Weekend Challenge: Yoga Spine Elongator Plus
This weekend’s challenge is a yoga pose known as Trikonasana or “triangle pose”. It elongates the spine, opens the chest, aligns upper back and cervical vertebrae, and more.
Bear in mind that spinal elongation and alignment does more than just preserve height, it also prevents the dreaded vertebral compression fractures.
As you can see, this pose will help you to greatly improve your posture, so let’s get started!
A strong, aligned, flexible spine promotes proper posture, fracture-resistant vertebrae, and good balance to prevent falls. The Yoga Spine Elongator Plus works the muscles on either side of the spine, increasing circulation and flexibility.
This exercise also opens the chest, which is vital for deep breathing. Taking deep breaths has been scientifically proven to help alkalize the body. In addition, deep breathing offers other benefits, such as:
- Relief from bone-damaging stress and anxiety
- When combined with full exhalations, deep breathing helps cleanse the body of toxins.
- Improved circulation and digestion
- Increased energy due to greater oxygen intake
According to Yoga practitioners, this pose stimulates the organs in your abdomen, restoring the “fire of digestion.” Also, it’s believed that it awakens the nerves in your cranium associated with the head’s sensory organs.
The Yoga Spine Elongator Plus also strengthens the legs, calves, and ankles, which helps those areas resist fracture. Strong legs and ankles are also key in promoting good balance, which is very important in preventing falls that could result in fracture.
And last but not least, today’s pose is excellent for aligning the vertebrae in the upper back and neck, which is vital in preventing kyphosis and a hunchbacked appearance.
You can use a Yoga mat or carpeted floor for this pose. But once you’re comfortable with it, you can perform it just about anywhere.
- Keeping your back straight, place your feet about 3-4 feet apart, toes pointed forward.
- Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder level. Adjust your feet width so your wrists are directly above your ankles. (If you can’t, don’t worry – just get as close as you can.)
- Turn your palms upward and open your chest (Yoga practitioners might say to “lift your heart”).
- Turn the toes of your right foot outward 90 degrees, and your left toes inward about 45 degrees.
- Keeping your arms straight and palms facing forward, exhale and slowly bend at the hips toward the right. Keep your pelvis stable and your back straight.
- Keep bending until your right hand reaches your lower leg, right above your ankle (or as far down as you can comfortably get).
- Gently grasp your leg with your right hand. Your left arm should be pointing straight up toward the ceiling with your palm facing sideways (toward the top of your head).
- Slowly turn your head to the left and look up at your left hand, keeping a straight line from your head to your hips. Take a deep breath in and out.
- Slowly come back up and repeat the process in reverse with the opposite leg.
- As you come down and grasp your right leg with your right hand, support your weight with your core muscles. Don’t transfer your weight to your hand by leaning on it.
- Practice this exercise near a stable object that you can easily hold on to, in case you need assistance keeping your balance.
- Resist the urge to “collapse” or bend the ribcage as you come down into the pose. Keep your chest open and your arms wide.
Simple, But Challenging!
Despite appearances, the Yoga Spine Elongator Plus is quite challenging. Many of the moves in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System are similar – although they appear simple, that does not mean they are easy. In fact, “Densercises” are very effective and appropriately challenging, so you get the optimal benefits of bone density training.
Densercise™ has many moves that provide similar benefits to this week’s challenge. For example, the Pray And Pull (page 24) and the Shoulder Press (page 28) open the chest; the Mountain Pose (page 31) and the Arm And Leg Lift (page 29) elongate the spine.
It’s more important from a bone-building standpoint to practice targeted exercises rather than simply wearing yourself out with an exhausting workout that ignores key areas of your body that need strengthening in order to prevent fractures.
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I hope you enjoy this weekend’s challenge. I can’t wait to hear what you think!