Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Yoga Neutral Spine: Quick Yoga For Back Pain Relief
The basis for good posture is maintaining a neutral spine. Neutral spine forms an S-curve: a forward curve at the neck, a backward curve in the mid-back, and another forward curve in the lower back. Maintaining this neutral spine helps avoid back and neck pain.
The below yoga sequence works on making the spine stronger and flexible by moving the spine in- and out- of the neutral spine position. Care though should be taken to avoid too much pressure or flexing any part of the spine repeatedly.
Yoga Neutral Spine: Quick Yoga For Back Pain Relief: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A. Begin to lie on the mat first stretching the legs out completely in Savasana.
B. Pressing the entire back towards the ground, remain for 2 breaths.
C. As you breath, bring the legs to bend at the knees and come to Constructive Rest Pose.
D. While in Constructive Rest Pose:
Inhale - Place your fingers through the sides of the lower back, with just a bit of support.
Exhale - push the belly a bit in, and feel the back pushing against the fingers.
Inhale - stretch and place the shoulders on the floor and keep the chest a bit upwards.
Exhale - settle the back of the head and bring the chin in line with the chest.
E. Remain here creating the 3S with the spine.
F. It is hard to bring this to practice if there is no awareness, so make it a conscious one with breathing and don't let go of the chest, the chin, and the belly.
G. As you inhale and exhale control the movement and stay for 12 breaths.
H. Initially it will be extremely hard as one is not used to keeping the natural shape of the spine in our day to day activities, but gradually it will happen.
B. Place the thighs comfortably on the chair while making sure the feet are firm on the ground.
C. Inhale - slowly move the shoulders behind, and take the arms to the side.
Exhale - raise the lower back to form a S, while you pull the belly in and bring the chest out in front.
Inhale - take the arms behind you without moving the chest or the shoulders, and hold the chair partially.
Exhale - bring the chin perpendicular to the chest and the neck.
D. Stay to create the 3S at the lumbar, the cervical, and the thoracic.
A. Moving ahead into the practice of Neutral Spine, come to sit on a blanket on the floor.
B. Stretching the legs out, points the toes up and sit to just be natural with your body position while taking few breaths.
Inhale - place the hands on the blanket, take the shoulders behind.
Exhale - lift the rib cage, bring the belly in, and settle the chin.
Inhale - move to take the shoulders a bit more behind, while the chest is moving a bit in front and up.
Exhale - extend the neck to bring the chin in line with the chest.
D. Stay for 6 breaths making conscious effort with the spine and the natural shape. Don't over do the act, as if it is too painful it is best to stop.
E. A raised hip is always good when seated on the floor to support the natural shape of the spine.
A. Release and relax. Take a few breaths in Dandasana.
B. Then bring the legs in Easy Pose, and sit to just relax and take a few rounds of breathing.
Inhale - take the shoulders behind as this will create the middle S at the thoracic.
Exhale - bring the belly in, pushing the ribcage up to form the lower S at the lumbar.
Inhale - take the chest in front and bring the arms out at shoulder level.
Exhale - stretch the neck and bring the chin perpendicular to the neck to form the upper S at the cervical.
A. Going a bit to the challenging, yet a powerful posture for the spine is Easy Boat Pose.
B. From Staff Pose Blanket :
Inhale - bend the knees, take the shoulders back and place the hands around the knee.
Exhale - pull the belly in pushing the rib cage upwards.
Inhale - extend the arms out, without stretching the shoulders.
Exhale - bring the chin in line with the neck, while you go back a bit with the torso.
C. Seated in Easy Boat Pose is a good way to understand the spine shape that was build over the years with bad posture. This understanding will help to bring the spine back to its neutral shape.
D. Hence, awareness at this posture becomes essential. Stay for 6 breaths, making sure you don't lose focus.
A. Release and come to Staff Pose and take a few rounds of breathing, to ease the spine.
B. Come to sit in Bound Angle Pose.
C. From here:
Inhale - press the feet towards each other and take the shoulders back.
Exhale - expand the chest and pull the belly in.
Inhale - release the hands from the feet and place them behind you without adjusting the shoulders.
Exhale - bring the chin up and look in front to stay with arms behind.
D. While seated with the arms behind, don't push the shoulders behind or take the chest out too much.
E. Focus on the 3S and stay grounded at the base of the spine. Stay for 6 breaths.