Have you ever noticed that when you’re worried about money, all of a sudden, your lower back “goes out?” Or you were reprimanded at work and a crick appears in your neck? Of course, suffering a physical injury or the culmination of a lifetime of poor posture causes pain, but what’s happening internally is often the root of external pain. Yoga’s three-pronged focus on physical, emotional, and mental wellness offers back pain relief for every layer of your being.
In yogic philosophy, the subtle body is a blueprint of the physical one. The subtle body consists of energy or prana which flows through channels called Nadis. The primary Nadi, the Sushumna Nadi, runs from the Muladhara (Root) Chakra at the base of the spine to the Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra at the crown of the head. Keeping the seven primary Chakras or energy centers balanced is essential to keep our prana flowing freely so we feel invigorated, calm, and pain-free.
When emotional energy blockages occur, pain often manifests in the tissues surrounding the spinal column/Sushumna Nadi. Through mindful asana (postures) and pranayama (breathwork), yoga can help free up your life force or prana in this central channel and assist in creating a pain-free healthy back. What’s magical about yoga is that the practice simultaneously addresses all the causes of pain, inside and out. Once your prana is flowing freely, it’s easier to address the specific external aspects of back pain.
Three primary muscular factors contribute to chronic back pain: a weak core, tight psoas muscles, and tight hamstrings. When you strengthen the core, which consists of your abdominals, your back and your trunk, you create a protective girdle for the spine. Yoga is also an excellent way to open up the psoas or hip flexor muscles at the front of the hip that are often responsible for causing lower back pain. Stretching and elongating the hamstrings will also aid in keeping the lumbar region more spacious. A well-rounded yoga practice helps you target these three goals for long-term spinal wellness.
Of course, if you’ve suffered an accident or injury to your spinal discs or sprained muscles and ligaments, make sure you’ve addressed acute pain before embarking on a yoga program. Once you’re ready to bolster your posture, create a stronger core, and maintain a healthy spine, check out this week’s assortment of classes. These practices are specifically designed by expert instructors to help you feel your best. Enjoy!
1. Kristin Gibowicz - Daily Back Pain Relief (FREE class)
2. Dana Hanizeski - Heal Your Back Pain with Iyengar Yoga
3. Angela Kukhahn - Hug the Midline
4. Shy Sayar - Therapeutic Wall Yoga for Hips & Back
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