We wanted to write up a post about an ambiguous term we hear in yoga classes (and other classes) all the time. “Keep your spine long.” Well, what does that mean exactly and how does it benefit? As always, whatever you choose to do it’s all about intention and awareness. Knowing what you want to do and what is actually happening. Amy Matthews, a teacher of ours that we constantly obsess over, has shared a quick video clip that eloquently illuminates the concept of the “long spine.” She discusses what exactly it takes to make that happen and the cost/benefit of performing such an action.
A quick moment spent learning this information is the kind of moment that can be transformative to your practice. It is possible to get stuck in teachings we hear over and over from our yoga teachers. Among some of the most common teachings about alignment in class concerns trying to get the most length and height we can, especially in poses like Tadasana, Trikonasana and Uttanasana. This isn’t a bad thing to want to experience, but as Amy explains, it takes a lot of effort to live in that place. Not only that, but most people don’t have enough kinesthetic awareness to actually do axial extension (if that is, in fact, what they wish to do) and end up compensating in not so helpful ways. Watch the video and see how implementing this information changes your experience. We would love to for you to leave comments below. (Click here for the video!)
Want more of Amy’s teachings? Who doesn’t? Visit her at her website and sign up for her anatomy and kinesiology classes. You won’t regret it!