It’s the spine that distinguishes humans from other animals. It gives us structural support, protects our central nerves, and enables movement. Naturally, spine health is crucial, but few of us are paying attention. Many hours of sitting can compromise the fitness of our spine, but a selection of yogasanas can help, says Sheetal Tewari, yoga therapist, yoga and meditation teacher, and sound healer, as she demonstrates them specially for Thrive Global India

1. Baddha Konasana 

How To Do It: Hinge your legs at the knees, stretch your thighs with care, and now, join the soles of your feet. Keep your body erect and gaze in front. Hold this asana before you return to sitting position. 

Benefits: This asana increases blood circulation around your body, especially the spine. It’s also beneficial for women who suffer from menstrual cramps. 

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana

How To Do It: Start by crouching on your four limbs, now lift your hips and straighten your elbows and legs such that you make an inverted V. This asana is also popularly called the downward-facing dog pose. 

Benefits: Part of the sun salutations or the surya namaskar, this asana has multiple benefits. Apart from increasing blood circulation and being good for the spine, it can strengthen your abdominal muscles and help improve digestion. 

3. Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana

How To Do It: From your initial position of the Adomukha svanasana, raise your right leg off the ground. But only try to take it as high it will go. 

Benefits: This asana has numerous benefits. Not only does it elongate your spine—so essential for your spine health, it also improves core strength and stability while stretching and strengthening your arms, legs and hamstrings. 

4. Utthita Parsvakonasana

How To Do It: Multiple muscles of your body are used in this asana. Spread your legs wide apart and then stretch your arms sideways. Bend one knee to a right angle and place one hand on the floor just behind the foot. Stretch the other arm in line with the body, above the ear. 

Benefits: This asana stretches your legs, arms, knees, ankles along with your spine and waist. It’s especially good for your lower back as well as abdominal organs. A sustained practise of this asana can also help increase stamina. 

5. Bakasana

If you’ve managed to do the previous four asanas comfortably, it’s time to challenge yourself with the bakasana. The focus here is to round your back and contract your torso. 

How To Do It: From the downward dog pose, spread your fingers. Then, place your knees close to your arms. Use your core strength to lift your hips and feet in the air. Keep them lifted.  Try to hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Benefits: While the bakasana can be trusted to provide a variety of benefits from strengthening your arms, spine, to even your abdominal organs, perhaps its biggest advantage remains the fact that it builds endurance and forces you to be calm when half your body is lifted in the air.  

(This is the second article in the two-part series. You can read the first article here.)

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  • Founded in 2016 by Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global is the world’s largest well-being media platform. Since its launch in October 2018, Thrive Global India has received over 40 million visitors. Our media platform Our focus is on well-being and productivity, emphasising real experiences and unique storytelling. Through articles, videos, and podcasts featuring business leaders, scientists, athletes, entertainers and new role models of success, we add a new dimension to the global conversation of wellness. Our stories discuss daily challenges, people’s personal journeys of how they thrive, and recommend solutions to bring purpose and wonder into our worlds. We realise that the struggles of our everyday life—stress, burnout, exhaustion, apathy, technological addiction—can be intimidatingly broad and numerous. And it’s only through lived and shared experiences of people, combined with expert data and science-based solutions, that we can achieve actual, dramatic results that help us live and work well. Our enterprise solutions There is a pervasive belief that burnout is the price we must pay for success, but research has shown it is a delusion. As a matter of fact, by prioritising our well-being, we pave way for a healthier, productive life with enhanced efficiency, decision making and creativity. Through our assessments, corporate workshops, digital engagement solutions and more, we bring to you science-backed well-being and performance-enhancing strategies, proven to help individuals and teams thrive.