2019-12-08 Edition of Tabi’s Tidbits – Spine Meditation

Here’s a quick and simple to do spinal meditation suitable for morning, afternoon or evening.

The number one secret to staying youthful is to keep your spine supple. A healthy spine slows down aging significantly.

The spine is an indicator of health and balance. When it is strong, lengthened, and flexible, the benefits can be seen on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. Collapsing the spine by slumping affects our entire body: it minimizes our capacity to breathe deeply, limits space in the upper thoracic spine, and overextends muscles, tendons, and nerves in the lumbar region. The spine is our framework, and when the structure of our frame breaks down, all systems are jeopardized.

80-90% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point in their life, and if you have ever had back pain, you know how debilitating it can be.
While running or going to the gym can be a great workout for your body, these forms of exercise don’t focus on the health of your spine.  This is where Kundalini Yoga comes in.  With gentle, simple, repetitive movements, Kundalini Yoga focuses on getting the energy moving in your spine.
Kundalini yoga, or spinal yoga, has been around for thousands of years.  “Kundalini” is the Sanskrit word for “coiled”: The practice is very focused on body mechanics, flexibility, core muscle strength, muscle tension, and loosening and adjusting the spine.

Kundalini yoga focuses on opening up all your vertebral bodies. We have seven vertebral bodies in the cervical spine, then twelve in the thoracic spine, and five in the lumbar spine, and five make up the sacral spine. In a typical Kundalini practice, you are starting at the very base of the spine at the sacrum and working on stretching every level as you work up to the neck, or the cervical spine. A large component of it is rotating the joints.  The joints in the spine are just like joints in your elbows, your shoulders, your knees: You can have inflammation of the spinal joints, and they can get arthritic. People don’t conceptually think about the spine in that way, so it’s important to emphasize the inflammatory component.

But what is the spine?
  • The spine is made up of a series of bones stacked on top of each other that houses and protects the spinal cord.
  • The spinal cord is a column of nerve fibers that branch off into the rest of the body responsible for sending and receiving messages from the brain. It is through the spinal cord and its branching nerves that the brain influences the rest of the body, controlling movement and organ function.
In simpler terms, think of your nerve fibers like cables running from your computer. What happens if one of the cables is destroyed or unplugged? It affects the whole system…
How do you protect the spine?  The key to maintaining a healthy spine is flexibility.
The dangers of not being flexible include:
  • stiffness
  • poor posture
  • back pain
  • movement limitations
  • risk for injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments

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