The perineum is the space between the anus and scrotum in the male and between the anus and the vulva in the female. The perineum is the region of the body between the pubic symphysis and the coccyx, including the perineal body and surrounding structures. There is some variability in; the perianal area is a subset of the perineum. The perineum is an erogenous zone for both females. Perineal tears and episiotomy occur in childbirth with first-time deliveries, but the risk of these injuries can be reduced by preparing the perineum through massage; the word perineum derives from late Latin, from Greek περίνεος perineos perinaeon, peri-, around + inein to discharge or defecate. The perineum is defined as the surface region in both males and females between the pubic symphysis and the coccyx; the perineum is between the legs. It is a diamond-shaped area, its definition varies: it can refer to only the superficial structures in this region, or it can be used to include both superficial and deep structures.
The perineum corresponds to the outlet of the pelvis. A line drawn across the surface connecting the ischial tuberosities divides the space into two triangles: The anterior urogenital triangle, contains the penis or vagina The posterior anal triangle containing the anusThe formal anatomical boundaries of the perineum may be said to be: in front: the pubic arch and the arcuate ligament of the pubis behind: the tip of the coccyx on either side: the inferior rami of the pubis and ischial tuberosity, the sacrotuberous ligament superiorly: pelvic floor inferiorly: skin and fascia The perineal body is a pyramidal fibromuscular mass in the middle line of the perineum at the junction between the urogenital triangle and the anal triangle, it is found in both females. In males, it is found between the bulb of the anus; the perineal body is essential for the integrity of the pelvic floor in females. Its rupture during vaginal birth leads to widening of the gap between the anterior free borders of levator ani muscle of both sides, thus predisposing the woman to prolapse of the uterus, rectum, or the urinary bladder.
At this point, the following muscles converge and are attached: 1. External anal sphincter 2. Bulbospongiosus muscle 3. Superficial transverse perineal muscle 4. Anterior fibers of the levator ani 5. Fibers from male or female external urinary sphincter 6. Deep transverse perineal muscle The terminology of the perineal fascia can be confusing, there is some controversy over the nomenclature; this stems from the fact that there are two parts to the fascia, the superficial and deep parts, each of these can be subdivided into superficial and deep parts. The layers and contents are as follows, from superficial to deep: 1) foreskin 2) superficial perineal fascia: Subcutaneous tissue divided into two layers: A superficial fatty layer, Colles' fascia, a deeper, membranous layer. 3) deep perineal fascia and muscles:4) fascia and muscles of pelvic floor The region of the perineum can be considered a distinct area from pelvic cavity, with the two regions separated by the pelvic diaphragm. The following areas are thus classified as parts of the perineal region: perineal pouches: superficial and deep ischioanal fossa – a fat-filled space at the lateral sides of anal canal.
It is bounded laterally medially by pelvic diaphragm and anal canal. Its base is the skin. Anal canal pudendal canal -- contains the pudendal nerve. Extensive deformation of the pelvic floor occur during a vaginal delivery. 85% of women have some perineal tear during a vaginal delivery and in about 69% suturing is required. Obstetric perineal trauma contributes to postpartum morbidity and frustration of women after delivery. In many women the childbirth trauma is manifested in advanced age when the compensatory mechanisms of the pelvic floor become weakened making the problem more serious among the aged population; the anogenital distance is a measure of the distance between the midpoint of the anus and the underside of the scrotum or the vagina. Studies show. Measuring the anogenital distance in neonatal humans has been suggested as a noninvasive method to determine male feminisation and thereby predict neonatal and adult reproductive disorders. There are claims that sometimes the perineum is excessively repaired after childbirth, using a so-called "husband stitch" and that this can increase vaginal tightness or result in pain during intercourse.
There are a number of American slang terms used for this area of the human body, such as "taint.” Additional images 101 Vagina Deep perineal pouch Erogenous zone Femalia Intimate part Mula Bandha Pelvic floor Perineal raphe Perineal tear classification Perineum at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman
Haṭha yoga is a branch of the south Asian tradition of yoga practice. The Sanskrit word हठ haṭha means "force" and thus alludes to a system of physical techniques. In India, haṭha yoga is associated in popular tradition with the'Yogis' of the Natha Sampradaya through its mythical founder Matsyendranath. Matsyendranath known as Minanath or Minapa in Tibet, is celebrated as a saint in both Hindu and Buddhist tantric and haṭha yoga schools. However, James Mallinson associates haṭha yoga with the Dashanami Sampradaya and the mystical figure of Dattatreya. According to the Dattatreya Yoga Śastra, there are two forms of haṭha yoga: one practiced by Yajñavalkya consisting of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga and another practiced by Kapila consisting of eight mudras; the oldest dated text to describe haṭha yoga, the 11th century CE Amṛtasiddhi, comes from a tantric Buddhist milieu. The oldest texts to use the terminology of hatha are Vajrayana Buddhist. Haṭha yoga texts adopt the practices of haṭha yoga mudras into a Saiva system, melding it with Layayoga methods which focus on the raising of kuṇḍalinī through energy channels and chakras.
In the 20th century, a development of haṭha yoga, focusing on asanas, became popular throughout the world as a form of physical exercise. This modern form of yoga is now known as "yoga". According to the Indologist James Mallinson, some haṭha yoga techniques can be traced back at least to the 1st-century CE, in texts such as the Sanskrit epics and the Pali canon; the Pali canon contains three passages in which the Buddha describes pressing the tongue against the palate for the purposes of controlling hunger or the mind, depending on the passage. However, there is no mention of the tongue being inserted into the nasopharynx as in true khecarī mudrā; the Buddha used a posture where pressure is put on the perineum with the heel, similar to modern postures used to stimulate Kundalini. In the Mahāsaccaka sutta, the Buddha mentions how physical practices such as various meditations on holding one's breath did not help him "attain to greater excellence in noble knowledge and insight which transcends the human condition."
After trying these, he sought another path to enlightenment. According to Birch, the earliest mentions of haṭha yoga are from Buddhist texts Tantric works from the 8th century onwards, such as Puṇḍarīka’s Vimalaprabhā commentary on the Kālacakratantra. In this text, haṭha yoga is defined within the context of tantric sexual ritual: "when the undying moment does not arise because the breath is unrestrained when the image is seen by means of withdrawal and the other having forcefully made the breath flow in the central channel through the practice of nada, about to be explained, should attain the undying moment by restraining the bindu of the bodhicitta in the vajra when it is in the lotus of wisdom ". While the actual means of practice are not specified, the forcing of the breath into the central channel and the restraining of bindu are central features of haṭha yoga practice texts. Around the 11th century, certain techniques which are associated with haṭha yoga begin to be outlined in a series of early texts.
The aims of these practices were mukti. James Mallinson gives a list of what he terms “early” haṭha yoga works, which he contrasts with "classical" works such as the Haṭhapradīpikā: The Amṛtasiddhi a Tantric Buddhist text, which dates to the 11th century CE, teaches mahābandha, mahāmudrā, mahāvedha which involve bodily postures and breath control, as a means to preserve amrta or bindu in the head from dripping down the central channel and being burned by the fire at the perineum; the text attacks Vajrayana Deity yoga as ineffective. The Dattātreyayogaśāstra, a Vaisnava text composed in the 13th century CE, teaches an eightfold yoga identical with Patañjali's 8 limbs that it attributes to Yajnavalkya and others as well as eight mudras that it says were undertaken by the rishi Kapila and other ṛishis; the Dattātreyayogaśāstra teaches mahāmudrā, mahābandha, khecarīmudrā, jālandharabandha, uḍḍiyāṇabandha, mūlabandha, viparītakaraṇī, vajrolī, amarolī, sahajolī. The Vivekamārtaṇḍa, contemporaneous with the Dattātreyayogaśāstra, teaches nabhomudrā, mahāmudrā, viparītakaraṇī and the three bandhas.
It teaches six chakras and the raising of Kundalinī by means of “fire yoga”. The Goraksaśatakạ, a Nāth text, contemporaneous with the Dattātreyayogaśāstra, teaches śakticālanīmudrā along with the three bandhas. “Stimulating Sarasvatī” is done by wrapping the tongue in a cloth and pulling on it, stimulating the goddess Kundalinī, said to dwell at the other end of the central channel. This text does not mention the preservation of bindu, but says that liberation is achieved by controlling the mind through controlling the breath; the ̣Śārṅgadharapaddhati is an anthology of verses on a wide range of subjects compiled in 1363 CE, which in its description of Hatha Yoga includes ̣the Dattātreyayogaśāstra’s teachings on five mudrās. The Khecarīvidyā teaches only the method of khecarīmudrā, meant to give one access to stores of amrta in the body and to raise Kundalinī via the six chakras; the Yogabīja teaches the three bandhas and śakticālanīmudrā for the purpose of awakening Kundalinī. The Amaraughaprabodha the three bandhas as in the Amṛtasiddhi, but adds
Siddha is a term, used in Indian religions and culture. It means "one, accomplished", it refers to perfected masters who have achieved a high degree of physical as well as spiritual perfection or enlightenment. In Jainism, the term is used to refer the liberated souls. Siddha may refer to one who has attained a siddhi, paranormal capabilities. Siddhas may broadly refer to siddhars, ascetics, sadhus, or yogis because they all practice sādhanā; the Svetasvatara presupposes a Siddha body. In Jainism, the term siddha is used to refer the liberated souls who have destroyed all karmas and have obtained moksha, they are above Arihantas. Siddhas do not have a body, they reside in the Siddhashila, situated at the top of the Universe. They have no passions and therefore are free from all temptations, they do not have any karmas and they do not collect any new karmas. According to Jains, Siddhas have eight specific qualities. Ancient Tamil Jain Classic'Choodamani Nigandu' describes the eight characteristics in a poem, given below."கடையிலா ஞானத்தோடு காட்சி வீரியமே இன்ப மிடையுறு நாமமின்மை விதித்த கோத்திரங்களின்மை அடைவிலா ஆயுஇன்மை அந்தராயங்கள் இன்மை உடையவன் யாவன் மற்று இவ்வுலகினுக்கு இறைவனாமே" "The soul that has infinite knowledge, infinite vision or wisdom, infinite power, infinite bliss, without name, without association to any caste, infinite life span and without any change is God."
The following table summarizes the eight supreme qualities of a liberated soul. Because of the quality of Sūksmatva, the liberated soul is beyond sense-perception and its knowledge of the substances is direct, without the use of the senses and the mind; the quality of avagāhan means that the liberated soul does not hinder the existence of other such souls in the same space. A soul after attaining Siddhahood stays there till infinity. Siddhas are dwell in Siddhashila with the above-mentioned eight qualities. Thiruvalluvar in his Tamil book Thirukural refers to the eight qualities of God, in one of his couplet poems. In Hinduism, the first usage of the term Siddha occurs in the Maitreya Upanishad in chapter Adhya III where the writer of the section declares "I am Siddha." In Tamil Nadu, South India, a siddha refers to a being who has achieved a high degree of physical as well as spiritual perfection or enlightenment. The ultimate demonstration of this is that siddhas attained physical immortality.
Thus siddha, like siddhar, refers to a person who has realised the goal of a type of sadhana and become a perfected being. In Tamil Nadu, South India, where the siddha tradition is still practiced, special individuals are recognized as and called siddhas who are on the path to that assumed perfection after they have taken special secret rasayanas to perfect their bodies, in order to be able to sustain prolonged meditation along with a form of pranayama which reduces the number of breaths they take. Siddha were said to have special powers including flight; these eight powers are collectively known as attamasiddhigal. In Hindu cosmology, Siddhaloka is a subtle world, they are endowed with the eight primary siddhis at birth. The 18 siddhars are listed below. In the Hindu philosophy, siddha refers to a Siddha Guru who can by way of Shaktipat initiate disciples into Yoga. A Siddha, in Tamil Siddhar or Chitthar, means "one, accomplished" and refers to perfected masters who, according to Hindu belief, have transcended the ahamkara, have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, have transformed their bodies into a different kind of body dominated by sattva.
This is accomplished only by persistent meditation. In Hindu theology, Siddhashrama is a secret land deep in the Himalayas, where great yogis and sages who are siddhas live; the concept is similar to Tibetan mystical land of Shambhala. Siddhashrama is referred in many Indian Puranas including Ramayana and Mahabharata. In Valmiki's Ramayana it is said that Viswamitra had his hermitage in Siddhashrama, the erstwhile hermitage of Vishnu, when he appeared as the Vamana avatar, he takes Rama and Lakshmana to Siddhashrama to exterminate the rakshasas who are disturbing his religious sacrifices. Whenever siddha is mentioned, the 84 siddhas and 9 nathas are remembered, it is this tradition of siddha, known as the Nath tradition. Siddha is a term used for both mahasiddhas and naths So a siddha may mean a siddha, a mahasiddha or a nath; the three words are used interchangeably. A list of eighty-four siddhas is found in a manuscript dated Lakshmana Samvat 388 of a medieval Maithili work, the Varnaratnākara written by Jyotirishwar Thakur, the court poet of King Harisimhadeva of Mithila.
An interesting feature of this list is that the names of the most revered naths are incorporated in this list along with Buddhist siddhācāryas. The names of the siddhas found in this list are: In the first upadeśa of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a 15th-century text, a list of yogis is found, who are described as the Mahasiddh
A mudra is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some mudras involve the entire body, most are performed with the fingers. A mudrā is a spiritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions. In hatha yoga, mudras are used in conjunction with pranayama while in a seated posture, to stimulate different parts of the body involved with breathing and to affect the flow of prana, boddhicitta, amrita or consciousness in the body. Unlike older tantric mudras, hatha yogic mudras are internal actions, involving the pelvic floor, throat, tongue, genitals and other parts of the body. Examples of this diversity of mudras are Mula Bandha, Viparita Karani, Khecarī mudrā, Vajroli mudra; these expanded in number from 3 in the Amritasiddhi, to 25 in the Gheranda Samhita, with a classical set of ten arising in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The Chinese translation is yinxiang. Both these Chinese words appear as loanwords in Japanese and Korean.
Two other Chinese-based compounds, 印契 and 密印, are used. In Japanese, the former compound may be used with the order of the characters reversed. Mudra is used in the iconography of Hindu and Buddhist art of the Indian subcontinent and described in the scriptures, such as Nātyaśāstra, which lists 24 asaṁyuta and 13 saṁyuta mudras. Mudra positions are formed by both the hand and the fingers. Along with āsanas, they are employed statically in the meditation and dynamically in the Nāṭya practice of Hinduism. Hindu and Buddhist iconography share some mudras. In some regions, for example in Laos and Thailand, these are distinct but share related iconographic conventions. According to Jamgotn Kongtrul in his commentary on the Hevajra Tantra, the ornaments of wrathful deities and witches made of human bones are known as mudra "seals". In Indian classical dance, the term "Hasta Mudra" is used; the Natya Shastra describes 24 mudras, while the Abhinaya Darpana of Nandikeshvara gives 28. In all their forms of Indian classical dance, the mudras are similar, though the names and uses vary.
There are 24 in Kathakali and 20 in Odissi. These root mudras are combined in different ways, like one hand, two hands, arm movements and facial expressions. In Kathakali, which has the greatest number of combinations, the vocabulary adds up to c. 900. Sanyukta mudras use both hands and asanyukta mudras use one hand; the classical sources for the mudras in yoga are the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states the importance of mudras in yoga practice: "Therefore the goddess sleeping at the entrance of Brahma's door should be aroused with all effort, by performing mudra thoroughly." In the 20th and 21st centuries, the yoga teacher Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, continued to emphasize the importance of mudras in his instructional text Asana, Mudrā, Bandha. The yoga mudras are diverse in the parts of the body involved and in the procedures required, as in Mula Bandha, Viparita Karani, Khecarī mudrā, Vajroli mudra. Mula Bandha, the Root Lock, consists of pressing one heel into the anus in a cross-legged seated asana, contracting the perineum, forcing the prana to enter the central sushumna channel.
Mahamudra, the Great Seal has one heel pressed into the perineum. Viparita Karani, the Inverter, is a posture with the head down and the feet up, using gravity to retain the prana; the time spent in the posture is increased until it can be held for "three hours". The practice is claimed by the Dattatreyayogashastra to destroy all diseases and to banish grey hair and wrinkles. Khecarī mudrā, the Khechari Seal, consists of turning back the tongue "into the hollow of the skull", sealing in the bindu fluid so that it stops dripping down from the head and being lost when the yogi "embraces a passionate woman". To make the tongue long and flexible enough to be folded back in this way, the Khecharividya exhorts the yogi to make a cut a hair's breadth deep in the frenulum of the tongue once a week. Six months of this treatment destroys the frenulum. After six years of practice, which cannot be hurried, the tongue is said to become able to close the top end of the sushumna channel. Vajroli mudra, the Vajroli Seal, requires the yogi to preserve the semen, either by learning not to release it, or if released by drawing it up through the urethra from the vagina of "a woman devoted to the practice of yoga".
The Abhayamudra "gesture of fearlessness" represents protection, peace and the dispelling of fear. In Theravada Buddhism it is made while standing with the right arm bent and raised to shoulder hei
Surya Namaskar, Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation, is a practice in modern yoga incorporating a sequence of some twelve gracefully linked asanas. The asana sequence is first recorded in the early 20th century; the basic sequence involved moving from a standing position into Downward and Upward Dog poses and back to the standing position, but many variations are possible. The name Surya Namaskar is from the Sanskrit सूर्य Sūrya, "Sun" and नमस्कार Namaskār, "Greeting" or "Salute"; the name identifies the sun as the source of all life. The asana sequence is first recorded in the early 20th century. Patinidhi Pant, the Rajah of Aundh and named the practice, may well have invented it, despite his claim that it was a commonplace Marathi tradition. Norman Sjoman notes that Krishnamacharya seems to have used the traditional Indian wrestlers' exercises called dands, described in the 1896 Vyayama Dipika, as the basis for the sequence and for his yoga vinyasas. Different dands resemble the Surya Namaskar asanas Tadasana, Caturanga Dandasana, Bhujangasana.
Krishnamacharya was aware of Surya Namaskar, as regular classes, not considered to be yoga, were held in the hall adjacent to his Yogasala in the Rajah of Mysore's palace. His students K. Pattabhi Jois, who created modern day Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, B. K. S. Iyengar, who created Iyengar Yoga, both learnt Surya Namaskar and flowing vinyasa movements between asanas from Krishnamacharya and used them in their styles of yoga. Ancient but simpler sun salutations such as Aditya Hridayam, described in the "Yuddha Kaanda" Canto 107 of the Ramayana, are not related to the modern sequence. Surya Namaskar is a sequence of around twelve asanas connected by jumping or stretching movements, varying somewhat between schools. In Iyengar Yoga, the basic sequence is Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Uttanasana with head up, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Caturanga Dandasana, reversing the sequence to return to Tadasana. In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, the type 1 sequence is Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Anjaneyasana, Chaturanga Dandasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Virabhadrasana I.
A typical Surya Namaskar cycle is: Many variations are possible. For example, In Iyengar Yoga the sequence may run Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Lolasana and reversing the sequence from Adho Mukha Svanasana to return to Tadasana. Other asanas that may be inserted into the sequence include Navasana, Paschimottanasana and its variations, Marichyasana I. Alter, Joseph S.. Gandhi's Body: Sex and the Politics of Nationalism. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-812-23556-2. Mehta, Silva. Yoga: The Iyengar Way. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-0863184208. Mujumdar, Dattatraya Chintaman. Encyclopedia of Indian Physical Culture: A Comprehensive Survey of the Physical Education in India, Profusely Illustrating Various Activities of Physical Culture, Exercises, Etc. as Handed Over to Us from Our Fore-fathers and Practised in India. Good Companions. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Singleton, Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, Oxford University Press Ramaswami, Srivatsa.
The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-1-56924-402-9. Singleton, Mark. Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. Oxford University Press. Pp. 180–181, 205–206. ISBN 978-0-19-974598-2. Sjoman, Norman E.. The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 81-7017-389-2; the Complete Guide for Surya Namaskar Dep't of Posts, Gov't of India releases stamps on Surya Namaskara on International Yoga Day 2016. Sun Salutation Names and Steps Sun Salutation Complete guide With Mantras "The Hindi Webaai"
A zafu or putuan is a round cushion. Although a utilitarian accessory, it is best known for its use in zazen Zen meditation. Although zafu is translated as "sewn seat" in American English, the meaning of the Japanese kanji, 座蒲, is different. Za means "seat", fu means reedmace. A zafu is a seat stuffed with the fluffy, downy fibres of the disintegrating reedmace seed heads; the Japanese zafu originates in China, where these meditation seats were filled with reedmace down. The words zabuton and futon are linked; the word zazen meaning "seated meditation" or "sitting meditation" is closely linked. In western terms, colloquially speaking, zafu refers to a meditation cushion, zabuton refers to the cushioned mat upon which a zafu is placed. Typical zafus are about 35 centimetres in diameter, about 20 centimetres high when fluffed. Contemporary zafus are sewn from three pieces of heavy cloth colored black: two round swatches of equal size for the top and the bottom of the cushion, a long rectangle, sewn into gathers in between.
They are filled with either kapok or buckwheat hulls. Zen Buddhist practitioners traditionally sit on a zafu; the cushion raises the hips, making the entire range of cross-legged sitting positions more stable for the meditator. Before and after practicing zazen, Zen practitioners perform a gassho bow to the zafu, to fellow practitioners, to the teacher. In many practice places, there is a prescribed form for respectfully handling zafu while walking in the meditation hall, or zendo. A zabuton is a rectangular cushion, about 76 centimetres by 71 centimetres, used under a zafu cushion to provide comfort and support when engaged in zazen; the outer cover is made of a heavy duty fabric and has a zipper along one side so that it can be removed and washed. Inside the cover, the batting is enclosed in a natural cotton casing
The vertebral column known as the backbone or spine, is part of the axial skeleton. The vertebral column is the defining characteristic of a vertebrate in which the notochord found in all chordates has been replaced by a segmented series of bone: vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs; the vertebral column houses a cavity that encloses and protects the spinal cord. There are about 50,000 species of animals; the human vertebral column is one of the most-studied examples. In a human's vertebral column there are thirty-three vertebrae; the articulating vertebrae are named according to their region of the spine. There are twelve thoracic vertebrae and five lumbar vertebrae; the number of vertebrae in a region overall the number remains the same. The number of those in the cervical region however is only changed. There are ligaments extending the length of the column at the front and the back, in between the vertebrae joining the spinous processes, the transverse processes and the vertebral laminae.
The vertebrae in the human vertebral column are divided into different regions, which correspond to the curves of the spinal column. The articulating vertebrae are named according to their region of the spine. Vertebrae in these regions are alike, with minor variation; these regions are called the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine and coccyx. There are twelve thoracic vertebrae and five lumbar vertebrae; the number of vertebrae in a region overall the number remains the same. The number of those in the cervical region however is only changed; the vertebrae of the cervical and lumbar spines are independent bones, quite similar. The vertebrae of the sacrum and coccyx are fused and unable to move independently. Two special vertebrae are the axis, on which the head rests. A typical vertebra consists of two parts: the vertebral arch; the vertebral arch is posterior. Together, these enclose the vertebral foramen; because the spinal cord ends in the lumbar spine, the sacrum and coccyx are fused, they do not contain a central foramen.
The vertebral arch is formed by a pair of pedicles and a pair of laminae, supports seven processes, four articular, two transverse, one spinous, the latter being known as the neural spine. Two transverse processes and one spinous process are posterior to the vertebral body; the spinous process comes out the back, one transverse process comes out the left, one on the right. The spinous processes of the cervical and lumbar regions can be felt through the skin. Above and below each vertebra are joints called facet joints; these restrict the range of movement possible, are joined by a thin portion of the neural arch called the pars interarticularis. In between each pair of vertebrae are two small holes called intervertebral foramina; the spinal nerves leave the spinal cord through these holes. Individual vertebrae are named according to their position. From top to bottom, the vertebrae are: Cervical spine: 7 vertebrae Thoracic spine: 12 vertebrae Lumbar spine: 5 vertebrae Sacrum: 5 vertebrae Coccyx: 4 vertebrae The upper cervical spine has a curve, convex forward, that begins at the axis at the apex of the odontoid process or dens, ends at the middle of the second thoracic vertebra.
This inward curve is known as a lordotic curve. The thoracic curve, concave forward, begins at the middle of the second and ends at the middle of the twelfth thoracic vertebra, its most prominent point behind corresponds to the spinous process of the seventh thoracic vertebra. This curve is known as a kyphotic curve; the lumbar curve is more marked in the female than in the male. It is convex anteriorly, the convexity of the lower three vertebrae being much greater than that of the upper two; this curve is described as a lordotic curve. The sacral curve begins at the sacrovertebral articulation, ends at the point of the coccyx; the thoracic and sacral kyphotic curves are termed primary curves, because they are present in the fetus. The cervical and lumbar curves are compensatory or secondary, are developed after birth; the cervical curve forms when the infant is able to sit upright. The lumbar curve forms from twelve to eighteen months, when the child begins to walk. Anterior surfaceWhen viewed from in front, the width of the bodies of the vertebrae is seen to increase from the second cervical to the first thoracic.
From this point there is a rapid diminution, to the apex of the coccyx. Posterior surfaceFrom behind, the vertebral column presents in the median line the spinous processes. In the cervical region these are short and bifid. In the upper part of the thoracic region they are directed obliquely downward.