Bene Yoga

Feel-good yoga to keep you going

I don’t know about your situation, but here in London we are in the third lockdown with a frightening number of Covid-19 infections every day. We are in the grip of weariness, dread, overwhelm, sometimes loneliness. Whatever your situation, yoga can keep you moving and breathing to get through this. The focus on movement and breath helps us connect with what is here right now and what is enjoyable. In the sequence below, the feel-good yoga to keep you going is also designed to soothe mild lower back pain.

Time for an uplifting yoga sequence

How about starting the day or taking a midmorning break with an uplifting yoga sequence? Moving in this purposeful way improves the blood circulation, deepens our breathing and moves our all-too-sedentary bones. Not only is the yoga sequence uplifting, it may also help prevent back pain from too much sitting, and it is gentle enough if you already have mild lower back pain. 

Five weeks to a better back: yoga therapy via Zoom for small groups

Have you ever wanted some simple techniques to ease your back pain, and to develop the strength and flexibility required to prevent relapses or flare-ups?

This new online course allows you to do just that in the comfort of your own home. ‘Five Weeks to a Better Back’ are five group yoga therapy sessions that will give you the tools to release tight muscles, strengthen your core, improve your posture and optimise your breathing. They will help you manage your back pain at home and teach you what to do to prevent more pain from developing in the future.

New course starting on Wednesday 18 November, 7-8:15pm, with the next four sessions on Wednesday 25th November, 2nd, 9th and 16th December.

How to stretch your back during a long walk

One of the joys during the easing of lockdown restrictions this summer has been to walk or hike in nature. Still now, with the threat of a second lockdown in the air, walking in the outdoors is our precious chance to feel more free and connected with nature. When you have back pain, however, long walks or hiking may not always be pleasant. The whole body feels more tired as the back muscles tighten and ache. In this blog I am describing a few simple releasing exercises that can be helpful to stretch your back during a long walk.

How Covid and Zoom transformed yoga for students and teachers

It has been an emotional 5 months, filled with uncertainty, fears, limitations, new possibilities and change. Covid and Zoom transformed yoga for students and teachers alike. Whereas it was deemed superior to teach yoga or yoga therapy in person, suddenly necessity made online yoga not only acceptable but also desirable. Obviously, I am grateful to have found continuity, connection with other people and fun by teaching yoga online, but I still marvel at how my work so suddenly changed to being fully online.

Yoga stretches to counter too much sitting

Human beings were not made for sitting all day long. Sitting, especially with a bad posture, tightens and shortens the muscles along the front of the trunk and back of the legs: the hip flexors, hamstrings, chest muscles and abdominal muscles all remain in a contracted state for many hours. Meanwhile, the back is held in a rounded position and thus weakens, the gluts are underused and tighten. If you have found that your lower back feels tight and painful after too much sitting, the exercises below could help.  These yoga stretches to counter too much sitting are meant to open the front of the trunk, stretch the thighs and hip flexors.  They may also strengthen the upper back and release tension in the lower back.

Yoga for better sleep

Here we are in a time when life could be simpler and calmer for many. With fewer places to go to, less trains to catch, and no social events in the diary during the lockdown period, surely this is the time to feel less stressed and sleep better? On the contrary, sleep problems still seem very prevalent. Many of us have to be glued to screens for many hours of the day, working and ‘schooling’ from home, anxiety is in the air and the new reality is problematic for many. So many of my students have complained about sleepless nights that I decided to consult the recent publication of “Yoga Therapy for Insomnia and Sleep Recovery” by Lisa Sanfilippo. This blog about yoga for better sleep discusses and demonstrates one of the simple yoga sleep sequences that Lisa promotes.

Time to stretch and strengthen your back: how to ease or prevent back pain when working from home

Working from home in these times of COVID-19 can make it extra challenging to stay fit and keep our body strong, supple and pain free. Most of us have to find work and entertainment at home, so we sit at our desk for most of the day, and on the sofa for most of the evening. Prolonged sitting weakens our back muscles, and poor posture may put stress on muscles and joints. The increase in mental stress levels doesn’t help our back health either. This blog aims to give you some yoga movements that can help you ease or prevent back pain when working from home. This is the time to stretch and strengthen your back, in an aligned, easy and enjoyable way.

Sacroiliac joint pain: how to find relief

Despite not being very well known, sacroiliac joint pain is quite a common form of lower back pain. It is caused by the misalignment and long-term stress on the sacroiliac joints, and usually presents as dull pain or a heavy feeling in one or both sides of the lowest, bony part of the back. On the other hand, the pain can also be intense and acute, with possible referred pain to the groin, hip or even the back thigh. In this blog I demonstrate a few yoga movements that can ease sacroiliac joint pain and tightness. Next month’s blog will focus on how we can make sacroiliac joint pain worse with certain daily movements and habits.

How to manage pain in the middle back

When people complain about back pain, they usually mean their lower back hurts, or sometimes they suffer from pain in the shoulders and neck. Most of my back pain students will have either or both. Pain in the middle back is less common. When my middle back started to feel achy during a recent ski trip, I decided to investigate and see what could soothe this ache. Was I doing particular movements while skiing that caused the pain? Or was my posture different in an effort to stay upright on the very slippery slopes? Finally, how could I manage this pain in the middle back? In this blog I describe the movements that eased my middle back discomfort.