• Michele Burton - All Generations Yoga

Yoga for back pain makes the news

Scientists have now proven that there are health benefits for those that suffer with back pain by practising yoga....but you already knew that...right!!! This is a snippet of what was in the reported:

'Yoga has gained global popularity as a form of mind-body exercise, with general life-style benefits, and recent studies have investigated the potential of yoga to relieve the symptoms of lower back related problems.

A new Cochrane Review summarizes the results of 12 randomized trials from 1,080 men and women with an average age between 34 and 48 years old. The trials were conducted in India, the UK, and the US. All participants had chronic non-specific lower back pain'.

Cut and past this link into your browser to read the full report:

To help your back to stay supple or ease tension and pain here are a few postures that may help:

(As always check with your doctor if your are concerned or have any health issues before performing any physical activity)

Warm Up: I would suggest that you warm up your body first by shaking your limbs, moving your hips and then flowing your arms up and down and around your body to some of your favourite tunes...this will get your circulation flowing, your joints mobile an muscles warmed up.

Breathe: Stand for a couple of minutes breathing deeply into your stomach and then through the rest of your lungs (full yoga breath) then breathe out gently through the nose if possible until your heart rate becomes steady.

Warm up your body - by shaking your limbs and dancing

Now for your postures.....

Roll Down: Stand or sit and tuck in your chin. Begin to roll your spine, like unrolling the links of a chain and then slowly roll back up again - repeat this 3 or 4 times

Roll down - stretching the spin from standing

Roll down to stretch your spine

Seated twist: On a chair or on the floor: Sit and lengthen your spine take your right arm behind the chair and your left hand on your right knee then turn your head to look behind you.

Alternatively sit on the floor with either your legs out stretched or trucking your left leg under you and right leg bent with your foot on the floor. Lengthen your spin and take your right hand on the floor as close to the centre of your lower back as you can and then place your left hand on your right knee and gently twist to look behind you. Hold for around 10 to 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Seated Twist on a Chair

Seated Twist on a the floor

Cat Posture: On chair or on all fours: When using a chair roll through your spine from the base... the head and shoulders are the last to stretch and then roll back up from the base of your spine to your head - opening and closing the vertebrae of your spine.

If you are doing the posture on the floor; put your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips and roll through the spine from the base...your head and shoulders drop last of all until your body is in an arch and then to roll out start again from the base bringing your head up last of all and looking forward before repeating a few times.

Cat Posture on a chair

Cat Posture on the floor

Childs Pose: From a kneeling position, fold your body back sitting on your feet and stretch your arms above your head along the floor, tucking in your chin.

Extended ChildsPose

Lying Twist: Lying on your back with arms out at shoulder height along the floor. Knees bent and feet flat on the floor, then bring your knees over to the right and turn your head to the left and repeat on the other side. Staying in the twist for around 10 to 20 seconds.

Lying Spinal Twist

Depending on the level of discomfort you are experiencing with your back you could continue with some back strengthening postures like the Bridge, Cobra or Sphinx, Locust, Down Dog.......Look forward to Back Strengthening Postures in my next Blog

Relaxation: Always end your session with a lovely Relaxation for at least 10 minutes - Lye down with palms turned to ceiling and then tense the whole body and release a few times (you can do this limb by limb and work gradually through the body) - breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly for 4 or 5 times and allow your mind to empty - just tune your mind to the rhythm of your breath.

Wriggle your fingers and toes at the end of your relaxation and then bend your knees and rock from side to side to relieve any pressure from your lower back, before rolling onto your side and pushing your self up to sitting and allow your blood pressure to rise a little before standing.

Tip: Put a rolled up blanket under your knees if your back is sore or bend your knees with your feet slightly wider apart and your knees together.

Relax for 10 minutes

Enjoy your nice loose back ....and don't forget to keep your eye out for my next blog on strengthening your back

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