Yoga asanas and spinal nerve stimulation can help relieve pain, increase circulation, reduce stress and promote general wellness. Many poses can be used to help increase muscle strength and flexibility too. Yoga is a good way to begin an exercise routine that is back- and neck-friendly, and performing asansas as little as twice a week for two months can result in better physical health as well as an improved outlook on life.
Understanding Yoga Asanas and Spinal Nerve Stimulation
The following yoga postures, or asanas, will help stimulate the nerves of the back, increase back strength, promote flexibility and a sense of wellbeing. As with most yoga asansas, listen to your body and stop if you begin to feel pain or strain.
If you have chronic back or neck problems or have sustained an injury, consult a doctor before performing yoga and seek the assistance of a certified yoga instructor to help you learn to perform poses safely.
Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
By rotating the spinal column laterally, the Half Spinal Twist tones and stimulates spinal nerves and ligaments. It can also aid digestion.
- Kneel and shift your body to the right so that your legs are bent at the knees and your heels are pointing outward. Your legs should be angled slightly toward your left.
- With your spine straight, raise your left leg and position it over your right leg, placing your left foot flat on the floor.
- Bring your left foot in toward your right thigh, near your buttocks.
- Extend your arms at shoulder level.
- Slowly twist to the left.
- Lower your right arm and grasp your left foot with your right hand.
- Position your left hand so that it is touching the floor behind you.
- Exhale slowing, twisting your body to the left.
- Rotate your neck and look back over your shoulder.
Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Fish Pose tones the muscles of the neck and back. It will also expand the rib cage and help promote deep, even breathing.
- Lie on your back with your feet together and your legs straight.
- Position your hands under your thighs, palms down.
- Press down on your elbows and arch your back while inhaling deeply.
- Let your head drop back.
- Maintain your weight on your elbows.
- Exhale while relaxing your neck so that the top of your head rests on the floor or mat.
- Keep your legs and torso relaxed. Feel the stretch in your back and neck.
- Lift your head gently.
- Lower your body until you are once again lying flat on the mat.
Cat Pose (Bidalasana)
Designed to straighten and align the spine and reduce pressure on spinal nerves, Cat Pose will relieve tension in the lower back and help increase blood flow.
- Place your hands and knees on the floor with your hands positioned directly below your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Splay your hands apart.
- Keep your back straight, and face the floor.
- Maintain even shoulders, and resist any urge to bend or sag.
- Inhale and contract your abdominal muscles, arching your back.
- Tighten your buttocks and tuck your tailbone while maintaining even pressure through your arms and shoulders.
- Curve your spine and tuck your head in toward your chest.
Sage Twist (Marichyasana)
A back-strengthening pose, the Sage Twist will also help reduce muscle tension and increase blood circulation to the liver, intestines, and spleen.
- Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and your toes pointing toward the ceiling.
- Bend your right leg, placing your right foot on the floor parallel to your left knee.
- Twist your torso toward your right knee while wrapping your left arm around your raised right knee and nestling your knee in the crook of your arm.
- Clasp your hands while keeping your back and shoulders straight.
- Repeat the pose, this time bending your left leg instead of your right.
Proceed Slowly but Surely
Yoga asanas and spinal nerve stimulation may help keep your back supple and your muscles healthy and elastic. However, keep in mind that some poses may appear easier than they actually are. An instructional video or yoga teacher will help you derive the full benefit of each posture and avoid injury, especially if you're just beginning a yoga regimen.