Future Pain Can Be Avoided: Yoga Sutra 2.16: heyaṃ duḥkhamanāgatam
Yoga Sutra 2:16 discusses how through the practice of yoga, we can avoid future pain. Patanjali focused more on how yoga impacts our thoughts and perspective, but this week let’s apply it to…back pain! Because if you’ve ever been slowed down because your back hurts, you’re not alone.
Back pain impacts millions of people at one time or another, whether from a specific injury or from long-term poor posture. Most of us sit too much and as a result, our spines become compressed, our muscles and connective tissue tighten, and then we are hurting. This week, we have six practices designed to give you a spinal tune-up and help prevent future pain.
We tend to store emotions in our tissues and if we don’t create a release, physical tightness and strain can result. Whatever is causing your back pain is individual. How yoga helps is universal.
On the physical level, three major factors contribute to back pain:
(1) Tight Hamstrings: If your hamstrings are too tight, they can pull on the muscles in your lumbar region, creating imbalances and lower back pain.
(2) Tight hip flexors (Psoas): The psoas muscle starts in the front of your body and connects in the back body and so, keeping them mobile is important to a healthy back. Everything from too much time sitting or too much time running––or basically doing anything at all results in tight hip flexors. Assume they are always tight and need to be stretched.
(3) Weak abdominal muscles: If you don’t build a strong center, you’ve got no support for your torso or spine. Take the time to build a strong core and create a protective girdle for your spine.
When you release physical tension and address muscular imbalances, often an emotional release occurs at the same time and the pain disappears, inside and out. Emotional stress and mental anxiety stored in our bodies can cause physical pain and yoga helps us relax our minds and hearts.
These classes are not for the time you’re in acute pain after a recent injury, instead, they are appropriate for when you’re ready to begin gentle movement.
So if you’re ready, try some yoga to address the root of your back pain, whether it stems from physical, emotional, or mental causes.
Yoga and Mobility for the Back - Michelle Berman Marchildon
Feel Alive Series: Spine in Focus - Elena Mironov
Yoga for a Healthy Back - Claire Petretti Marti
Get Up, Stand Up: Lumbar Love - Dia Draper
Power Yoga for a Healthy Back - Kristin Gibowicz
Reclaim Your Mobility with Spinal Twists - Caitlin Rose Kenney
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