It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the spine is a vital component of our bodies. We tend to think of its importance in physical terms – the backbone which supports our skeletal structure, and the main nerve conduit for the body. There would be no central nervous system without the spine, but of course, this is just one aspect of how our spine supports our life.
From a psychological standpoint, consider how much of a day’s mental strain shows up along the spine. All sorts of back aches and muscle pain happens around the neck and the spine, predicated by stress. Just think about the relaxation techniques, massages, and breathing exercises – they all mainly focus on relieving the tensions around the spine, caused by our anxieties. The health of the spine can be promoted through yoga, and a well-integrated practice involves the movement of the spine in all three axes: bending, twisting, flexing. You will note these applications in various asanas.
And most importantly, from an energetic perspective, the spine is fundamental. The chakras lie along the spine, and energy flows primarily along the spine. An efficient flow is essential in order to keep the chakras balanced. The spine is a critical medium for the subtle body as it is the cornerstone of all spiritual development.
The latitude of perception is attributed to the spine, in yogic science. Energy anatomy proclaims the 3 flows in the central channel – the ida (left) pingala (right) and shushmuna (central). There are pranayama exercises to clear these channels and enable efficient energetic flow. The spine is seen as the main communication channel. A healthy spine brings a certain level of sharpness and clarity and enables hyper perceptive abilities. The spine and its flexibility enables a certain level of sensitivity.
The transcendental attributes of the spine can be summed up as follows:
- Coccyx (tail bone) is our link to the planet and a source of energy from the planet.
- Sacrum (triangular bone leading to coccyx) holds our purpose here.
- Lumbar (spinal column) is safety and vulnerability.
- Solar Plexus (heart connection) is the seat of love.
- Neck (throat connection) is the seat of communication and truth.
- Base (skull) is the seat of control.
“A bent spine is the enemy of realization. In meditation, always hold your spine straight, that the life force may flow through it unobstructed” – Paramhansa Yogananda
A healthy spine is reputed to endow a long life. Here are four related articles:
Body Posture: https://celebrateyoga.org/body-posture/
Yoga for Back Pain: https://celebrateyoga.org/yoga-back-pain/
Surya Namaskar: https://celebrateyoga.org/surya-namaskar-potency-sun-salutation/
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