365 Challenge Day 213 – Yoga: Spine

23 Jan

Since I began the yoga teacher training, many people have asked me if it has influenced or changed my own practice, and the answer is, Definitely!!!

It’s funny, I haven’t received much individual attention or correction, instead, the main way my practice has changed is because I’ve been actually listening a lot more to the teachers’ instructions in class, trying a lot of different variations and modification, and I have had many “Ah ha!” moments where things just clicked in.

One of the main areas my teachers focus on is the spine.  Every class they emphasize that we want to stay away from postures that “age” the spine.  We want to bring a youth to our poses by elongating the spine, rather than compressing it which happens naturally over time.  We can work to reverse or delay this compression, and we certainly don’t want to do anything to speed up the aging!

One of my teachers also talks a lot about energy, flow, chakras, and Prana.  All of this energy moves through the spine, so by elongating the spine we allow this energy to flow, rather than cutting this off.  She doesn’t care whether the pose looks the way we think it’s “supposed” to look, all she cares about is the energy.

I never thought I was compressing my spine before!  But now that I am bringing more attention to it I am really feeling a difference.  In poses such as triangle, twisting triangle, or twisting Utkatasana, now I often use a block to lift my spine so it is longer, even when I am twisting.  I also feel like I should join the Posture Police.  I see people curving and bending their spines, and I just want to go over and straighten them out!!

I can’t say that I feel any difference in terms of Prana, chakras, or energy flowing, but I’m hoping that will come later : )


One Response to “365 Challenge Day 213 – Yoga: Spine”

  1. livingonchi January 23, 2015 at 1:05 am #

    Very interesting information on compressing the spine and age! Now I know how important it is to pay attention to what my spine is doing!

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