Ashtanga yoga isn’t about stretching the hamstrings…..
Having long hamstrings isn’t very beneficial to our health, but stretching and strengthening the muscles of the spine and the spine itself has huge health benefits -physically, emotionally and energetically 💞
During our Ashtanga yoga practice we move the spine in all directions which stretches our nerves or nadis (as they are known in Sanskrit), which removes blockages and thereby improves the neurotransmissions between our muscles and nerves, improving how our brain and bodies communicate. If our nerves and tissues are clean and clear then nerve impulses, or prana, flow smoothly for our body and brain to communicate more effectively.
The nervous system is integral to all other systems of the body. It connects our brain to every organ, muscle and gland in our body. A healthy nervous system enables us to meet events that arise in our life with calm and resiliency, and it keeps the muscles and organs of our body working at full efficiency.
In primary series practice we are also constantly deeply bending forward, followed by deeply bending backward, which stretches the front and back of the spine (we do this every time we simply move from upward dog to downward dog)....allowing fresh blood and nutrients into the spinal cord. This continual forward and backward movement also stimulates major nerves in the brain, which recent research has shown helps induce a feeling a calmness (yoga stoned!😉)
More great reasons to practice Ashtanga yoga, when we are constantly moving the spine in every direction 🦴💪💫