This exercise lengthens and strengthens the spine. It also provides the opportunity to practice the using the breath to create core support for the movement of the spine. Warm up with this everyday!
To do this exercise you will need a mat and a foam roller. Start by placing the foam roller perpendicular to your spine so that it is underneath your shoulder blades. Your knees should be bent and your hands will be placed behind your head. Begin by inhaling as you allow your head, neck, and shoulders to lower toward the floor. Once your upper body has extended over the foam roller as far as possible, then exhale and begin lifting your pelvis into the air. This will allow your head to move closer to the ground. Once your pelvis is as high as it can go, then inhale as you begin lowering the pelvis down to the ground, maintaining the position of your head, neck, and shoulders. Once your tailbone reaches the ground, then exhale to send your ribcage toward your pelvis as you curl your head, neck, and shoulders forward. Repeat 6-8 times.
Things to think about
This exercise should not be done if you have osteoporosis.
This exercise is intended to lengthen and strengthen the spine. You will also begin to feel a balance between flexion and extension along the spine. Imagine the entire spine reacting to each individual movement of each individual vertebra. While this movement may not feel rigorous it is a full body movement that requires integration of all of the parts.