How often do you get up and stretch your body because it simply feels good. Once out of bed, we often automatically arch and twist our body, and we aren't the only ones look at your pup when he/she gets up, they do a perfect "downward dog". It is this stretching of the spine I find so important. It seems almost intuitive to keep the spine moving in all directions so it stays healthy and mobile. Our increased sedentary lifestyle doesn't do us any favors, nor does exercise routines that simply move the spine in one or two directions.
Moving the spine forward and back, side to side and twisting in both directions every day will be to your benefit. Taking care of our central pathway of communication is smart self care. If you practice yoga then you are familiar with cat/cow pose, lateral/side bending and various opportunities to twist the spine during class. However what I am suggesting is that you move the spine in all directions everyday, multiple times a day.
What makes this so easy is that they can be done at the beginning of your yoga practice as part of a warm up, on a chair or even in a standing position. As you move through your day, whenever you take a break make it a practice to move your spine in all 6 directions.
Some teachers offer a 7th direction and that would be to extend the spine up and down in other words lengthen up through the top of the head and down through the tail bone. To get this integrated with your stretching I would suggest to lengthen before each of the other directions.
Our culture cultivates busy lives, it takes a conscious decision to take care of ourselves throughout the day, create a routine that includes nurturing the flexibility and movement of our main pathway of communication, the spine.