Yogis think of the spine as the wire that makes the body hum. They talk about chakras and whatnot, but the bottom line is this:
The spine is responsible for sending messages throughout your body, and when you're hunched, the pathway isn't as smooth. Yoga strengthens the muscles that extend and realign your spine so your vertebrea aren't squished.
Try it: Entended Side Angle Pose:
Stand with your feet about four feet apart and turn your left foot out about degrees.
Extend your arms, palms down, at shoulder height.
Bend your left knee until it's over your ankle.
Flex from the waist to the left and place your left hand outside your left foot. (can't reach the floor?
Place your elbow on your knee or your hand on the inside of your foot.) Reach you right arm over your ear and turn your chin toward your right armpit. Look up and take five slow breaths. Return to standing and switch sides.
Repeat 3 to 5 times. New to yoga?
Do the move with your back against a wall "Using the wall takes the balance component out of it, you can concentrate on lengthening your spine and rolling your chest open.
Gaiam Yoga For Begginers Kit: