In my last article, I wrote about some of the different styles of yoga that you can choose from, with an emphasis on those who have back pain or want to prevent it. Now I’ll cover some other things to think about to make sure you and your back stay safe and healthy.
CHOOSING A CLASS
If your doctor or physical therapist warned you against yoga, it may be that they are more familiar with the more vigorous styles of yoga (see the Part 1 article), or that they are seeing patients/clients coming in with injuries from yoga. Just because some styles of yoga are vigorous and advanced doesn’t mean that ALL yoga will be hard on your back. Here are some tips for choosing a class that will serve your body well.
Before Attending Class:
Look into what kind of training the teacher has (A one-month yoga training or a multi-year program? There’s a huge variety.)
- Is the teacher certified?
- How long have they been teaching?
- Call the teacher if you have concerns about attending the class.
- Does the teacher ask you before class if you have any injuries?
After a Class:
- Was the teacher able to give alternate poses to those with back or joint pain?
- Did you feel comfortable opting out of poses that felt dangerous or painful to you?
- How did your body feel after class?
In addition to practicing healthy alignment in your yoga poses, I also consider it vital to learn healthy spinal alignment in daily life, and to integrate what you learn into your daily life, for more effective and rapid improvement. If you just work on your posture in yoga class, there are a lot more hours in each day that you may be misaligned. All those hours can add up to a painful back.
That’s why I teach postural guidelines for students to practice OUTSIDE of class, so that they can spend more time with an aligned spine. That leads to less pain and more comfort, as well as better posture.
YOGA IN BALANCE
“Yoga in Balance” or “Spinefulness Yoga” is the style of yoga that I teach. It originated from Noelle Perez-Christiaens of Paris, France. She studied with BKS Iyengar in India beginning in 1959 and for decades worked with his teachings and her own questions about how he said the poses were supposed to feel. Her insights about how posture changed in modern cultures also led her to change the way she practiced and taught yoga.
Teaching yoga in Balance involves integrating the postural alignments from healthy cultures with yoga, to keep the spine in optimal alignment – thus maximizing benefits and minimizing the chance of injury.
For more information about Yoga in Balance, visit the Balance Center’s website: http://balancecenter.com/yoga.htm.
I hope you’re able to find a yoga class that you enjoy and that feels good to your body. If you have questions about Yoga in Balance, feel free to contact me. You can find the Yoga in Balance class schedule here: http://sonomabodybalance.com/yoga-for-back-pain-schedule/
© Dana K. Davis, 2016. All Rights Reserved.