The human spine has four distinct segments, consisting of the cervical, the thoracic, the lumbar and the sacral. Each spinal segment contains a given number of vertebrae which are separated by the intervertebral discs. These discs absorb shock, permit some compression and allow movement.
The human spine is unique among all mammals in that it exhibits both primary and secondary curves. The primary curve of the spine comprises the kyphotic thoracic and sacral curves. The secondary lordotic curves are present in the cervical and lumbar regions.
What are the basic movements of spine?
There are generally four possible movements of the spine; flexion, extension, axial rotation (twisting) and lateral flexion (side bending). Flexion is the most basic movement of the spine that emphasizes its primary curve.
How yoga helps in maintaining proper spine structure?
It is important to have an understanding of how yoga asana affect specific muscles that aims to strengthen and stretch the muscles within each major muscle group. The health of spine is connected to the balance of strength and length in the whole body. When one part of the body is stronger or weaker, it brings imbalance to the muscles and pulls the skeleton out of alignment. These imbalances can be adjusted by practising yoga.
The two main components of maintaining proper spinal alignment are balance and flexibility. Yoga focuses a great deal of attention in developing both balance and flexibility. Improper spinal alignment can cause back pain and decrease range of motion in the spine. Practising a few yoga stretches after work can help straighten and strengthen your spine.
Therefore it is said yoga is a full body practice. And each posture has different purpose and results which will be explained in detail in next chapter.