) in the exercise of the cat (vidalasana), the position of the snail (vritasana) or of the penitent (prarthanasana), among many others, help to progress in spinal flexion concentrating the incidence in specific areas and thus, bringing with her practice, benefits to the whole vertebral.

Effects of spinal flexion

When we do a stance flexion occur several effects on different areas of the body and its structures, both superficial and deep and subtle. From the point of view of the physical body the consequences of immobility of the column are concentrated in the almost complete rigidity of its areas, and its periphery, ending with cover general shortening of the muscles of the body, including the arms and legs.

Therefore the practice of spinal flexion will create, in the first instance, the movement of each vertebra and its surroundings, restoring health to the intervertebral discs that will lubricate and become more flexible as well as muscle fibers covering the vertebrae.

So that the column can bend forward all the way, beyond the localized activation around each vertebra, will require the flexibility of the muscular structure of the entire surface of the back, so to perform spinal movement the muscles that usually keep the back upright must stretch.

The same applies to the muscles in the backs of the legs. It is very difficult to fully Flex the body while the leg muscles to stretch. Therefore, as we practice deep or intense flexion postures, can go causing major stretching into the backs of the physical body.

Of all the movements that the backbone allows us to, bending forward is perhaps the most widely used, but also the most profound in nature. Yet the loss of this dimension of the movement is very common and the work performed Yoga about it is also intense and conscious.

The twists and extensions are movements that are performed less frequently in everyday life and its study requires a specific and detailed chapter.

The basic concepts relating to the health of the physical body, organs and nervous system are explained in Spine, axis of health and serenity.

In the Yoga session

A yoga session can be organised to achieve different objectives. The work of the force in the limbs or spinal, chest or abdominal muscles must be the service of the health of the vital area which is the column.

The training is performed as activation of metabolism, cardiorespiratory exercise as the greetings and styles such as Ashtanga or Power always include a stage of flexion of the spine and the back stretch, since everything else without that moment of the session would lack the sense of balance that always looks for the Yoga.

The work of the movements on the spine must be always present and occupy a prominent space in practice. The realization of heating, soft, intense curl and stretch movements must be combined and always be part of a full session of Hatha Yoga.

Paul Rego. Yoga teacher. Integral masajista-Terapeuta. Diploma in medicine Ayurveda of India.

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By • Oct 13, 2016 • section: Signatures