Table of Contents for Your Spine, Your Yoga

How to read this book
Summary of key concepts

Chapter 1: The axial body
Overview of the axial body

Overview summary

Chapter 2: The sacral complex

Function: Application in yoga postures

Sacral complex summary

Chapter 3: The lumbar segment

Function: application in yoga postures

The lumbar spine summary

Chapter 4: The thoracic spinal segment

Function: application in yoga postures

Thoracic spine summary

Chapter 5: The Cervical Complex

Function: application in yoga postures

Cervical spine summary

Volume 3: Summary

Major Sidebars
It’s important
The flaw of averages
The myth of the static ideal
Where is the neutral spine?
What does “stable” mean?
Early morning yoga and yoga after sitting
Stress, stretch, flexibility, mobility and hypermobility
Defining some terms
Yoga poses, sitting postures and sleeping position can overstretch nerves
Yoga and the sacral complex
In standing yoga postures, should we tuck the tailbone?
Defining the core muscles
Stiffness and stability
Our orientation to gravity affects the amount of stress on the spine
Different yoga postures stress the vertebral discs in different ways
Avoid twisting the spine when it is flexed or extended and under load
For deeper backbends, relax the extensor muscles!
Bracing and Spacing
Building endurance
Of bent knees and straight spines
Maintaining our vital capacity as we age
Slowing the breath is better than deepening the breath
Galileo, scaling laws and Headstand
The vertebral arteries
As you get older, be careful of weight bearing neck movements!
Returning the head to neutral
Shoulder stand—a high risk, low reward posture
Headstand—a high risk, low reward posture

It’s complicated
Approximation and Distraction
Shear is stressful
Naming the nerves and their routes
The sciatic nerve
Force closure and form closure
Details of the sacrum
The perineum
The ways the sacrum moves
Does the sacrum nutate or counternutate in backbends?
Is it possible to therapeutically adjust the sacrum?
Changing the alignment of your hips before twisting
Snaps, cracks and pops—noisy sacrum
Lumbar lordosis in sports
Variations between the lumbar vertebrae
The spines of contortionists
Deep fascia and aponeuroses
The strength and stiffness of the spinal ligaments
A functional view of the erector spinae
The strength of the back muscles
How can our spines lift heavy loads?
How much stress can our spines tolerate?
Variations of the thoracic vertebrae
The diaphragm pulls and pushes on the heart
Membranes and ligaments between the skull and neck
Coupled movements
The neck does not move as one unit
Whiplash and sports trauma

Note to teachers
Learning to sense the spine
To hinge or not to hinge?
A philosophy for counterposes
Moola bandha and Kegel exercises
Can you feel relative movements of the ilia or of the sacrum?
Stress, twists and the sacroiliac joint
Don’t be fooled by the apparent curve in the lower back!
We cannot isolate and activate individual muscles
Watch your students!
Keep watching your students!
A flat back does not create a neutral spine
Strengthening the bones of the spine
Combatting hyperkyphosis
Sometimes it is okay to do only one side of a pose!
Variation in breast size will affect some women’s yoga practice
Movement can enhance breath, breath can enhance movement—sometimes!
Jalandhara bandha

Web appendices
Measuring the curves of the spine
Body size and spinal curves
Orientation of the facets
Creep and counterposes
Thickness of the discs and vertebral bodies
Hypermobility and Yin Yoga
Spinal biotensegrity
Variations in the shapes and sizes the auricular area of the sacroiliac joint
Pelvic parameters and variations
Accessory joints of the sacral complex
Myofascial meridians
Sacral, low back and neck pain and problems
Moment arms, torque and force
Wedging of the vertebrae and discs
Alignment of the spinous processes
Prying open the anterior discs in deep backbends
The thoracolumbar fascial train
More on the strength of the spinal ligaments
Folding forward with arms overhead increases stress in the spine
Axial rotation and lateral flexion can create flexion and extension
How yoga affects our blood chemistry
Other anterior neck muscles
Muscles of the face and jaw