Last week’s blog detailed a simple, yet Life Changing Spinal Exercise that takes about 15-20 minutes to do. This week I want to gift you some quick and easy add-ons for spinal mobility, that when combined will give you a complete set of exercises for supreme spinal health.

Of course, you can adopt a Yin Yoga approach to these quick and easy exercises by slowing them right down and taking 3-4 minutes with each exercise. And you can also whip though them in your lunch break! Ideally, you’d add them to last week’s Life Changing Spinal Exercise and have yourself a fat time giving your spine and Nervous System a whole heap of LOVE!

What ever you do with these exercises I am giving you, firstly make sure you are working with a healthy and happy spine. Not sure yours is? Just ask your bodywork professional.

But why bother?
Why exercise our spines?

  • Reduce pain in your shoulders, neck and back
  • Improve your posture
  • Increase lung volume…which increases oxygen intake…and oxygen is very relaxing…
  • Improve overall body function by making your nerves freer and happier
  • Maintain strength and function of muscles that support the spinal structure
  • Utilise the mind-body connection and create mobility and flexibility within our minds by creating mobility and flexibility in our bodies!

So how to best exercise and keep our spines mobile?

The answer to this question becomes really clear when you think about the structure of our spine being pretty much straight up and down (bar a few natural curves) contrasted with all the multi-directional activities our bodies are capable of doing.

When you think of your day today, how many wide and varied directions and postures have you put your body through?
Or have you just been sitting, standing and walking?
Now imagine how the body of a modern ballet dancer has moved today.
Yep.
My spine is saying: “Yes please – more of that jazz please!”

The purpose of the following easy add-on exercises for spinal mobility is to get your spine moving in as many and varied directions as possible.
So it can keep doing these movements for many years to come.

Let’s begin shall we?
If you are unfamiliar with these poses, just click on the links provided and get a visual.

  1. Cat/Cow
    • Start by kneeling with palms on the floor and a neutral spine. Then bend your spine conversely and then convexly, coordinating your breath so you are breathing in when in Cat Pose and breathing out in Cow. Repeat as many times as feels good for you.
    • When in Cow Pose, keep a subtle smile on your dial and allow your eyes to remain open, looking upwards toward the ceiling as far as you can. This gives your eyes a nice stretch and encourages them to access the parts of your brain above your eyes where new ideas and fresh points of view live.
  2. Four Point Kneeling Looking Backward

    Generative Change Life Changing Coaching Spinal Mobility ExercisesGenerative Change Life Changing Coaching Spinal Exercises

    • I don’t know if this exercise has a proper name but that doesn’t matter.
      A rose by any other name smells as sweet!
    • Begin in the same posture as you did for Cat/Cow (four point kneeling posture with a neutral spine) and instead of moving our spines in a curve downward and upward, we are going to create curves in them sideways.
    • Think about creating the letter “C” between your shoulders and hips on your right side and then alternating to your left. And really use your whole spine, including your neck. Again, as many times as feels good for you.
  3. Threading the Needle
    • Up ’til now we’ve curved our spine like a cupped hand catching the rain, like a child’s hand covering a secret treasure and curved our spine side to side like a really happy dog whose tail is wagging its whole body, slowly.
    • Now we introduce something our spines really LOVE. A twist.
    • The lady in the linked-to image looks quite rigid and upright in her interpretation of this pose. When I do this pose, I like to flatten my front hand and really sink it and the attached arm and the side of my face into the mat.
    • It really is rather comfy.
      Stay as long as feels good for you. I only do this pose once each side.
    • Remember to be very gentle with yourself whenever emerging from this pose. Place your forward/’unthreaded’ hand directly beneath its shoulder to support your movement out of the pose.
  4. Child’s Pose
    • One of the blessed sanctuary poses in yoga!
      Let’s take the image of the lady in the link and let’s give our spine even more LOVE with an easy add on.
    • Whilst in Child’s Pose, walk your right outstretched arm and hand over to the left side of the mat and interlock it on top of your left hand. Enjoy the amazing side stretch, all the way from the tip of your hip to your armpit.
      Breathe.
      And now swap and walk your left hand over to the right side of your mat and repeat.
    • This exercise is a nice one to slow right down and get the secondary benefits from pulling away from our armpits, sitting back on our heels and truly surrendering.

So that’s my easy add on exercises for spinal mobility!

You can add them to last week’s Life Changing Spinal Exercise and have a spinal LOVE fest, do them as a little group for some quick and easy spinal mobility magic or jump down on your mat in between Zoom meetings and pick off one spinal mobility treat at a time.

The important thing is that you move your spine!

And remember what Sheryl Crow says:
Concrete is as concrete doesn’t.

Let me know how you go or if you have any questions.
I am always interested.

LOVE
Rachel x
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