People come to a Yoga class for a variety of reasons; physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual. Many people come along because their health care provider has suggested it.
I am going to address those who will benefit from Yoga to keep their back healthy. Now the body parts are all joined so if there is a misalignment with, for example, the knee, this will affect the way the person walks. This in turn will have that person holding themselves in positions to protect the knee. Over time, if the knee has not been corrected then stress of different parts of the body will be affected.
Stress affects us in different ways. People seem to hold their stress in different parts of the body: maybe the shoulders, lower back or knees for example. So, to address this with Yoga one way would be for the person to come to a Yoga class on a regular basis and generally keep all muscles flexible and use different relaxation/meditation techniques and relaxing and energising breathing techniques to help keep the body and mind working to its optimum level.
Yoga keeps muscle groups strong and if we think of all parts of the body joining together and affecting each part then the muscles will support the back and neck.
Yoga can lengthen and stretch muscles to increase flexibility and alignment. This will increase the blood flow to muscles and the spinal discs keeping them healthy.
Yoga breathing can not only relax the body but also allow for more awareness of posture and how to move differently to improve posture and therefore let go of pain.
Certain Yoga postures and gentle movement can help free tension in shoulders; relieve low back pain and tension. If the pelvis is even slightly out of alignment this can cause problems with walking and tension.
Regular Yoga given by a qualified Yoga instructor will help you to keep the body healthy, alongside a healthy diet and the more that you have that ‘ME’ time the less stressed you will become. Noticing the stress and then being able to do something about it is key.
So, someone may have a headache because their neck muscles are tight. This may be for a variety of reasons. It may be because of working on the computer for long periods and slumping, poor posture, rounded shoulders, or holding the jaw tight etc. etc. Yoga moves of straightening the back and strengthening the neck muscles and upper back would be very useful as would periods of deep abdominal breathing and relaxing.
The most important thing is not to exercise when there is acute pain. Let the inflammation go down beforehand and always get expert help.
When you have been to a Yoga class for a while you will be more aware of which postures may be useful to you for home practice or you could ask your teacher if she/he would write out a programme for you. Alternatively, 121 Yoga can be very helpful.
In conclusion, being more aware of your body and how it works for you, where you hold your stress and how you deal with it will help to keep your back healthy. This can be with Yoga postures working on all parts of the body, inside and out; standing, balancing, forward and back bends, twists and inversions and also deep breathing which all enhance that wonderful sense of Well Being that Yoga is so well known for. Specific Yoga postures may be needed for particular problems in the back and elsewhere that will ease tightness or pain. When in Yoga postures one only works with the body rather than against it, never forcing yourself into postures that do not feel comfortable.
The Holistic Life Coach
Holistic & Natural Solutions for Health and Wellbeing