Mindful Spinal Movements

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Mindful Spinal Movements

A major concern I’ve found with my students who have a bone loss diagnosis is maintaining proper posture and not moving the spine in a way that might cause harm. This is completely understandable! Maintaining good posture will help to reduce your risk of developing both kyphosis (rounding of the upper back) and fractures. I believe we have an added challenge in today’s society since many of us are oftentimes looking down on our devices for long periods of time throughout the day in keeping the shoulders and upper back from rounding while maintaining healthy posture.

Of course yoga is a great way to work on your posture and build strength in your back to keep your spine straight. Keep in mind that even though you want to keep your spine straight, you also want to try to preserve all of the movements of the spine in order to maintain mobility! With the exception of flexion (rounding of the back) the other movements including side bending, back bending (extension), and twisting (rotation) should be safe for you to do as long as you are mindful when practicing the movements.

Spinal Extension

Modified Cow Pose, where the back rounds (the counter movement to Cat Pose), is a pose you should avoid if you have osteoporosis/osteopenia, however gentle backbends such as Cow Pose can help maintain mobility in your lower back.
For those with a bone loss diagnosis: move from cow pose to a flat back in a very mindful way. Being intentional about our movements will help to keep the body safe.


Twisting
Twisting is another movement that is a very functional movement. If you stop to think about how many times throughout your day you turn to reach for something it is probably quite a bit. However, when practicing twists in your yoga practice you want to make sure you are doing so with a straight spine and not twisting too deeply.
To come into the pose: Take one leg straight, bend the opposite knee, take your hand or elbow around your knee, with the other hand behind your back close to the hip. You may think of your back arm/hand as a kickstand on a bike helping to keep the spine straight. From there, take a deep breath in and lengthen the spine and rotate away from the bent knee. As always, be mindful of your movements and move slowly. Keep your twist minimal if you have a bone loss diagnosis.

Forward Folding
Any sort of rounding in the back as I said above is to be avoided for risk of fracture. Yet again it is not to be avoided… just modified! Instead hip-hinging is a great exercise as it helps to build core strength, mobility in the hips, and helps to stretch the backs of the legs.
To come into the pose: Stand with your feet approximately hip distance apart. Bring your hands to your hip creases hinge from the hips and lower your hands to your shins. Try to balance the weight of your feet evenly between the toes and the heals.

Alternatively, you could put your hands on the seat of the chair to fold forward or also on yoga blocks if needed to help you feel more comfortable in the pose.

Keep in mind, you know your body best! If there are movements you know do not feel good in your body, cause pain or discomfort avoid them. I hope this is helpful for you! If you have any questions or comments be sure to post them below!!

 

NB Loves!!

I thought I would share some random things I am loving right now.

Recently on my scrolls through Instagram, I saw another influencer recommend this book, Inward by Yung Pueblo. I have been sharing passages in some of yoga classes lately so if you take my classes you may have heard a reading from Inward already.  This book is amazing!!  If you are looking for a little inspiration, all you have to do is open the book to any page and there you go! This book would make a great gift.


These may be a little silly to be sharing on a yoga blog, but I loved these Zipper File Bags  so much I thought I would share the love. These bags are made a mostly waterproof durable nylon material.  They are 13 X 9.4 so they hold a regular 81/2 X 11 sheets of paper and perfect to transport papers in your laptop bag and so many other uses.  I have used one to store my Kindle.
They would also be perfect for traveling to store makeup, Ipad, jewelry, snacks, and the list goes on. 

And one more love for you… I hardly ever buy tennis shoes without trying them on as I am super picky about how my tennis shoes  fit, but due to Covid and not wanting to go into the store to try on shoes, I took a chance and order these  Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 20 Running Shoes  online and I love them! They fit true to size, are really comfortable, come in a bunch of different colors, and for me have the perfect amount of support.

Be Well,
Nicole

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical conditions.

Yoga with Resistance Bands

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Namaste Yogis,

I hope you are doing well! I am excited today to talk about using resistance bands with yoga! I have to say I resisted the idea of adding weights or resistance bands to my practice for so long. I wanted to keep my yoga teaching to more traditional yoga, but if you read my post Strength & Mobility for Hips and Glutes you know I needed to shift my personal yoga practice into a more strength based practice so the resistance bands have really helped me gain more strength. I am super excited to be teaching a new class, Mindful Conditioning which will include resistance bands in each class!! You can check out our schedule page for more information!!

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Yoga Books to Inspire You!

Namaste Yogis-

I hope you are doing well! I am currently participating in a 30 Day Reels Challenge on Instagram. The prompt for today was to share your top books! There are so many books that I love so choosing just a few was a bit of a challenge for me. Since reels only give you 15 seconds, I thought you might like to look further into what these books are about!!
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Monday Motivation: Have Fun Everyday!!!

Namaste Yogis!

I hope you had a good weekend! This weekend, I was reflecting on all of the challenges we have been faced with this year. The most recent being the wildfires which has kept many of us indoors due to poor air quality. Like many I’m sure, I have found this to be very frustrating since one of the things that has helped me cope with the pandemic is getting out for my walks and running the stairs. Because of the wild fires burning in California, I have not been able to get out for the past week or so. Needless to say, this is very frustrating but I am trying to make the best of it by practicing more yoga and moving my body in other ways without going outside.
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What’s Up Wednesday: Gentle Back Extension Poses

Namaste! It’s hard to believe it is already Wednesday with the holiday on Monday! I hope you had a great Labor Day! It was so hot where I live, I honestly did nothing except teach a great class in the morning!

This week I am focusing on back extension poses or backbends. In order to maintain the health of our spine, we want to make sure we are moving the spine in all of the ways it is meant to move….these are flexion (e.g., forward fold), extension (e.g., backbend), rotation (e.g., twist), and lateral flexion (e.g., side bend). As someone who has had back issues in the past, I am always very careful when backbending especially since my thoracic spine has limited mobility.
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What’s Up Wednesday: Poses for the Quadriceps

Namaste! How did it get to be September already?? I hope your week is going well!

This week in my classes, I am focussing on the quadriceps. The quadriceps are made up of four muscles. These four muscles are extensor muscles that help extend the knee. The quadriceps help us to walk, run & jump so it goes without saying, we need to take care of them! In my personal practice, I know I am working the quadriceps often as I almost always incorporate lunges into my practice, but it is not often I remember to do poses that help stretch these muscles.
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Yoga in Pajamas: Super Supported Bridge

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

TGIF! I hope you have had a good week! A few weeks back I posted a Supported Bridge Pose here.
If you liked that pose, you are going to love this one with extra support. The extra bolster or pillows gives your back extra support and opens up the front of the body
front of the body even more, which allows the breath to flow a little more freely. My clients who I share this pose with absolutely love it!  So, give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
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What’s Up Wednesday: Poses for Tight Hamstrings

Happy Hump Day Yogis! I hope you are hanging in there with all of the things that are going on in our world. I know there is added stress for those school-age children trying to navigate the on-line learning situation. As a former school teacher, my heart goes out to all of you in that situation.

I have decided to focus my class this week on the hamstrings. Many of the poses we do in yoga incorporate the hamstrings and many people have restrictions in their hamstrings which make these poses a challenge. Poses for the hamstrings are important for those with low back pain as oftentimes those with low back issues have tight hamstrings. I wanted to share these poses with modifications in hopes it will be helpful for those of you who need it.
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Yoga in Pajamas: Supported Frog Pose

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Happy Friday! I hope have had a good week! If you have been taking my classes this week, then you know we have been working on poses for the hips. This pose, is perfect to allow for a gentle opening in the hips in a very supportive way.

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What’s Up Wednesday?: Strength & Mobility for Hips and Glutes

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Hi Yogis! I hope you are doing well and staying safe! Where I am in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are dealing with fires. Fortunately, they are not close to where I am, but the air quality is very poor. My Dad lives in the Sierra Foothills and had to be evacuated due to a fire close to him. Thankfully, he is safe and I hope he will get to be back in his home soon. Sending all of you much love and light for whatever circumstances you may be dealing with. These days it is always something! We are strong and we will persevere!!
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