Added by on August 6, 2013

Gratitude to you YOGI for being willing and ready to re-think some common beliefs & support the Spine’s wisdom. PLEASE LIKE and SUBSCRIBE if you feel it & co…




  • kungfuzzzz 7 years ago

    Hi, Laura.

    The problem is many yoga students twist with a rounded back (flexion) rather than in a neutral spine (natural curvature of the spine). Some even twist with a slight back bend (extension). My understanding is that a lot of rotating of the spine with flexion or extension can harm the intervertebral discs.

    Instead of cueing to lengthen the spine, yoga teachers should cue their students to bring and keep the spine at its natural alignment before going into a twist.

  • Laura Hames Franklin 7 years ago

    🙂 Thanks for sharing. Yes…. but, how are we explaining it to people and trying to get them there? When we can see what is actually happening in the spine and go with the movement rather than a position it is much more effective. ‘Neutral’ is a ‘position’ for most people… but we are moving and everything changes when you move 🙂

    But indeed, cueing natural would be better than lengthen. If people know what natural is!?

    Good discussion! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Phil Earnhardt 7 years ago

    This is an excellent little video. I deal with the science of our structure; Larua’s demonstration with foam is right on. Lengthening will come from a lessening of tension, but that never happens by forcing against resistance. We explore by gently increasing of tension during Yoga just like we explore our aerobic threshold with sprint drills. The goal with both is the same: to have lower structural tension (and lower metabolic rate) for the other 90% of the day.

  • folewyasmine 7 years ago

    Sorry, but from my point of view, this is looping the loop. When you twist, you twist from the navel/spine connection, not from the middle of the spine, this is the reason why we ask the people to lengthen; meaning straighten. The spine would never lengthen to harm the nerves unless someone pulls you or you bend from middle of the spine, and to avoid that we ask the students to lengthen/straighten the spine. Thank you.

  • kungfuzzzz 7 years ago

    Good point. Maybe cueing what not to do (don’t round the back or backbend in the twist) is a clearer direction than what to do.
    As an aside, I think that lengthening the spine without twisting makes for good body mechanics for jumping. For example, look at this video clip (1:44 to 3:22 and 5:13 to 7:41) on the Alexander technique for instructions on “thinking up” rather than pushing forward into the ribcage.

    For dancers, the Alexander Technique­U

  • Laura Hames Franklin 7 years ago

    good luck getting a straight spine 🙂

  • Laura Hames Franklin 7 years ago

    “The dura, the protective covering of the spinal cord, is attached to the sacrum and the base of the skull, so tucking your tail and lifting your head while rotating your spine will cause a stretch of the cord.

    In addition the small muscle of the neck, the rectus capitis posterior minor is fascially connected the dura, so if your neck and spinal muscles get tight in the process of rotating, you even have a direct muscular pull on the dura.” Eric Franklin

    See info for more

  • folewyasmine 7 years ago

    Why would you tuck the tailbone or lift your head in a spinal twist? Again, you twist from the navel/spine connection, not from the back muscles (just the reason why the back is kept straight).The spine is not like a sponge, it has vertebrae, and a certain flexibility, which allows it to twist. To avoid harms, you simply don’t overstretch/strain.To see it, move to standing position, try to twist to look backwards, and check which one is safer to twist with straight back or with a bent back?

  • Laura Hames Franklin 7 years ago

    the spine has curves. it is not straight. i am not saying to be flexed and rotate. even though the spine is not a sponge, the same physics applies when it is rotated. a natural shortening will happen. this is not a slump. i hope that clarifies. thank you for your interaction 🙂

  • folewyasmine 7 years ago

    The spine has natural curves and it is maintained curved even if you “straighten” your back in seated or standing position. Thank you too :).

  • emilyantontv 7 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing it on this wide world of the web! 🙂 Love. Love. Love. As a very classical ballet dancer, learning the spine doesnt lengthen when you twist (like I’d ALWAYS been told) in the Franklin Method teacher training was beyond my comprehension! So much so I left the second week of the training not embodying the movement of the spine when it twists, still FEELING that when I twisted my spine it lengthened! I heard and saw all the illustrations given to us but still every

  • Laura Hames Franklin 7 years ago

    thanks Emily for making the point, that it sometimes does take some time and new focus to be able to really FEEL the difference and comprehend this simple but profound embodiment. I too, was told that it lengthened and so when I had this bubble popped when I was in the Franklin Method Teacher Training, it was almost hard for my mind to conceive… and yet it made sense.. and my body was screaming YES!!! Now, I can’t imagine ever trying to force my body into length in rotation! Thank goodness! xo

  • Barbara Hames 7 years ago

    That was so important a video, Laura. So many people are trying to ‘lengthen’ their spine when doing any twist and this always ends up with aches and sometimes injury. Of course, the natural ‘keep safe’ mechanism of the body will impede movement, as you said. Understanding the mechanics of movement (i.e. Franklin Method) allows safe and efficient with an improved outcome! X

  • Dianne Flores 7 years ago

    Hello…your video was so informative…do you have any ideas on how can I strengthen my spine to correct my lumbar scoliosis? Thank you so much =)

  • Laura Hames Franklin 7 years ago

    Hello. Yes, I do. I actually am planning a scoliosis video as I have had some other people ask about it. Are you on my list? If you make sure you’re signed up on my website, you’ll know about it. You can also ask me on Facebook 🙂 See you there!

  • Jordan Taylor 7 years ago

    Hello Laura, do you have any suggestions for stretches with low back pain? in particular I get sharp jolt like pain from any sudden movment . I have visited an Osteopath several times and he says it may be muscular damage, and recomends stretching, Which I have done but it does not seem to be healing. it’s been over three weeks now or am I being impatient ? Any back pain I have had before has recovered a lot more quickly. Thanks.

  • Laura Hames Franklin 7 years ago

    Hi there. Yes, I do. If you post me a request on my facebook page (the link is in the description) I’d be happy to help you with this. It’s essential to get to the root of the problem and stretching certainly won’t. My next video on posture will also help you with this. See you on fb. Laura

  • Jordan Taylor 7 years ago

    Okay Thank you , see you there.

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