Yoga for Back Care: Align and Refine Your Spine

Take Five to Interrupt Your Desk Day in a Beneficial Way

For many of us, sitting up not straight, but with healthy alignment for the curves of the spine, is like swimming against the stream of our habitual pattern. It takes effort. And it requires some understanding of your spinal anatomy. But there are so many benefits to aligning and refining your sitting posture, from protecting the spinal muscles to improving respiratory function, it's well worth it. Over time, with repeated practice, we start to more naturally find a balance of effort and ease.

1. Align your Spine and Breathe More Deeply in 3 Easy Steps

First, sit up on your sitting bones, creating an anterior tilt (if you imagine your pelvis as a bowl, tip it slightly forward so that you have a gentle curve in your low back). If necessary use your hands to draw your "upholstery" (buttocks flesh) back and away so you really feel connected to your sitting bones.

Second, Inhale the shoulders up to the ears, exhale peel them back so that your upper chest is open and allow the shoulder blades to relax down the back.

Third, draw your skull back by bringing your chin slightly down thereby lengthening the back of the neck and moving the ears back so that they are above the shoulders. Finally, bring the chin back to a level that allows you to gaze directly ahead. Soften your gaze or close your eyes. Take 5 or 6 deep breaths, inhaling through the nostrils and exhaling through the mouth as if to fog up a window.

Enjoy your breath :)