Grow Up to Go Sideways

We bend so we won't break. Sometimes it is ok and beneficial to move our upper body sideways with intention. Lateral Flexion or Side Bend is one of our 6 Spinal Movements to improve flexibility, strengthen our obliques (large side core muscles), and open up the ribcage to expand the lungs for deeper breathing.They are a must for me every morning to loosen up to move more freely, and refresh my body of tightness after several hours of rest. I like them seated, standing and even reclined.

First inhale and lengthen your spine, rooting down with whatever is touching the earth and extend your spine upwards with engaged abdominal bandhas (energy locks) for stability and to prevent injury. This is known as Axial Extension, another one of our Spinal Movements, and the gold standard for the"root to rise" principle. Exhale as you ground one side yet reach upward with your arm and take it to the other side. Feel the stretch, notice the expansion on the grounded side as you compress into the bend. Take a few breaths as each exhale helps you deepen the stretch. Keep the muscle engagement and be mindful with your neck/cervical spine stability, not dropping your head without control. Always include both sides in your practice. 

As we extend our spine upward, then to the side we actually help our bodies maintain and restore height as we release compressed ribs and vertebrae. We make space, massage the organs and muscles in the torso, release toxins and bring in vital energy. And it feels good!

Thanks to these two smiling demonstrators: Kolette, our Fusion student on the left, and Natalie, our yoga teacher and communications coordinator on the right.

Breathe. Move. Connect.


Fusion Owner, Registered Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, R.N.

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