There are so many reasons as to why we should move our spine. The spine is the centre of our body, more than anything, it ensures that our body remains mobile. However, as we spend more and more time chained to our desks or hunched over our mobile devices, our spines are suffering.
In addition to boosting our overall well-being, moving the spine for even 10 minutes each day can promote better posture, reduce our risk of injury in our lower back and shoulders and even elongate our breath patterns. Yoga is one of the best exercise patterns everyone can practice to improve the health of our spines.
Designed by David Coulibaly, this short yoga sequence for beginners is an easy and effective way to free the spine after a day of computer work, a long drive or just generally sitting for too long. With more of us spending time working from home, this sequence is a must for desk jockeys!
This simple spinal sequence decompresses the spine, providing a feeling of space. In some cases, it can even help alleviate general low-back pain. Breathe consciously as you move and bring your mind inward to the length and spaciousness of your spine as you explore these poses.
Spinal Flow Sequence
Seated Side Spine Stretch
- Start in a kneeling or cross-legged seat and place your left hand on the floor with your elbow slightly bent.
- Reach your right arm up and overhead and lean to the left side.
- Gaze up and open your chest towards the sky.
- Breathe slowly and deeply, keeping the hips grounded
- Hold the pose for 5 breaths, switch sides, and repeat.
- Start in a cross-legged seated position
- Place your right foot outside your left thigh and hug your left heel closer towards your right glute.
- Modification: Sit on a block and extend your left leg to straight.
- Take your right hand behind you to the floor and place your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh.
- Modification: instead of the left elbow outside the thigh, use your left arm to hug the right thigh inward.
- Keeping the hips grounded, breathe in to find length through the spine, breathe out to twist. Gaze over your right shoulder.
- Stay for 5 breaths, switch sides and repeat.
Seated Forward Fold
- Start seated with your legs extended in front of you.
- Modification: sit on a blanket or block to elevate the hips and bend the knees.
- Inhale, keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Hold your ankles or feet with your hands.
- Modification: loop a strap around your feet and hold the strap firmly with straight arms.
- Each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso forward, with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths
- Lie on your back, bend your knees and set your feet hip-width apart with heels directly under your knees.
- Inhale lift hips, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, lengthen your tailbone towards the backs of the knees and your pubic bone towards your naval.
- Clasp the hands under your pelvis and hug the shoulder blades together, firming the outer arms in.
- Firm (but not harden) the buttocks as you lift the hips higher.
- Lift your chin slightly and press the top of the chest toward the chin.
- Hold for 5 breaths.
- Lay down on your back
- Bend your knees with feet on the floor.
- Lift your legs to the sky
- Use your hands to press down either side of your hips as you bring your legs over your head (into plow pose)
- Set up your hands onto your lower back with fingertips facing up and palms flat. Hug the elbows and upper arms in.
- Slowly raise your legs towards the sky, keep hugging the elbows and upper arms in.
- Lift up through the balls of your feet and walk your hands further up the back for more stability.
- Lift your chin slightly away from your chest, pressing down through the back of the head.
- To come out, slowly lower your feet back over your head and release your arms back to the mat. Press into your hands and roll gently down your spine.
- Modification: use a double folded blanket underneath your shoulders with your head and neck off the blanket
David Coulibaly Bio:
Growing up in France, David’s athletic background started from a very young age, playing high-level soccer and practicing mixed martial arts for many years. However, it was here in Australia that David found his passion for yoga, a daily practice that offered him not only a physical challenge, but also integrated spirituality. Inspired by his two greatest passions, Martial Arts and Yoga, David’s classes are dynamic, creative and energetic. He is here to share, inspire and push boundaries, leaving you with a deeper message far beyond the security of your yoga mat.
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