I used to be flexible. More than average, and even stretched for an hour every day for 5 years. Well, this has changed. Even I remember I used to be so flexible, I realise I’m maybe not so much anymore. I can still reach beyond my toes when sitting and I do have a certain flexibility. But it’s the knees and hips that are the worst. Anatomically I think that westerners have more tight hips and knees than Asians. How could this happen? I figured out it must be all the sitting we do.
I still feel quite young, I’m only 31. But still, whilst practicing yoga I can see what 10 years have done to my body. I’m not talking about wrinkles and cellulite and that, no. I’m talking about our bones, how our digital sedentary lifestyle literally changes our bone structure, the way we walk and this in a fast pace. I remember doing hot yoga a few years back and when we
I remember doing hot yoga a few years back and when we lied on the back hugging the knees to our chest. The teacher said that one day we would be able to have the whole spine flat on the floor. Including the neck, the middle spine and the coccyx (the tailbone). No way! I though, I remember I had this huge dinosaur bone on my neck that was always that pointy. After 6 months of practice, my spine had become flat, that’s just amazing. How yoga practice can literally shape the bones of your body, amazing but scary at the same time. Did this mean that I also had become taller? At least, it felt like it.
Curiously, I checked some chiropractic websites to find out about the truth. It turns out that it’s even worst. How many of you have had or know someone who has neck and back pain? At least a few right. This is what the modern lifestyle is doing to us. Too much sitting, computers and staring down on our phones as a whole new zombie generation. Look around you next time, how many do you see that actually have a good posture? Those ones actually stand out.
Living in China, it’s a real mobile phone society here. People constantly look down on their phones, walking in the tube, basically, it looks like 1.3 billion people of zombies. That makes me so sad. I believe the spine is maybe the most important part of our bodies that we have. We can only stand up because of our spine, and the central nervous system regulates many of the body’s functions. That’s why when someone gets paralysed, they can’t walk again, what a nightmare! According to this chiropractor, they used to have patients that were 195cm, and now they are 155cm! That’s a person that has shrunk 40cm! Maybe it’s over many years, but still, it’s huge.
So we should really stretch and bend the spine a little bit every day. I don’t want to become old with a curved spine, not being able to stand up straight and look people in the eyes. I don’t have a back pain now but I can see and feel what office life has done to my neck and my hips. Never again will I refuse to do a back bend in yoga! I will embrace those wheel poses with a new light now. As with everything, it’s much easier and better to prevent injury than to heal it afterwards. It’s time to bend our spines a littlebit every day, so we don’t break later in life.
Maybe some of you think that 3h of yoga per day is a lot. Well, if you think about that most of us sit for at least 8h per day, it’s really not that much. We are basically sitting 3 times more than that. If anyone else are up for some spine exercises you can find some here.