If you have heard that yoga can be an effective way of relieving back pain then you might be wondering just how you should start taking advantage of this form of gentle exercise, and whether it really could be something that will help with the back discomfort and pain that you’re experiencing.
WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is traditionally a Hindu discipline that has been named as such from the Sanskrit word for “to yoke” – yuj. This roughly translates to a union or connection between the body and the spirit. Some people use yoga for spiritual purposes, whilst others are more focused on the physical benefits; in many cases it is a combination of both. For those people who suffer from any sort of back pain, undertaking regular yoga exercises can make all the difference when it comes to a higher quality life free of persistent and debilitating back pain.
MAIN BENEFITS OF YOGA
As yoga has become more of a mainstream activity, more and more people are realizing its health benefits. This includes potential benefits for those with back pain, but also relating to your overall health as well. The great thing about yoga is that it is structured exercise so there is no guess work involved, and it’s something that you can do as often as you like in the comfort of your home.
WHEN IT COMES TO BACK RELATED BENEFITS, WHAT CAN YOGA OFFER YOU? CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
Increased flexibility: Probably the most well known and popular benefit of yoga is that it increases your overall flexibility, and this is highly important when it comes to spinal health. Yoga is all about the poses you do, and you will notice over time that your flexibility increases remarkably, allowing you to place yourself into positions that you may not have imagined possible when you first started. Increasing your flexibility with regular yoga is most certainly the key benefit to helping your back pain, and improving the strength and functionality of your back over time.
Improved muscle strength: Building up the strength of your back muscles will go a long way to helping you avoid arthritis, strains and injuries. Unlike most forms of muscle strengthening exercises, yoga allows you to improve muscle tone while still maintaining a high level of flexibility; something that is vitally important for the health of your back.
Better posture and balance: Yoga is all about stretching and shaping your body into specific poses using correct techniques. These techniques hold posture as a high priority and as you become more comfortable with yoga, your posture will naturally and automatically improve. This is something that will over time be carried over into your everyday life. Additionally, a focus on holding your balance during yoga poses paves the way for increased back and mid-section strength – something that is vital if you are to ward off back injury and back pain as you get older.
Bone and joint health: Doing yoga involves moving your joints to their full potential and throughout their entire motion. This allows your body to use cartilage areas that are often not used in everyday activity, thus allowing nutrients to flow to these areas. Additionally, by undertaking weight bearing movements during yoga, you contribute to decreasing your risk of osteoporosis and some studies have shown that increased bone density in the spinal vertebrae can result from regular yoga workouts.
HOW CAN YOU LEARN HOW TO DO YOGA PROPERLY?
It is important to learn how to do yoga the proper way. There are a number of options when it comes to learning yoga, and most are able to be done at home for little to no financial cost.
- Purchasing yoga instructional DVDs
- Learning from online videos and courses
- Attending a yoga course
- Visiting a health club and participating in yoga classes
Whichever method (or methods) you choose when it comes to learning yoga as a beginner, you will quickly gain the knowledge and techniques required to use this form of exercise as a potentially very effective method to relieving and preventing your back pain.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU DO YOGA?
It is important to get into a regular routine with yoga, especially if you are a beginner. This helps to get your body accustomed to the new ways in which you are using it. Ideally, the frequency of your yoga routines should be at least three times per week. However, if you only have 15 minutes per day spare, using this time to do yoga is ultimately more beneficial than spending several hours just once or twice per week. Consistency is the key, and this is one of the reasons that people join up to yoga classes; so you are able to plan and commit to particular days and times to do your workouts.
Making yoga a regular part of your life has countless benefits for your back, as well as for the rest of your health and well being. There are no disadvantages to doing yoga, and it is something that can even be done at home in your own time. Using yoga as part of your spinal health and pain relief routine can bring about some surprising benefits in a relatively short period of time.