In today’s solo episode, I’m talking about thoracic spine mobility, also known as t-spine mobility. The importance of this could not be emphasized enough– especially in our modern day yoga and lifestyle.
What is t-spine mobility and why is it important?
Thoracic spine is the area of the spine that is between the cervical spine and the lumbar spine. It is also the largest part of the spine! As we know, we spend a large amount of our lives sitting, and that can affect our posture poorly, which really affects our thoracic spine.
What are the ranges of motion that are available in these areas, and what is locked down after sitting for so long?
In both the cervical spine and the lumbar spine, there is a lot of AP range, so a lot of flexion and extension. The thoracic spine has less available rotation, and really is not made to twist or turn. This means that you are more limited in flexion and extension, but great rotation ranges. Feeling thoracic extension is important, because if we can’t feel that, our bodies will try to find it elsewhere and overcompensate, which isn’t good.
What to do to better your t-spine mobility?
Take a picture of yourself! You need to see what your really look like from the side, this will help you see where you need to work on your alignment and posture.
Come on to all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders, and knees under hips. Take your left hand and bring it behind your head, and your right hand is placed under your right shoulder. Lift the back of your skull up into your left hand without lifting your chin, as you inhale, push down with the right hand and turn your ribcage to the left. As you do this, your chest and arm will open up to the left, and then back down. Do this 10 times.
Back down to all fours! Now we are going to do a blend of cobra/cat. On you inhale, drag your hands back towards your feet, pull the chest forward gently without lifting your chin. As you exhale, push the floor away and let the head drop down, and lift up to look like an angry halloween cat. Do this about 10 times.
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