Yoga and Back Pain

Back pain results from a variety of complex factors, from congenital disorders to poor posture to injury. The condition of your spine affects your entire body. Many people suffer from severe back ailments caused by stress. Stress depletes the oxygen in your body. When the muscles cannot get enough oxygen to nourishes them, they spasm. The way we sit, stand, and move all can create potential problems for our spines.

Both the breathing practices and the asana increase the oxygen in our bodies. Practicing asana stretches the spine and keeps it supple. But if you already suffer from a bad back, or have had back surgery, you may fear hurting your back in a yoga class. Nor is the idea of sitting in a meditation pose appealing if you have a bad back. For spinal problems it is paramount that you find a class specifically designed with your back in mind. This is not to say that your average yoga instructor does not have a working knowledge of the back, but postures and asana need to be altered for back problems.

Back Problems? Issues and Questions to Consider before Taking up Yoga

Between your neck and buttocks lies a huge chunk of anatomical landscape. And if you have back problems, it’s best to talk with a yoga teacher before you embark on a class. Explain as specifically as you can your back dilemma and any concerns you may have. Ultimately, ask what experience the teacher has had in teaching students with back pain. Here are some other issues to explore with your instructor:

WHAT MATTERS, WHAT DOESN’T

What Matters

That you approach yoga as a treatment to medical problems with an open mind.

Being willing to integrate yoga into your traditional health modalities.

Yoga may not cure chronic pain, but it may ease it.

That you find a yoga teacher who has experience teaching individuals with your condition. What Doesn’t

Your history of success or failure with other treatment modalities.

That you’re a little skeptical.

Your age.

That your insurance carrier doesn’t acknowledge yoga.

Do you have a cervical, thoracic, or lumbar problem?

Have you had surgery or do you have fused vertebrae?

Does your spinal injury stem from an accident?

How fearful are you of movement?

Do you have acute or chronic back pain or a severe genetic problem?

How will you master meditation practices or breathing practices if you cannot sit for long periods of time?

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