Okay, posture Monday is a day late. Oops. Anyway…
Last week when I was writing about a more (much more) advanced lumbar strengthening exercise, I tossed off a brief line about re-curving my lumbar spine.
Now, somewhere along the line I’m sure I’ve written about this, probably in my Bikram Yoga critique. Which, by the way is an excellent place to begin if you’re having back problems, and your yoga practice isn’t helping.
Side note. Yoga is often held up as a miracle cure all for back problems. IT IS NOT. Yoga, done properly, in accordance with your own unique anatomy, history and physical limitations, CAN cure your bac problems. Come to think of it, that’s kind of why I’m writing these posts.
Anyway, I made this brief comment on re-curving my lumbar spine and thought, “Andrew, you should expand on that.”
In the early days when I was rehabilitating my back and posture, one thing I noted was that my lumbar curve was completely non-existent. Seriously. When I lay on my back on a hard floor, my entire spine from my pelvis to my shoulders was flat to the floor…no lumbar curve at all.
In short, this curve didn’t exist.
That’s bad, m’kay? Someday I’ll write about why you need your spine curved the way it is. For now, please accept it as true.
Anyway, one of my first tasks was to put that curve back in my spine.
Well, I’ve already written about that, extensively.
First thing, you need to learn what your neutral spine is. Not what, in general a neutral spine is, but what, specifically, your neutral spine is. Then, you can begin to work toward having your neutral spine be (once again, for that’s what it once was) your natural spine.
- Before you do any exercise, lie on your tummy, forehead on your yoga mat. If you don’t have a yoga mat, get one, it’s much more comfortable than the bare floor.
After you can lie comfortably like this, begin with the gentlest, most basic of the yoga postures I’ve previously written about
- Baby cobra (for strength along the back line
- Bridge (for strengthening your butt muscles, and working the back line)
- Sphinx to increase the lumbar re-curving
- Dead bug (the static dead bug, not any of the advanced mods)
In that last post I also tossed off a line about crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Ensuring the proper curve of your spine is a part of that. If you are trying to improve your posture, before you can do anything else, you must ensure your spine is capable of proper posture and the correct curves are crucial for that.