Somatic explorations of the spine in yogic practice
- Somatic explorations of the spine in yogic practice involve cultivating awareness of the spine’s movements and sensations through conscious movement and breathwork. Here are some somatic explorations of the spine you can try in your yoga practice:
- Cat-cow pose: Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale, and arch your spine, lifting your tailbone and heart toward the ceiling. Exhale, and round your spine, tucking your chin and tailbone toward your chest. Move slowly and mindfully, exploring the full range of motion in your spine.
- Seated spinal twists: Sit cross-legged on the floor, or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Inhale, and lengthen your spine. Exhale, and twist to the right, placing your left hand on your right knee and your right hand behind you. Inhale, and lengthen your spine. Exhale, and deepen the twist. Repeat on the other side.
- Forward folds: Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Inhale, and lengthen your spine. Exhale, and fold forward, reaching your hands toward your feet or ankles. Keep your spine long and your neck relaxed. Take a few breaths in the pose, and then slowly roll up to seated.
- Cobra pose: Lie on your belly with your hands under your shoulders and your elbows close to your sides. Inhale, and press into your hands to lift your chest off the ground. Keep your elbows close to your sides, and lengthen through the crown of your head. Exhale, and release back down to the ground.
- By practicing these somatic explorations of the spine in your yoga practice, you can cultivate greater awareness of your body, improve your posture, and reduce tension and discomfort in your back.