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Mechanics: Mind the Spine

I am often surprised by how many people haven’t thought about the range of movement possible in a functioning spine.

First of all, the spine is curved, not straight.

It is comprised of 29 vertebrae — 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, and 5 sacral. The sacral vertebrae are fused and operate as one unit. Because of its unique structure, the spine can contract, expand, and articulate to move your torso forward, backward, laterally, and in orbital patterns. This is what makes forward or backward bending or curving side to side possible. The spine also facilitates the movement of the head, arms, and legs.

Most of us have some tension or even degradation of function in the spine but we can also expand and improve upon this function by remembering to move.

Why does it matter?

Your spine is not just helping you have good posture, it is the structural center of the body. It simply doesn’t get more “core” than this. Your ability to move and to breathe is directly related to the health of your spine.

The Exercise

The offering today is to imagine and explore all of the serpentine possibilities in your spine.

First, gently explore the many different ways you can move the spine from where it meets your head to where it ends at the coccyx (or tailbone). Try movements and directions you don’t think will work. Be curious but always listening to your body so that you don’t overextend or hurt yourself.

Try circular rotations of your head, ribcage, and hips with a focus on how the spine permits those movements.

Stay engaged with your breathing. If you can dedicate the time, explore these movements seated, standing, and prone.

Listen to any pain you encounter. Be curious about any tension or discomfort you find. And, play where you encounter freedom.

Have fun!

This Friday at 12:30 pm EDT, Gina will be live on FB. These will be short voice alignment sessions aimed at voice skills building. Watch it on the GROW Voice FB page. I hope to see you there.

Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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