Yoga For Your Spine: 101 Little Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Spinal Health

 

Greetings, my lovely Yogis, Yoginis, and Yoga teachers. I’m George Watts, a BWY yoga teacher and creator of the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.

Today, I’d like to share my spinal health doodle art, give you 101 little things you can do for your spine, and provide a bunch of Yoga poses for your spine.

If you’re a fellow yoga teacher, you can use this post as a “Spinal Health” yoga class theme that inspires your students to become aware of the importance of spinal health.

Next up, a bit of doodle art for you.

 

Spinal Health Doodle Art: By George

 

Yogis and Yoginis, behold!

I have created a masterpiece, a piece of art so profound and life-changing that your spine will be eternally grateful for it.

Introducing… drumroll…the three things your spine wants you to do.

Yoga For Your Spine Doodle Art

Your spine has been secretly sending me messages, and I have decoded them for you in this doodle art.

I was going to add “101 things” to my doodle but only managed three. The other 98 things are in boring text form below.

Sorry!

But I have scattered a bunch of exciting links (like this one) to useful stuff within the boring text. So, I take back my sorry, because those links took me hours!

Why doodle art, you ask.

Doodle art is my go-to method for learning about a subject. I haven’t found a better way to absorb information in such a fun and engaging way.

Feel free to download the doodle and use it as a handout for your students or as a fun poster in your yoga studio.

Next up, is the “yoga for your spine lesson plan” that I created for one of my classes.

 

Free Yoga For Your Spine Lesson Plan PDF & Video Stream

Yoga For Spine and Pelvic Floor

This Yoga For Your Spine lesson plan was created using the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.

Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose) is the peak pose. Peak pose-themed lesson plans are a favourite for most yoga teachers.

You learned how to create a peak pose-themed lesson plan during your yoga teacher training, but just in case you have the desire to learn more, here’s an article I wrote with my formula on how to sequence around a peak pose.

Each lesson plan you create using the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner can be viewed as a short plan, long plan or streamed plan. All you do is choose the poses and Yoga Genie does the rest for you, including adding the teaching directions, benefits, modifications and precautions.

Short Lesson Plan Download 

Yoga For Your Spine Lesson Plan (short plan)

Each yoga lesson plan you create within the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a short version of the lesson plan. The short version is perfect for taking into class with you. It’s short and sweet.

Long Lesson Plan Download

Yoga For Your Spine Lesson Plan (long plan)

Each yoga lesson plan you create within the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a long version of the lesson plan. The long version has everything you need to practice the lesson plan before getting to class. You can take it to class with you (but you may prefer to take the short version). The long version is a great handout to give to your students, especially your one-to-one students. It immediately shows your professionalism and increases your expertise in the eyes of your students.

Stream Lesson Plan

Yoga For Your Spine Lesson Plan (stream plan)

Each yoga lesson plan you create within the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a video stream version of the lesson plan. You’ll be able to provide the streams to students as a URL, so they can practice from home.

If you liked the lesson plan, click here for an article I wrote called 1001 Yoga Class Planning Tips & Handouts For Yoga Teachers.

Next up, are the aims and objectives I used for the “yoga for your spine lesson plan“.

 

Yoga For Your Spine Lesson Plan Aims & Objectives

Yoga Aims And Objectives

 

Yoga teachers provide aims and objectives for a Yoga Lesson Plan to help guide the class and ensure that the practice is purposeful and effective. Aims and objectives provide a roadmap for the class and help the teacher to stay focused on the intended outcomes.

Aims and objectives also help the students to understand the purpose of the class and what they can expect to gain from the practice. By providing clear aims and objectives, students are able to set intentions for their own practice and understand how it fits into their overall goals for their yoga practice.

Additionally, aims and objectives help the yoga teacher assess the effectiveness of the Yoga Lesson Plan and make adjustments as needed. By having clear goals in mind, the teacher can observe the students and determine whether the class is meeting its intended outcomes.

Overall, providing aims and objectives for a Yoga Lesson Plan helps to create a more focused and intentional practice, benefiting both the teacher and the students.

Below are my aims and objectives for the “Yoga For Your Spine” lesson plan.

Aims:

To improve the flexibility and mobility of the spine through yoga practice

To alleviate pain and tension in the spine and surrounding muscles

To increase awareness and understanding of the importance of spinal health

Objectives:

Students will be able to perform a variety of yoga poses that target different areas of the spine, including forward folds, backbends, twists, and lateral bends.

Students will experience a reduction in pain and tension in their spines and surrounding muscles as a result of the practice.

Students will be able to identify the benefits of spinal health and understand the importance of adding yoga into their daily routine to maintain spinal health.

Students will leave the class feeling more relaxed and centred, with improved posture and greater ease of movement in their spines.

Next up, 101 little things to improve your spinal health, on and off your yoga mat.

 

101 Little Things To Improve Your Spinal Health: On & Off The Mat

101 Things To Improve Spinal Health

Below I’ve provided 101 little things that include things you can do on and off your yoga mat. I compiled this list when creating the “spinal health-themed yoga class” (that you download near the top of this page).

I’m not expecting you to do all of them (lol). Look through the list and pick one to try out.

101 little things to improve spinal health:

  1. Hang from a pull-up bar (e.g. a Metis pull-up bar)
  2. Do a bolster yoga pose
  3. Good posture when standing, sitting, and walking
  4. Daily yoga practice
  5. Cat-cow pose
  6. Regular massage therapy
  7. Hip flexor stretches (e.g. Low Lunge pose Anjaneyasana)
  8. Chiropractic adjustments
  9. Regular yoga pose breaks (e.g. Baby Camel pose) throughout the day
  10. Proper lifting techniques when picking up heavy objects
  11. Core strengthening exercises such as the Plank pose.
  12. Sleeping on a firm mattress that supports the spine
  13. Sitting on an ergonomic chair with proper lumbar support
  14. Swimming
  15. Pilates exercises (e.g. these 34 Joseph Pilates exercises)
  16. Using a standing desk for part of the day
  17. Foam rolling to release tight muscles (e.g. Gluteal Stretch On A Foam Roller)
  18. Kneeling chair for sitting
  19. Using a lumbar roll when sitting for extended periods
  20. Avoiding prolonged sitting or standing in one position
  21. Walking on uneven terrain to challenge balance and stability
  22. Traction therapy
  23. Acupuncture
  24. Doing inversion therapy, such as using an inversion table (expensive way) or doing a shoulderstand (cheap way)
  25. Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce strain on the spine
  26. Using a neck pillow for proper support while sleeping
  27. Swimming laps using a pull buoy float to help maintain proper alignment
  28. Practising good ergonomics when working on a computer or driving
  29. Using a Swiss Ball as a chair to engage core muscles
  30. Foam roller exercises for the back
  31. Getting enough vitamin D for bone health
  32. Applying heat or ice to the affected area
  33. Avoiding high-impact exercises that put a strain on the spine (e.g. burpees, jump squats, and jump lunges)
  34. Taking breaks from sitting (don’t sit for longer than 25 minutes at a time)
  35. Using a backpack instead of a shoulder bag to distribute weight evenly
  36. Participating in low-impact activities such as cycling or walking
  37. Doing yoga twists (e.g a Gentle Low Lunge Twist) to improve spinal mobility
  38. Wearing supportive shoes with good arch support
  39. Using a resistance band (e.g. Half Roll Backs) for strengthening exercises
  40. Getting enough sleep allows the body to heal and repair itself
  41. Maintaining good hydration to keep spinal discs healthy
  42. Using a stability ball for core strengthening exercises
  43. Performing low-impact aerobic exercises such as swimming (yoga for swimmers lesson plan)
  44. Perform low-impact aerobic exercise such as elliptical training (stationary exercise machine used to stair climb, walk, or run)
  45. Practising relaxation techniques to reduce stress and tension in the body (e.g. Savasana)
  46. Using an elliptical machine instead of a treadmill to reduce the impact on the spine
  47. Getting regular chiropractic adjustments to maintain spinal alignment
  48. Taking breaks from sitting to walk around and stretch
  49. Using a footrest to improve posture while sitting
  50. Practising deep breathing exercises to improve spinal mobility (e.g. Bellow’s Breath)
  51. Using an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to reduce strain on the shoulders and neck
  52. Getting a standing desk converter to alternate between sitting and standing
  53. Doing hip flexor stretches to relieve tension in the lower back
  54. Use a foam roller for the glutes and hamstrings to relieve tension in the lower back (e. Boat pose on a foam roller)
  55. Practising meditation to reduce stress and improve overall well-being (e.g. Celtic Seer Meditation)
  56. Using a kneeling chair to improve posture while sitting
  57. Taking regular breaks from sitting to foam rolling exercises.
  58. Wearing supportive shoes with good shock absorption to reduce the impact on the spine
  59. Doing spine extensions (yoga backbends such as Bridge pose) to strengthen the muscles of the back
  60. Using a foam roller for the quads (e.g. ITB stretch on a foam roller)
  61. Do the Fish Pose backbend to improve spinal flexibility and strength
  62. Using a massage ball to release tension in the back and neck
  63. Do hamstring stretches (e.g. Easy pose while folding forward onto a block) to alleviate lower back pain
  64. Practising good sleeping positions to avoid misalignment
  65. Using a neck traction device to alleviate neck pain and tension
  66. Doing exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor (e.g. Bridge pose)
  67. Using a heating pad to alleviate back pain
  68. Practising balance poses (e.g. Crow Pose) to improve stability and prevent falls
  69. Using a Swiss Ball for core strengthening exercises (e.g. Curl Ups On A Swiss Ball)
  70. Performing side bends (e.g. Extended Side Angle Pose) to improve spinal flexibility and strength
  71. Take regular breaks from sitting to do standing stretches like Dancer Pose.
  72. Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes with low heels to avoid back strain
  73. Doing thoracic spine mobilization exercises to improve posture and mobility (e.g. Cat-Cow Stretch)
  74. Using a yoga strap for stretches that target the spine and hips (e.g. Bow pose using a strap)
  75. Performing calf stretches to improve circulation and prevent back pain (e.g. Downward Facing Dog pose)
  76. Performing calf stretches to improve circulation and prevent back pain (e.g. Standing Forward Bend pose)
  77. Performing calf stretches to improve circulation and prevent back pain (e.g. High Lunge pose)
  78. Using a foam roller for the chest muscles to improve posture and spinal alignment
  79. Performing seated spinal twists (e.g. Half Lord Of The Fishes pose) to improve spinal mobility and flexibility
  80. Using a cervical pillow to support the neck during sleep
  81. Performing hip stretches to alleviate lower back pain (e.g. Frog pose)
  82. Using a foam roller for the ITB band to reduce tension in the lower back
  83. Taking regular breaks from sitting to do Downward Facing Dog pose
  84. Practising gentle abdominal exercises to avoid strain on the back
  85. Using a yoga block to support the spine during seated forward folds
  86. Doing seated spinal flexion exercises (e.g. seated forward fold pose) to improve posture and spinal alignment
  87. Doing shoulder circles to improve posture and reduce tension in the neck and upper back
  88. Practising mindful breathing exercises to reduce stress and tension in the body, can improve overall spinal health.
  89. Doing Child pose to stretch the lower back and hips while gently massaging the spine.
  90. Doing Wide-Legged Forward Bend pose to stretch the spine and improve spinal flexibility.
  91. Doing Cobra pose strengthens the back muscles, promotes spinal flexibility, and improves posture.
  92. Doing Happy Baby pose stretches the hips, groin, and spine which helps to relieve lower back tension.
  93. Doing Revolved Triangle pose stretches the hamstrings, hips, and spine which improves spinal flexibility.
  94. Doing Lying Twist pose to stretch the spine, hips, and shoulders.
  95. Doing Squat pose to stretch the hips, groin, and spine while strengthening the core and improving balance.
  96. Doing Locust pose strengthens the back muscles which improves spinal posture.
  97. Doing Crescent Lunge pose to stretch the hip flexors which reduces lower back tension and promotes proper alignment of the pelvis and spine.
  98. Doing Warrior III pose to strengthen the muscles that support the spine
  99. Doing Dolphin pose strengthens the muscles of the upper back and shoulders, reducing tension in the neck and spine, and promoting spinal alignment.
  100. Doing Gorilla pose stretches the spine, hamstrings, and calves, which promotes circulation to the discs between the vertebrae.
  101. Doing Pyramid pose strengthens the legs and stretches the hamstrings, which helps to alleviate tension in the lower back and improve spinal alignment.

Next up, six yoga poses that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor.

 

6 Yoga Poses That Strengthen the Muscles of the Pelvic Floor

6 Yoga Poses For Pelvic Floor

Allow me to provide further insight into item #66 on the list of 101 tips for spinal health.

Strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor can have a positive impact on spinal health, as the pelvic floor muscles work in conjunction with the deep core muscles to support the lower back and maintain spinal alignment.

Here are six yoga poses that can help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve spinal health:

  1. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Bridge pose strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, while also engaging the pelvic floor muscles.
  2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana): Chair pose strengthens the lower body and engages the pelvic floor muscles by creating a lifting sensation in the lower abdomen, which helps to support the lower back.
  3. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II): Warrior II pose strengthens the legs and glutes while also engaging the pelvic floor muscles by creating a lifting sensation in the lower abdomen, which helps to support the lower back.
  4. Plank Pose (Phalakasana): Plank pose strengthens the entire body, including the pelvic floor muscles, by engaging the core and lower body muscles, which help to support the spine.
  5. Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana): Dolphin pose strengthens the shoulders, arms, and upper back, while also engaging the pelvic floor muscles and deep core muscles to support the lower back.
  6. Boat Pose (Navasana): Boat pose strengthens the core and hip flexors, while also engaging the pelvic floor muscles to support the lower back and maintain spinal alignment.

Practising these six yoga poses can help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and support spinal health.

Next up, it’s time to discover the surprising benefits of strengthening your rectus abdominis (abs) for optimal spinal health.

 

Time to Get Abs-olutely Serious About Your Spinal Health By Strengthening Your Abs

Rectus Abdomins Spinal Health Yoga

 

Yoga teachers (including me) probably say the following phrase about 389 times during a yoga class (a slight exaggeration, but you get my point):

“And…engage your core.”

Hey, just in case you’re a yoga teacher, I thought I’d provide you with 10 ways to say: “Engage your core“.

10 Ways To Say: “Engage Your Eore”: 

  1. “Alright, yogis, it’s time to activate those powerhouse muscles of yours! Let’s get that core engaged like it’s about to win the Olympics!”
  2. “Imagine you’re about to take a selfie with your dream celebrity crush. Suck in that gut and engage that core!”
  3. “Let’s make sure your core is so engaged, it could write a best-selling novel (hopefully, with a scene about yoga)!”
  4. “Pretend there’s a spider on your belly button and you need to keep it from crawling away. Engage that core, and don’t let that spider go anywhere!”
  5. “Time to suck that belly button in and activate those powerhouse muscles, yogis! Let’s give that core the attention it deserves!”
  6. “Imagine you’re trying to suck your belly button all the way to your spine. Engage that core and hold on tight!”
  7. “Suck the belly button in so hard, you could pick up a pencil with your tummy!”
  8. “Picture a straw in your belly button and you’re trying to suck the air out of it. That’s right, we’re engaging that core!”
  9. “Let’s suck that belly button in like we’re trying to fit into our favourite jeans from five years ago. Engage that core and hold it tight!”
  10. “Think of your belly button like a magnet and your spine like metal. Suck it in and feel that core engage!”

Even if you’re not a yoga teacher, I hope those 10 ways gave you some good visuals on how to go about engaging your core like a yogic pro.

So, why do yoga teachers harp on so much about the core? Well, read on my lovely yogi, and you’ll find out.

Alright yogis, listen up! We’re talking about the rectus abdominis – the superstar muscle in the front of your belly that helps you bend, twist, and stabilize your spine like a pro.

Strengthening your abs can do wonders for your back for three surprising reasons.

3 Reasons Why A Strong Core Improves Spinal Health: 

Reason 1: Strong Core = Supported Spine

A strong rectus abdominis helps to support the spine by stabilizing the pelvis and reducing the load on the lower back.

When the abdominal muscles are weak, the lower back muscles have to work harder to compensate for the lack of support, which can lead to strain and injury over time.

By strengthening the rectus abdominis, we can help to redistribute the load and reduce the strain on the lower back.

Reason 2: Strong Core = Improved Posture

A strong rectus abdominis helps to improve posture by pulling the ribcage down towards the pelvis and reducing the excessive arching of the lower back.

When the abdominal muscles are weak, the natural tendency is to allow the spine to collapse forward, which can put pressure on the discs and nerves in the spine.

By strengthening the rectus abdominis, we can help to maintain a healthy alignment of the spine and prevent undue pressure on the discs and nerves.

Reason 3: Strong Core = Prevent & Alleviate Back Pain

A strong rectus abdominis can help to prevent and alleviate back pain by improving the overall stability of the spine.

When the core muscles are weak, the spine is more susceptible to injury and pain. By strengthening the rectus abdominis and other core muscles, we can help to provide a strong foundation for the spine and reduce the risk of injury.

Overall, strengthening the rectus abdominis is an important aspect of maintaining spinal health. By providing support and stability to the spine, improving posture, and reducing the risk of injury and pain, a strong rectus abdominis can help us to maintain a healthy and pain-free back.

Here are ten yoga poses that can help to engage the core muscles:

  1. Plank Pose
  2. Boat Pose (or Half Boat Pose)
  3. Dolphin Pose (or Dolphin pose with a strap)
  4. Side Plank Pose
  5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose
  6. Upward Facing Dog Pose
  7. Plank On Forearms Pose
  8. Warrior III Pose (or Warrior III against a wall)
  9. Shoulderstand Pose (or Handstand against a wall)
  10. Crow Pose

It’s important to note that engaging the core doesn’t always mean holding a static pose. In fact, many flowing sequences and transitions require core strength and engagement. So, don’t be afraid to add dynamic movements like Sun Salutations and Vinyasa flows into your practice to really get those core muscles fired up!

Next up, I give my thoughts about cultivating a daily yoga practice to improve spinal health.

Say Bye-Bye to Spine Shenanigans: How A Daily Yoga Practice Can Keep Your Back Happy Every Day

Unfurl Your Yoga Mat Daily

Allow me to provide further insight into item #1 on the list of 101 tips for spinal health.

Yoga has been practised for thousands of years, but only recently have scientists begun to study its effects on the body and mind. Research has shown that daily yoga practice has numerous benefits for physical, mental, and emotional health.

The longer you wait to get on your yoga mat the harder it gets to unfurl it.

To help my yoga students get on their yoga mats daily, I have a printout of my doodle art (see above) next to the “Sign In Sheet”.

A daily yoga practice can be beneficial for spinal health in several ways.

Benefit 1: Improve Flexibility & Mobility

Firstly, yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, which can help to reduce stiffness and tension in the spine. This can help to reduce the risk of developing back pain or other spinal conditions.

Benefit 2: Strengthening Core & Back Muscles

A lot of yoga poses focus on strengthening the core and back muscles, which can help to improve spinal stability and support. This can help to reduce the risk of developing injuries or strains in the back.

Benefit 3: Reduce Stress & Tension

Practising yoga daily can also help to reduce stress and tension in the body and mind, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote overall wellness. By incorporating a daily yoga practice into your routine, you can support the health and well-being of your spine and enjoy greater freedom of movement and comfort in your daily life.

Okay, it’s time for one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard about the importance of a “daily yoga practice”.

“For best results, practice yoga daily. For even better results, practice yoga twice a day.”

I’ve also included the quote below for you as a graphic.

To have the quote visible during your yoga practice, you can right-click on it, download it, print it, and place it in a spot where you practice yoga.

Daily Yoga Quote Printout

This quote is often attributed to Pattabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga Yoga. The idea behind the quote is that consistent practice is key to achieving the benefits of yoga and that the more often you practice, the greater the benefits you will experience.

The daily practices don’t just need to be 90-minute long, epic, sweaty, Ashtanga Yoga marathons. Daily practices can also be 5 minutes or less!

In fact, these days, most of my practices are short, 1 to 10-minute-long practices. I usually fit them in several times a day during my workday (which usually involves writing blog posts and drawing doodle art).

Every 25 minutes an alarm goes off that alerts me that it’s “unfurl my mat” time.

Without the alarm, I forgot, and so will you.

Either use your phone or buy a little alarm that sits on your desk.

In fact, my alarm is so important to me, I’m gonna doodle it for you: 

Daily Yoga Timer

I highly, highly recommend you get yourself a timer like the one I used called “Polamd”, rather than use your phone because it has a million and one distractions.

If you use your phone as a timer, you will almost certainly pick up your phone after the beep goes off and get “distracted” by social media, the news, or that funny cat video.

How do I know your life so very, very well?

I don’t.

That’s what I do. It’s what everybody does.

Why do we do it if it’s so bad for us? Well, your smartphone is designed by a thousand and one very smart folks with one goal in mind…to get you addicted to it.  So, get your Yogic hands on a “Polamd” timer (or any other similar timer will do).

Next up, is Savasana and why it’s so good for your spinal health.

 

Surrender In Savasana To Improve Your Spinal Health

 

Savasana

Savasana

Allow me to provide further insight into item #45 on the list of 101 tips for spinal health.

Savasana, also known as Corpse Pose, is a resting pose typically practised at the end of a yoga session. It involves lying down on your back with your arms and legs slightly apart, palms facing up, and eyes closed. While it may seem like a simple pose, Savasana is actually an essential part of any yoga practice, and it offers a range of benefits for spinal health.

Firstly, Savasana allows the body to fully relax and release tension, which can be particularly beneficial for the spine.

By lying down in a neutral position, the spine is able to decompress and return to its natural alignment.

This can help to reduce pressure on the spinal discs and nerve roots, which can help to relieve pain and discomfort in the back.

In addition to its physical benefits, Savasana is also a powerful tool for promoting mental and emotional well-being. By allowing the body and mind to fully relax, Savasana can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and tension in the body. This can help to reduce inflammation and promote overall wellness, which can have a positive impact on spinal health.

Finally, Savasana is an excellent opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and awareness. By focusing on your breath and your body, you can become more attuned to your physical sensations and your mental and emotional state. This can help you to develop a greater sense of self-awareness and understanding, which can help you to make healthier choices for your spinal health and your overall well-being.

In conclusion, Savasana is an important and beneficial yoga pose that can help to support spinal health in a variety of ways. Whether you are looking to reduce pain and discomfort in your back, cultivate mindfulness and relaxation, or promote overall well-being, incorporating Savasana into your yoga practice can help you to achieve your goals and support the health of your spine.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. There’s more than one way to do Savasana. You can do Savasana with a bolster under your knees and with a rolled-up blanket across your lower back and if you want to truly go to relax-town, you’ll want to try this version of Savasana.

Next up, is a few thoracic spine mobilization yoga poses to improve your spinal health.

 

Thoracic Spine Mobilization Yoga Poses To Improve Spinal Health

 

Thoracic Spine Mobilization Yoga Poses

 

Allow me to provide further insight into item #73 on the list of 101 tips for spinal health.

There are several yoga exercises that can help to mobilize the thoracic spine, which is the middle part of the spine that runs from the base of the neck to the bottom of the ribcage.

One common exercise is the Half Lord Of The Fishes pose, also known as Ardha Matsyendrasana.

Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose

Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose

To practice the Half Lord Of The Fishes pose, start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left knee, with your right knee pointing up toward the ceiling. Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee and gently twist your torso to the right, using your elbow to help deepen the stretch. Hold the pose for several breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Another yoga exercise that can help to mobilize the thoracic spine is the Cat-Cow Stretch.

Cat Cow Pose Anatomy

Cat-Cow Stretch

To practice Cat-Cow Stretch, start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your tailbone and head up toward the ceiling, coming into cow pose. As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest, coming into cat pose. Repeat the sequence several times, moving smoothly and slowly with your breath.

Other yoga exercises that can help to mobilize the thoracic spine include Thread-the-needle pose, Bridge pose, and Sphinx pose.

By adding these exercises into your yoga practice, you can help to improve spinal mobility and reduce stiffness and discomfort in the thoracic spine.

Next up, is Child’s pose which is a great stretch for the lower back, which improves spinal health.

 

Doing Child Pose to Stretch the Lower Back and Improve Spinal Health

 

Child Pose (Balasana)

Child Pose (Balasana)

 

Allow me to provide further insight into item #90 on the list of 101 tips for spinal health.

Child’s Pose, also known as Balasana, is a gentle yoga pose that can help improve spinal health in several ways.

By bringing the spine into a flexed position, Child’s Pose can release tension in the muscles of the back and neck, promote spinal alignment, and stretch the hips and thighs. This can help relieve lower back pain and reduce pressure on the discs between the vertebrae.

Additionally, Child’s Pose can promote relaxation and reduce stress, which can further benefit spinal health.

To come into Child’s Pose, begin on your hands and knees. Slowly bring your hips back towards your heels, extending your arms forward or alongside your body. Let your forehead rest on the ground and breathe deeply. You can also bring your knees wider apart for a deeper stretch in the hips.

As you hold the pose, feel the stretch in your lower back.

Allow yourself to let go of any worries or fears that you may be holding onto. Let the pose support and nurture your spine.

Next up, it’s time for my conclusion.

 

George’s Conclusion

George's Conclusion

 

So, there you have it Yogis and Yoginis, 101 ways to improve your spinal health. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But wait, George, that’s way too many ways! I don’t have time for all of that!

Well, fear not my fellow yogic spine enthusiasts, because I have a solution for you.

Simply pick a number between 1 and 101, and that will be your designated spinal health improvement method for the day, or hour, or 5 minutes.

See?

Easy-peasy!

And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, go ahead and try one of the 101 methods every day for the next 101 days. Your spine will thank you for it, and who knows? Maybe you’ll even grow an extra vertebrae or two. Okay, maybe not, but you’ll definitely feel better. Now, go forth and treat your spine like the guru that it is!

Oh yes, I almost forgot.

My free Yoga Pose Directory has over 3000 yoga poses to choose from, so if you’re on the hunt for more poses to improve spinal health, you’re in luck! Browse through the directory and find the perfect pose for you and your spine. With so many poses to choose from, you’ll never run out of options. Happy spine-strengthening!

If you like creating yoga class themes, you’ll want to take a look at my blog post called 101 Perfect Poses For A Peak Pose-Themed Yoga Lesson Plan, and this one: The Power Of Love: Lessons From The Still-face Experiment.

And if you want to streamline your yoga lesson planning process and check out my online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.

And hey, while you’re here, you might as well get your hands on 37 of my free Yoga lesson plans.

 

Get Your Yogic Hands On 37 Of My Free Yoga Lesson Plans

 

 

Below are 36 free downloadable yoga lesson plans that I’ve created for my own yoga classes using the Online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner. Feel free to use them for your own yoga classes, or as inspiration to come up with your own yoga class themes.

Become A Peaceful Warrior Yoga Lesson Plan

Caterpillar To Butterfly Yoga Lesson Plan

How Heavy Is This Glass Of Water Yoga Lesson Plan

Surrender To Slowness Yoga Lesson Plan

You Don’t Need Permission To Shine: Just Show Up, Shine & Be Yourself

Abiciously Delicious Core Yoga Lesson Plan

Chair Yoga Lesson Plan I 

Chair Yoga Lesson Plan II

Chair Yoga For Seniors Lesson Plan

Dolphin Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Moon Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Salutations Chair Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Salutations A Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Salutations B Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Salutations C Yoga Lesson Plan

Camel Peak Pose Yoga Lesson Plan

Downward Facing Dog Pose Variations Lesson Plan

Plank Peak Pose Yoga Lesson Plan

Revolved Poses Yoga Lesson Plan

Twists-Themed Yoga Lesson Plan: 41 Twist Poses To Whip Your Student’s Cores Into Shape

Valentines Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga for Cyclists Lesson Plan

Yoga for Swimmers Lesson Plan

Yoga For Seniors Lesson Plan

Hatha Yoga Lesson Plan

Kundalini Yoga Lesson Plan

Pregnancy Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Arthritic Spine Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Asthma Yoga Lesson Plan 

Yoga Therapy: Hips Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Opening Upper Back, Neck & Shoulders Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Restorative Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Soothe Sciatica Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Varicose Veins Yoga Lesson Plan

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