Yoga Can Offer Relief For Back Pain

Source : Articles Base

Author: Wendy Kelly

Experts and practitioners of yoga alike seem to be in agreement that yoga can provide back pain relief. I’ve certainly found this to be true in my own yoga practice. But some people may need more convincing in order to try yoga for increasing their back health.

Back pain can be attributed to a number of different factors. Physical causes include poor posture, muscle imbalances and misalignment of the spine. There can also be emotional causes such as stress, anxiety or anger. Stress and other strong emotions can effect a person’s posture and cause them to habitually tense muscles. How many people do you know that rub their neck and shoulders when they are stressed or under pressure? I know that I find myself tensing my shoulders in high-pressure situations, which leads to upper back and neck pain and sometimes headaches. If you believe in the connection between our physical and emotional bodies, as many yoga practitioners do, the low back is known as an area that can be weakened when we are feeling insecure, fearful or distrustful. Luckily, since yoga works on the mind and the body, it can provide back pain relief regardless of what physical or emotional reasons you believe are the cause of your pain.

Yoga works by gently balancing muscles, building strength in the back and core, increasing flexibility, and improving posture. Tight hamstrings can be a cause of tightness and discomfort in the low back, and regular yoga practice can gradually stretch the hamstrings over time, relieving the pain. Poor posture is often to blame for back pain, especially in our culture where we spend so much time sitting in front of computers, driving cars and then relaxing on the couch. The practice of yoga can build the strength and body awareness necessary to correct bad habits and improve posture, providing back pain relief over time. The key is to have an awareness of the causes of your back issues and then to plan a yoga practice that strengthens the muscles in need of strengthening and stretches the muscles in need of stretching to balance and bring the body back into alignment. A certified yoga instructor could assist you in planning such a program.

If your back issues have an emotional trigger as well as a physical cause, the focus and relaxation of yoga may help in that regard as well. Yoga is known to provide a means of stress management. The exercise of spending anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes focused on what is happening in your body in real time can be very beneficial. What else do you do several times a week or daily that calls upon you to keep your awareness on the current moment and the very limited space of your own mat? This exercise alone trains the mind to focus in a world full of multi-tasking and can be calming to the anxiety prone. The physical stresses that you experience in a yoga practice, which the teacher gently reminds you to meet calmly, train your mind and body to approach challenging situations with equilibrium instead of succumbing to stress responses. As you master your emotions, you may increase your physical awareness and be able to break negative physical habits, such as tensing your shoulders during stressful or demanding situations, and that too can lead to back pain relief.

I’ll add one note of caution – depending on the cause or causes of your back pain, you may need to take care with your yoga practice and even avoid some poses altogether. If you have a serious back condition such as a slipped disk or severe scoliosis it is probably best to consult your doctor before trying yoga, and to work with an experienced yoga teacher.

But if you’re like me, and are just suffering from a lifetime of occasional improper lifting, and too much time sitting in front of the computer and the TV, get up and try yoga for back pain relief.

Wendy KellyAbout the Author:
Wendy is a Certified Yoga Instructor with a focus on fitness, health and well being. She shares her knowledge and experiences at Thanks for reading!

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