Keeping Yoga Safe for Your Spine
Yoga is a wonderful practice for people of all fitness and activity levels and all stages of life. Mommy and Me type yoga classes are becoming more popular as parents choose to introduce their children to active lifestyles early in life. If you or your child choose to participate in yoga, there a small number of poses that you should be cautious of for the sake of your spine and your child’s. The first type of pose to be cautious of is anything that involves extreme flexion of your neck, especially if combined with bearing weight on your neck – as in some types of pelvic tilts performed while lying on the floor. Most people already experience some degree of Anterior Head Syndrome, due in large part to jobs and hobbies that require sitting at a desk working on a computer or tablet, and these types of exercises can worsen this condition. Even in children who may not have developed Anterior Head Syndrome, this can over stretch the muscles and ligaments in the back of the neck, making them more vulnerable to developing this condition as they get older. The second type of pose to be cautious of is anything involving extreme extension of the lumbar spine – typically anything involving a backbend or similar motion. This is particularly important in children and teenagers due to the way that the bones of the spinal column develop. Certain parts of the vertebrae are not fully developed until 20 years of age. Extreme extension of the lumbar spine at a young age, especially under six years of age, can cause small fractures that can lead to instability and cause pain and dysfunction later in life. If your yoga class incorporates these types of poses, simply opt out of those particular poses or perform a modification if available and continue to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of this beautiful practice!