GOING BACK TO YOGA

Yoga for Back Care

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Weight loss, increased flexibility, outstanding physical ability or just creating a focused state of being, yoga delivers each of these benefits.  Perhaps the greatest quality about yoga is that it is a single-minded discipline with various assets to those who practice it.

Considering that back problems are the leading cause of physical disability in our industrialized world, anybody who has back concerns, ranging from a 70-year old grandmother to the 14-year old soccer player can benefit from these series of exercises to help strengthen the back. Though the principles of why they work delve into the complicated system of Hatha yoga, the benefits received of strength, flexibility and controlled breathing can be easily grasped by even the beginner.

Block Breathing: onsidering that back problems are the leading cause of physical disability in our industrialized world, anybody who has back concerns, ranging from a 70-year old grandmother to the 14-year old soccer player can benefit from these series of exercises to help strengthen the back. Though the principles of why they work delve into the complicated system of Hatha yoga, the benefits received of strength, flexibility and controlled breathing can be easily grasped by even the beginner.

2-5 minutes

Breathing Exercise: As you lie on your back, place a small light block or box on your tummy, and close your eyes and slowly breathe, focusing on elevating as you inhale, and lowering the block as you exhale. Find a comfortable rhythm of breathing as the block rhythmically elevates and lowers.

Preparatory Arm Stretch: Lie on your back with one knee flexed. Concentrate on calm breathing, with the lower part of your back in contact with the floor.

Arm Swings: As you inhale, slowly raise your arms by your sides over your head as if you were reaching over your head. As you inhale, slowly bring your hands back to your sides by your waist. Repeat for 6 breaths on each side.

Preparation for Leg bends: Now turn around and lie completely face down.

Leg Bends: As you inhale from this position, slowly bend your leg towards your buttocks. As you exhale, lower your leg back to the ground. As you do this exercise, you may feel a stretching sensation across your quadriceps muscle. Repeat this 6 times alternating legs.

From this same prone position (lying face down), place your hands in a “push-up” position. Your elbows should be bent, but relaxed with your palms face down on the floor.

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