As a yoga teacher, there’s a phrase I’ll often hear: “I can’t come to yoga – my back’s hurting”.
And it breaks my heart a little every time I hear it, because yoga can help!
Now, I’m not suggesting that you should force yourself to class and onto a yoga mat if you’re in acute pain and you’re crying out every time you move, or you’ve just had an operation on your back and you’re in recovery.
But most of the time when we’re experiencing back pain, spasms, niggles, aches and so on, yoga WILL help.Read more…
Do you sit for hours a day? Working at your desk, typing, focusing intently at the screen.
Hours go by and you realize you’ve barely moved.
And by the end of the day your shoulders are up around your ears and so tense, your neck is aching, your back feels like the handle of broom – not like it’s made up of 24 moving vertebrae!
So many of us are forced to sit for long periods because it’s the nature of our job (and then we sit all evening watching TV, or reading, or glued to our laptop of mobile device). And the result is back pain and low energy levels. Read more…
How do you get comfortable? No matter which way you sit the ache is there, the tingling, the throbbing, the snatching…
Whether it’s an annoying niggle or an ever-present ache or a pain which comes and goes, back discomfort/pain can be energy-sapping and nerve-fraying (I know, I’ve been there!)
The underlying discomfort is made worse by the feelings of anxiety and frustration that your body isn’t behaving itself, or maybe feelings of fear that the pain may strike at any moment and leave you temporarily incapacitated.
There are two ways yoga helps back discomfort/pain. Read more…
Did you know that physical conditions, discomfort and pain can be linked to your emotional state?
Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself. If you’ve ever gone through extended periods of emotional/mental stress or anxiety you may have noticed your digestion being affected (e.g. IBS) or you suffered tension headaches or migraines, or even back pain.
Or think of a time you were nervous – before a job interview or giving a presentation for example (or in my case my recent first drive through Southampton in rush hour!). Chances are you felt a tightening of the muscles, a fluttering in your stomach, you sweated more than usual and perhaps fell over your words a little.
Just a couple of examples of how our emotions affect us tangibly and physically. Read more…
How we get on with particular yoga postures can tell us a lot about ourselves.
Your yoga practice can show you how your body, mind and emotions are today – if you’re willing to listen!
So, let’s look at Child’s Pose. A basic yoga pose you’ll experience in most yoga classes.
It’s a gentle forward bend, and a mild inversion if your head is below the level of your heart.
It is, potentially, a wonderfully relaxing, quietening pose. It can enable you to release tension from the whole of your spine as well as the shoulder blades, and encouraging a deep sense of inner peace and security.
However, I notice in my classes that some people struggle with this pose. Maybe their heads don’t reach the ground, or their bum is sticking up high in the air. Read more…
It’s the end of another busy day and your back is in two. You’ve been tethered to your desk all day. You’ve eaten lunch at your desk instead of getting out for some fresh air and to stretch your legs …. again!
And now you’ve got that all-too-familiar nagging ache in your lower back. Tension spreads up to your shoulders and your neck feels stiff.
*Sigh*… The familiar effects of sitting all day! Read more…
I have something to share with you. Something I feel almost guilty to admit it. Something I feel shouldn’t happen to me, because I’m a yoga teacher.
I’ve hurt my back.
Not sure how it happened, or precisely what happened, but since Monday evening something odd has been going on in my lower thoracic spine.
It tends to start off as a bit of a niggly ache in the morning and gets worse through the day. Sometimes as I move the muscles in the middle of my back spasm – leading to much catching of breath and grimacing
I can’t pin point when it started and can’t link it to anything specific I’ve done. But it’s there, and it’s getting on my nerves… Read more…
What’s the number one myth about yoga? I’d say it’s “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible!”.
Quickly followed by “I can’t do yoga, I’ve got a dodgy hip / knee / back”.
And, frequently, it’s people who are not as young as they once were, shall we say, whose bodies have started to display the familiar aches, pains and niggles which can start to appear as we get older, who think they can’t do yoga.
But this is exactly the group of people that a gentler, restorative style of yoga can help. Read more…