Yoga for back pain is just about the ideal therapy. Following on from spinal mobilisation and do-it-yourself spinal decompression it has the potential to take you into another orbit of your recovery.
You can download Sarah's excellent video about yoga for back pain here
A progressive yoga regime from therapeutic yoga, to a beginners' class and then advanced yoga is the best long-term strategy for lower back pain management. There are over 7,000 yoga postures and a seemingly endless gradient from easy to complex - and again, a seemingly endless scope for improvement over many years.
The book below (known as 'Body in Action' in the USA and Australia) is a study in how yoga can enhance the function of each joint, including the spinal joints.
Some of the most effective yoga for back pain helps by making you sideline your habitual brakes on activity ~ usually there by dint of habit and automatic protective mechanisms. Often, these habits of restraint keep you locked in territory that keeps your pain keeping on. Some of the simplest, least demanding poses can focus your thoughts away from your back in the most emancipating way.
Focusing on breathing and relaxation is an important part of yoga. The wave-like rhythm of breathing-induced relaxation eases the wires of tension (and pain). It does this by taking your awareness to other parts of the body; focusing on how they work and what they feel like. This helps peel back the layers of stiffness that hold the body rigid; the mind as much as tight soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments) that keep the pain locked in.
Although peaceful periods and mindfulness can greatly reduce your pain, there are some simple lumbar exercises that work physically to ease your back pain and go well beyond breathing and relaxation.
Some of the most effective yoga for back pain are the standing poses that seem to use everything but your back! It’s as if the pose is so demanding it requires the whole body rising to the challenge and the back having to fall into line as a co-helper, instead of remaining the look-at-me prima donna it usually is.
In short, a yoga workout for lower back pain often works by discombobulating the bullyboy lower back muscles into mute compliance, thus allowing you a brief window through which you might escape.
Read this study:
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