Yoga Lab: The Anatomy of Back Bends

Last Saturday we had our latest Yoga Lab workshop. Yoga Lab is a 12-workshop series focused on bringing the latest in scientific research right to your yoga mat! There are 8 more workshops planned. See the bottom of the page for the schedule. The workshop began with a discussion of the anatomy of the back musculature, vertebrae, spinal cord, and nervous system. One of the most important reasons to keep your back healthy is that the spinal nerves that supply most of your body exit the spinal cord between the vertebrae and muscles. If there is stiffness, dysfunction or pathology, the nerves can be affected, as can functioning of the muscular and organ systems. Another major benefit of back bends that we talked about was to the cardiovascular system. Not only do back bends stretch and strengthen the diaphragm, which is the major breathing muscles, but they also offer gentle stretch to arteries, which preserves their recoil function as we age. Read More