Considering our spine has 3 significant jobs to carry out relentlessly every day, it seems silly that we tend to neglect regular maintenance of everything that supports our spine to help make its job easier and, ultimately our posture more efficient (plus a whole array of other benefits throughout the body system).
One simple, but not often easy place to begin to effect more awareness is regarding our posture and the idea that our stronger and superficial major mover muscles (like the traps, lats and the SCM in the neck) can be tighter, and more tense, while our deeper stabilizing muscles (like the paraspinals and deep flexors and extensors of the neck) can be under active, and weak.
Additionally, our spine has adapted to being under the load of gravity both by our habitual movements and our habitual static posture. Just because it’s easy for our nervous system to arrange our spine to its customary or “preferred” alignment to meet our habitual movement needs - because it’s done it so often - doesn’t mean we can’t begin to gradually affect change here for the better. We definitely can, and the easiest way to begin to develop improved postural choices in the brain is by learning a little bit about the spine’s lesser talked about support mechanisms and equally, being able to connect to them on a more inward level of awareness.
Learning more about our spine, our tendencies and any potential dysfunctions we may be experiencing can help lead us more mindfully into new postural scenarios that we can practice on our yoga mat with the purpose of increasing strength, stability, mobility and efficiency, all around and along the spine (specifically the deeper muscles closer to the spine itself), and ultimately, to making better postural choices in our daily life.
These deeper muscles are commonly referred to as “mindfulness muscles” because they are not really easy to feel engage. But the best part is that the movements we can explore to target them are so subtle at first, that anyone can learn to affect real change here simply by learning from a teacher who understands how to help you to connect to these areas and help you to do it more regularly.
Other than the ability to breathe, there’s no yoga experience required!
Just the desire to make better choices about regaining control of how we feel in our body.
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