Can you squat down to the floor and come up again with a straight back? Coming up from a squat while keeping the back straight is the best way to stand up if you want to keep your back healthy and legs strong. It is a safe way of coming up from the floor if you have back pain. This movement strengthens the legs and keeps the back in a neutral position, thus allowing you to pick things of the floor or lift without straining your back. In my yoga therapy work I have found that many people, with or without back pain, find it challenging to come up in this way. This blog demonstrates how to master coming up from the squatting position in 5 easy steps.
In my blogs about yoga for back pain the emphasis is often on relaxation: releasing tightness and relaxing the body and the mind. However, even with back pain we need a bit more ‘oomph’ sometimes. Stimulating yoga poses include standing poses, back bends and dynamic flow sequences, but many of these could make your back pain worse. Try this feel-good yoga sequence if you want to feel energised in a way that is still gentle and caring enough if your back needs plenty of TLC.
If you have trouble falling asleep or if you wake up during the night with your mind in overdrive, I have just the right thing for you: an easy yoga bedtime routine! The idea is not only to release physical tensions, but also to calm the mind, so that falling asleep and staying asleep become easier. Beneficial for most kinds of back pain as well, the short session is designed with yoga poses and breathing techniques that can settle the nervous system.
When I was very young, someone told me that we can never “own” a person: no person is ever ours to have and to keep. At that tender age I was impressed, but understood it to be true: people move on, people change, age, die, … Yoga philosophy teaches us that we find inner freedom when we let go of attachments. Of course, understanding this does not make it any easier when the time comes to part with a beloved person. Loving without possessiveness, and thus freely letting go, is hard, very hard. My son is ‘leaving the nest’ and even though I considered myself prepared, and I have had to feel grief before, it hurts. Yoga practices have given me an array of tools to help me deal with grief. They can, as it were, hold me by the hand and bring me back to a sense of inner peace. Because I know we all have to deal with loss and grief sooner or later, I decided to share some of these practices with you today.