Back Care Tips
How many times have you experienced back pain? It is estimated that in Australia 4 out of 5 adults will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. Back pain is the highest reason for people seeking medical advice accounting for almost 7 million GP visits annually. When we have poor posture, lift incorrectly, sleep on sagging mattresses, get really stressed or emotional, sit at desks or on uncomfortable chairs and don’t exerciseor we do exercise but don’t warm up we are more likely to get a sore back. Osteoporosis, arthritis or other medical conditions can cause back pain, if in doubt consult your health care professional.
Therapeutic Yoga has many wonderful tools to support a healthy back. Our back care programs consider levels of stress and emotions such as anger and dissatisfaction. When the body holds these emotions muscles can tighten and weaken leading to poor posture. Our Energy Block Releases and other specially developed sequences support the release of stuck energies and focus on moving the spine in all directions and in a wavelike way to ensure your spinal bones are moved separately and segmentally making sure that the spinal column stays healthy, mobile and flexible. In Therapeutic Yoga classes you will learn how to develop a healthy posture and core stability both of which support a healthy spine. Therapeutic Yoga will help you to become aware of your posture not only when standing but when sitting, sleeping and even driving.
As a Therapeutic Yoga teacher I am aware that most people have a lack of body awareness before they come to yoga classes. After only a few classes I notice how students start to develop good posture and alignment and they tell me that amazing things happen. One woman said she felt like she was doing so little in the classes but she had less body pain and could touch the floor for the first time in her life.
Therapeutic Yoga for your Lumbar Spine
GOOD POSTURE ALWAYS
Stand tall, uncrumple and iron out your spine. Practice the Mountain posture standing and sitting. Feet hip width apart, strong legs, neutral pelvis, correct natural curves of spine, relaxed open shoulders. Find symmetry stand evenly, check arms are similar length. Lift arches of the feet up.
Open lungs take a full inhalation and exhalation. Want more energy? Extend inhalation, want to relax? Extend the exhalation.
Check where you are holding tension and breathe it out and away frequently, do a relaxation each day start with 1 or 2 minutes and build to 14 or 20 mins.
Imagine your back is strong, healthy and flexible. Because it is! Your back is designed to work and is well supported by muscles and ligaments.
· Do not sit for more than 20 minutes without moving, stretching and standing. Carry using both arms equally. Walking up hills, lift chest, walking down hills tuck tail bone down and in.
· Learn to come off the floor by uncurling slowly and bending the knees to support the back.
· Good mattress and pillow, use a pillow between knees if lying on the side.
Use these ideas to prevent low back pain and help when pain is there. Listen to your body and always move away from discomfort to comfort. Less in more. No pain, no strain. Motion is lotion.
· Lie on floor, bend knees and rest lower legs on a chair, and practice deep yogic breathing or relaxation when here. Great for when your back is sore. Practice cat posture with care not to over bend the lower back. Focus on lengthening.
· Lie in constructive rest and imagine the Iliopsoas muscle relaxing (come to our class to find out more!)
· Practice arching and flattening your lumbar spine daily (Somatics)
· Practice lying twists with awareness, do not twist past comfort.
· Lie on back draw knees in with hands, cross ankle and drop knees out, use your hands to draw your knees in towards your armpits. Repeat 3 or 4 times and imagine space in your lumbar area.
· Walking 20 minutes each day at least
Want to know more? Have a look at our classes called Love Ya'Lumbar. Look after your back and learn easy ways to be flexible and pain free.
If you ever have back pain always let your yoga teacher know before classes. Studies have proven that the weekly practice of Yoga is very effective in the treatment and management of low back pain and stress; it is also a particularly beautiful and safe style of yoga.