The raising of the spine in Yogapositions


Especially in Yoga the raising of the body is an interesting topic for me. In the sitting twist, ardha matsyendrasana, it is necessary, that the spine can raise vertical from the ground. The raising corresponds to a subtle movement, an inner dynamic movement of the spine upwards.

If one try to raise or to push directly from the lumbar spine upwards, one can observe, that this act of raising is difficult, especially if the neck and head isn´t free and relaxed. Often it isn´t really possible to raise the spine consistently.

The more one can release the head, shoulders and the neck, the better and easier the raising of the spine in the sitting twist, or the raising in general, is possible. If the muscles are tensed in the shoulders and the neck, it is very difficult for the spine to raise upwards, because the subtle movement of the spine is blockaded. By releasing this region, and by becoming free in the head area, the raising succeeds better.

Another aspect to make the raising easier, is possible by contracting and pulling the legs closer to the body. By pulling the legs closer, a sensation of contracting can be felt in the lumbar spine. In the sitting twist can be experienced, that the raising becomes easier because of that contraction.

This two correlations can be seen in the following video of the sitting twist – the pictures and the adjustment show this idea. ( Link to the video of the sitting twist in youtube.) This laws of movement of pulling the legs closer to the body and an easier raising of the spine can be transferred to other yogapositions, for example to the wide stretch, konasana. The legs lie wide and open on the ground. By pulling them closer, a sensation of contraction is felt in the lumbar spine. Because of this, the upper body becomes lighter and can be released better. As a result, the upper body can also be released easier towards the ground. The following video shows this contraction and releasing in the wide strech, konasana. ( Link to the video the wide stretch konasana on youtube )

This laws of motions within movement of the body and yogaposes are a topic of Heinz Grill. He himself explores them and expresses them in yogaposes as well. By conscious releasing, centering, contracting, and dynamising, Heinz Grill emphasises a creative shaping process of an Asana.