Yoga’s seminal text, the Yoga Sutras, provides a path to learn to prevent future pain. Yoga Sutra 2.16: Heyam Dukham Anagatam translates to the Pain Which Is Yet To Come Is To Be Avoided. What does that really mean?
By cultivating healthy practices today, we can avert future problems from appearing. It’s a broad lesson applicable to many facets of our lives, but let’s apply it to learning how to keep our spine healthy and avoid future preventable injuries.
Where does back pain originate? It can stem from physical issues, but do you know how much your emotional and mental state can contribute? First, let’s look at physical habits and considerations. Do any of these factors apply to you?
- Old traumas, like car accidents and athletic injuries
- Poor posture
- Sedentary jobs and/or pastimes
- No regular exercise regime
- Sudden changes in physical routines
Of course, physical risk factors from heredity, prior accidents, or injuries are tougher to counteract, but we believe most people can achieve improvement and protect their spines through a smart yoga practice. Focus on building core strength to protect your back and strengthening and stretching the muscles around your spine to develop excellent posture.
Often the trigger runs deeper than merely physical because your emotional and mental states influence or even cause backache. Although the pain feels physical, the root of the problem is predominantly emotional. If your back is killing you and you can’t figure out why, it’s time to pause and reflect. What could be causing it? Are you angry, scared, or insecure?
Assess the location of your spinal pain and see if any of the below correlations apply:
Upper back/Neck: Upper back relates to feeling a lack of emotional support; feeling significant people in your life don’t understand you or support you. Do you feel unloved or are you holding back your love from someone?
Middle Back: Emotionally speaking, pain in the middle back comes from feeling guilty about ‘stuff’ from the past. Perhaps you are afraid to explore your past? Maybe you are hiding what is back there? Do you feel stabbed in the back?
Lower Back: It’s all about the money, money, money. Lack of money, fear of not having enough, or fear of material loss may be triggering lower back pain.
Regardless of why you’re in pain, yoga can help. By creating openings in your physical body, your mind and heart will benefit as well. In addition, dealing with emotional and mental problems could free up your spine.
This week, we’ve got four great new classes targeted to addressing a healthy back. Try one or all of them and remember, a healthy spine makes for a happy back.
1. Power Yoga for a Healthy Back - Kristin Gibowicz
2. Bye Bye Back Pain - Kristin Gibowicz
3. Fitness 'n' Yoga: Flow for the Spine - Ben Davis
4. Core Strength – Pradeep Teotia
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