Your spine is like a stack of teacups. There, that’s the one!
Think I’m just being silly? Well, that's entirely possible but look at it this way: Your vertebrae (that’s the name of your spine bones) have flat surfaces, so they stack together. And they have padding between them, so the edges don’t chip. And they have handles, for attaching things to so they make it safely to where they’re going. Just like teacups.
Now imagine carrying a stack of 33 teacups. That would be quite the feat, wouldn’t it?? All wobbly and unbalanced and shifting… it’s a terrifying thought for someone as not-graceful as me!
You know those sets of cables that anchor telephone poles into the ground? (As an aside, now that they don’t carry telephone wires, what do we call them?) There’s usually two cables, coming off in a V-shape, held in the ground by the biggest metal tent peg you’ve ever seen.
Maybe these cables have something to do with electrical grounding, I don’t know. But they definitely help with stability of those poles- and now apply that to your spine. Each vertebra has one or two bits of bone that look like wings, and they’re there for muscles to attach! Go figure.
So all along your spine, right up against the spine bones themselves, are bits of muscles connecting the vertebrae with little V-shaped buttressing. They act like little fingers, holding the vertebrae together and allowing them to bend a bit, and also helping bring them back upright too.
Ohhhhhhh, your back muscles say. We don’t have any of them! ::ouch::
But really, you do. Yours might just be tired and tiny and overtaxed, from constantly fighting poor posture and gravity and “tech neck” and scoop-shaped car seats and everything else we do to ourselves.
And here’s the key- it takes tiny movements to work tiny muscles. A big move, like a forward bend or a deadlift or a burpee, really hammers the big muscles in your torso and limbs.
But the little adjustments you make in yoga, the incremental relaxation you get in a float tank, the itty bitty shifts you unconsciously make when you walk on texture instead of smooth, even, flat surfaces- that’s where you start getting movement and love into those tiny spine muscles.
So do your inner teacups a favor and slow down, change things up, rest a bit more, and see how that feels in your spine.