Yoga emphasizes postural exercises, breathing, and meditation. All are techniques which are all helpful for alleviating stress throughout the body. And we all know that said stress causes neck and back pain. As well, yoga is great for stretching out tissues that have become tight as a result of overuse and sitting at your workstation all day. It doesn’t matter what type of yoga you practice, they all contribute to enhancing your flexibility, mobility, and stability of your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. This is very important as we age and tissues become less pliable. Maintaining adequate joint range of motion will prevent stiffness and inflammation, and is one of the key benefits of yoga for back pain relief.
If you are currently experiencing or have a previous history of neck and or back pain it is important that you see a chiropractor or physiotherapist for an assessment of your condition. Yoga consists of very extreme postures of both flexion and extension which can aggravate your injury. Therefore, knowing if you respond best to flexion or extension preferences is crucial prior to entering a yoga class that has extremes of both.
One of the safest postures in yoga for lower back pain relief is the Warrior Pose. It is a simple high lunge exercise that actually alleviates stress to your lower back by opening up your hips while maintaining a neutral spine position. Always warm-up prior to doing a yoga class by walking, jogging, or skipping, etc. for 5 to 10 minutes to prevent pulling any muscles. Listen to your body while doing the class and do not go beyond your physical limits as this can irritate tissues and cause injury. Flex bands are a great tool to use to help stretch before and after classes. Remember to start slow and allow your body to get used to the new postures.