Yoga Journal - - Practice Well -

The hall­mark of a healthy spine is that it can ac­cess all its in­her­ent ranges of mo­tion. Once you start leav­ing a mo­tion out, the joints and tis­sues stiffen—and in the case of the up­per back, this can trans­late into breath­ing is­sues. An ex­ces­sively im­mo­bile tho­racic spine can lead to a stiff rib cage, which can then re­strict the ca­pac­ity of your di­aphragm and lungs. Be­cause breath con­trol gives us ac­cess to our ner­vous sys­tem and emo­tional cen­ters, the in­ter­play be­tween the up­per back and breath are crit­i­cal for per­mit­ting re­lax­ation, well-be­ing, emo­tional at­tune­ment, and whole-body health.

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