Focus: The thoracic spine for most people tends to be less flexible than the lumbar or cervical spine. The upper back is a region that by necessity needs to be protective of the vital organs that are positioned inside the chest cavity. Each of the twelve ribs attach to the thoracic spine and then wrap around the torso forming a strong structure that guards the heart and lungs. In addition to this, numerous muscles that generate upper body strength also insert into this area. Naturally the thoracic spine tends to have a slight kyphosis that offsets and balances the lordosis curve of the lower back and neck. Prolonged periods spent sitting and slouching in front of computers can tend to exaggerate this kyphosis of the upper back and reduce its mobility. This can contribute to an increased workload being placed on the neck and upper back. Left unchecked this can lead towards discomfort and injuries. This weeks intermediate class on Yoga Selection looks at ways of supporting the thoracic spine and improving its range of movement. The class will be particularly well suited to people practicing with stiffness in the upper back.
Key Poses: Dandasana, Urdhva hastasana, virasana, viparita dandasana.
Equipment: Mat, chair, bolster, 2 blankets, 2 blocks, belt.
Duration: 40 min