Your spine protects your spinal cord.

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Your spinal column consists of 24 vertebrae connected by discs, joints and tendons that allow you to flex and rotate in different yoga poses, or asanas. if you can get a side view of your spine, you ‘d see its front part as a column of vertebral bodies and discs and its back part a column of arches and procedures. While your spine’s mobility is figured out by the shape of your vertebrae and the thickness of your discs, your spine can relocate three measurements.

Flexion

When you bend forward and touch your toes in Standing Forward Flex, that’s flexion. Forward bends enhance flow, refresh your brain, flush out your organs and extend your leg and back muscles. In flexion, your spinal discs contract in front and broaden in back. Yoga postures including flexion include Downward-Facing Canine, Cat Pose and any forward bends where you grab your toes. Flexion, the most natural spine position, emphasizes the main curve of your thoracic spinal column. Do Child’s Pose to discover exactly how your spine position resembles that of an unborn child.

Extension

Extension is when you stretch upward as your discs broaden in front and compress in back. Asanas needing extension include Cow, Cobra, Bridge, Camel and Wheel, which unwind, stretch, enhance and align your spinal column. Extension highlights the secondary curve of your cervical and lumbar spinal columns and oftens develop a natural inhalation, according to Leslie Kaminoff, author of ‘Yoga Anatomy.’ Practice a couple of rounds of Cat/Cow Pose to see the difference in between flexion and extension in your spine.

Lateral Flexion

Lateral flexion indicates flexing either to your left or right side, which you do in asanas such as Side Angle, Triangular, Half Moon and Seated Wide-Angle. As you bend to the right, your discs expand on your left side and compress on your right, and vice versa. You are also working your internal and external oblique muscles, promoting balance and building flexibility in your spinal column.

Axial Rotation

Axial rotations are unbalanced movements called twists in yoga. You can turn your torso to your left or your right sides. Twisting asanas, which can open your lungs and clear your organs, consist of Half Spine Twist, Revolved Triangle and Side Crow. Just like lateral flexion, always make certain you twist to both sides throughout practice.

Axial Extension

The fifth spinal motion, called axial extension, reduces all the natural curves in your spine so you can naturally lengthen upward and broaden your breathing. Practice this in Mountain Pose, standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms relaxed at your sides. Draw your tummy in, lower your tailbone and stretch your spinal column up, as if someone were pulling a string on top of your head.