Approximately 20 million Americans practiced Yoga last year according to a 2012 Sports Marketing Survey. Based on what I hear and see, many people underestimate the power of Yoga. In fact, most people are even afraid to practice Yoga when they’re sick, in pain, or feeling unstable and rightly so because if you do not have the proper instruction you can really hurt yourself. But Yoga is actually there for people to heal with and if you know how to use it, Yoga is medicine.
Everything from migraines and mild headaches, to menstruation disorders and menopause, to lower back pain, shoulder problems, and neck problems, can be alleviated with the practice of Yoga. And two of my favorite areas to look at (which are often overlooked) are the immune standpoint and the mental well-being–both of which are the root of a myriad of metabolic disorders.
The majority of my Yoga students and teacher trainees come to learn how to alleviate their pain (on all levels) and benefit tremendously from how I teach Yoga. As you’d learn if you were in one of my classes, when you’re looking at the lower lumbar spine and looking at the vertebra, the nerves that are around the vertebra may be getting pinched due to inflammation or even problems in the colon, and are usually causing the pain. Although, stress can be a contributor, too. Yoga, however, actually addresses all three–detoxification of the colon, stress and decreasing the inflammation–simultaneously. Yoga is always treating the root of the pain, imbalance or suffering.
Over time, a regular, well aligned Yoga practice creates an elongation of the lower lumbar spine and by creating that space in between the vertebra, you’re creating space for the nerve fibers and they’re no longer compressed which would have been causing much of the pain before. Over time, you’re also detoxifying the intestines and internal organs through the twisting the yoga poses require of you. And in addition to that, you’re also creating stabilization and relaxation–quieting the mind and stabilizing the nervous system. This is merely one example of how Yoga may improve lower back pain.
The best sign for you is after you complete a Yoga class or a sequence of asanas, you should feel clear headed, calm, and have either less pain or be pain free. Eventually, you have the opportunity to alleviate your back pain entirely.
One of the most important factors to the effectiveness of a Yoga therapy session, is actually the skill and experience of your teacher. Your teacher should have a keen eye and experience on how best to use props. He or she should also understand the alignment of different types of bodies.
Yoga is the foundation of all of my work. It has been there for me through the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, pregnancy, postpartum, pain, etc. And after 20+ years of studying Yoga Therapy globally, I know how powerful it is and it has changed my life profoundly and it continues to shape my life.
If you’re interested in learning more, schedule time for yourself and connect with me, and let’s take your practice to the next level. I am now offering Skype sessions, so wherever you are you can benefit from learning more and cultivating the benefits Yoga has to offer.