7 Yoga Poses to Build Spine Strength and Flexibility

Rate this post
featured-img

You might not have given much thought to it, but your spine health is an essential aspect of your well being. These gentle twists and stretches can help restore the strength and flexibility of those vital vertebrae.

The spine is capable of six major extension and flexion movements, and doing these movements regularly can help lengthen the spine, encourage the elasticity of the spinal column and wake up the parasympathetic nervous system, helping prevent injuries like spinal stenosis. (1)

Beginning and maintaining a consistent yoga practice can greatly help to increase the strength and flexibility of the spine. (2) In turn, increasing the flexibility of the spine can help improve strength and endurance in your yoga practice.

Suffering from a sore neck, back and shoulders? Get our mobility guide to ease pain and soreness.
Get The FREE Mobility Guide To Fix Your Pain Today!

It’s best to begin each day performing these yoga poses, focusing on elongating the spine during each of these movements. This helps to create space through the vertebrae and builds strength through the core and flexibility through the entire body. (3)

While morning is best, these poses can be practiced whenever and wherever, and are best performed back-to-back. All you need is a yoga mat.


Seated Twist | 8 breaths per side

Seated-Twist.jpg

This gentle pose moves the spine into rotation while helping to relieve tension throughout the entire back and hips.

  1. Begin in a seat with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Bend your right leg and cross it over your left, bringing your right foot flat on the ground on the outside of your left thigh.
  3. Place your right hand behind your right hip. Then, inhale and reach your left arm up over your head, sitting up tall and engaging your abs.
  4. On an exhale, twist to the right and wrap your left arm around the front of your right shin. Hug your right knee into your chest and hold for eight breaths.
  5. Release the twist on an inhale, then switch sides.

Seated Forward Fold | 8 breaths

Seated-Forward-Fold.jpg

This pose puts the spine into flexion and relieves tension in the lower back, hamstrings, and calves.

  1. Start in a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet flexed.
  2. Inhale to sit up tall and reach your arms up over your head. Draw your navel in towards your spine to engage your abs and bring a slight bend into your knees.
  3. Exhale and reach forward while hinging at the hips. Try and keep your lower back long. Grab ahold of the bottoms of your feet, bending your knees as much as you need to. Tilt your tailbone back slightly and feel a stretch through the hamstrings and calves.
  4. Hold for eight breaths.

Locust Pose | 8 breaths

Locust-Pose.jpg

This yoga pose helps to increase strength and flexibility of the spine by strengthening the muscles surrounding it.

  1. To begin, lie face down on your mat with your legs straight back behind you. Untuck your toes and let the tops of your feet rest on the mat.
  2. Place your forehead on your mat and reach your arms back alongside your body with your palms face down.
  3. Inhale to lift your forehead, chest, arms, and legs. Turn your palms to face in and engage your triceps by lifting up through your pinkies. Reach back through your toes and forward through the crown of your head. Keep the back of your neck long and free of wrinkles.
  4. Hold for eight breaths.

Cat Pose | 5 breaths

Cat-Pose.jpg

This pose puts the spine into flexion and stretches the muscles of the back.

  1. Begin in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and hips over your knees.
  2. Draw your navel up and in towards your spine to engage your abs.
  3. Exhale to tilt your tailbone down, rounding your spine. Draw your chin towards your chest and gaze towards your navel.
  4. Press up through your palms and feel the space between your shoulder blades puff up towards the sky. You should feel a stretch throughout your back.
  5. Hold for five slow breaths.

Cow Pose | 5 breaths

Cow-Pose.jpg

This pose puts the spine into extension and stretches the muscles of the belly and chest.

  1. Begin in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and hips over your knees.
  2. Draw your navel up and in towards your spine to engage your abs.
  3. Inhale to tilt your tailbone up, lowering your belly towards the ground. Keep your shoulders squeezing down your back and press your chest forward. The back of your neck should stay long and wrinkle-free.
  4. Gaze over the tip of your nose and hold for five slow breaths.

Seated Side Stretch | 8 breaths per side

Seated-Side-Stretch.jpg

This pose puts the spine into lateral flexion and stretches the shoulders, lats, intercostal muscles, and obliques.

  1. Start in a comfortable seat with your legs crossed. Sit up tall and engage your abs.
  2. Inhale to reach your arms up over your head to lengthen your spine.
  3. Exhale to place your right fingertips down next to your right side. Then, reach up and over your head with your left arm. Keep your right shoulder relaxed and away from your ear and keep a slight bend in the elbow.
  4. Hold for eight breaths, feeling a stretch along the left side of your body.
  5. Inhale to come back up to center, then switch sides.

Extended Side Angle | 5 breaths per side

Extended-Side-Angle.jpg

This pose both lengthens and strengthens the spine. This pose puts the spine into lateral flexion while simultaneously strengthening the core muscles and legs.

  1. Begin in a high plank position.
  2. Step your right foot outside of your right hand. Then, spin your left heel down so that the pinky toe edge of your left foot is parallel to the back of your mat. Your right heel should be lined up with the arch of your left foot.
  3. Next, lift your chest and place your right forearm on your right thigh. Then, inhale to lift your left arm up and over your head. Your left ribs should be stacked over your right and your quadriceps and abs should be engaged.
  4. Feel a stretch through the left side of your body and hold for five breaths. Then, switch sides.

7-Yoga-Poses-to-Build-Spine-Strength-and-Flexibility-infog-1.jpg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*