Q: How is yoga different from stretching or other kinds of fitness? Why does yoga pay particular attention to the spine?
Dr. Lisa: Yoga is more than just movement. It is a complex philosophy that has been around for thousands of years, and involves breathing and meditation.
Yoga & Spinal Movement
One of yoga’s emphasis is on spinal movement. The spine has seven motions (flexion, extension, rotation, side bend to each side and axial extension which is lengthening). Any yoga posture therefore involves one or more of these motions. By the way, a recent study by Dr Loren Fishman, showed 12 yoga poses per day can reverse osteoporosis in the spine and hip.
Q: Is there a particular type of yoga that is best suited for beginners?
Dr. Lisa: What I would advise if going to a yoga studio is to speak with the teacher ahead of time to let them know that you are a beginner. There are many customizations that can be utilized in most any yoga class. If you have any injuries, I would recommend consulting with your doctor.
This Q&A was part of our Live chat with Dr. Lilienfield
on Facebook in January, 2016!