Yoga is one of the best things you could ever do for yourself.
Over the years, without a doubt, my healthiest patients have always been my “yoga patients”. My yogis and yoginis respond better to treatment and require less care (adjustments) then my typical office worker-type-patients. Often times these people have very minor issues and/or come in to make sure their spines are moving optimally so that they can improve their yoga practice. Typically, these are the people who really want to maximize their well-being and take their health to a whole new level.
But what most people probably don’t realize is how good yoga is for your spinal health. People think yoga and they think flexibility, chanting and patchouli. We don’t think about our spinal health as much as we should. We usually only think about our backs when we’re in pain. But I firmly believe and have seen from years of practice (clinically with my patients and with yoga) that if we can maintain optimal spinal movement, our spinal health and by default our functional health, will benefit massively.
As I mentioned previously, if your spinal motion units, the vertebrae, aren’t moving enough they’re going to decay. You look after your teeth so they don’t decay – you have to do the same with your spine. The problem is that with our sedentary, sit-in-front-of-a-computer lifestyle, we are not moving enough. If you rest – you rust. Sounds a little simplistic, but it’s true.
Apart from spinal decay/arthritis/wear and tear – whatever you want to call it, how does poor spinal health affect your overall health? Remember, your nervous system controls everything you do and is housed within your spinal column. If your decaying spine isn’t moving properly – it will impair your nervous system function. If your nervous system function is impaired – your body’s ability to function is impaired. Your overall health is directly affected by poor spinal health.
Why not keep your spine healthy, young and supple with a regular yoga practice?
When you think about it, a yoga practice is a small investment of time and energy that can pay huge dividends in terms of your long-term health. You might be adding 10 years or more to your long-term functional health. Remember, you’re only as young as your spine.