Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. I love the food, the warm colours, the earthy smells. Where I live, the days are getting shorter, the nights cooler and we savour the last warm days. As we prepare the last quarter of the year and gear up for the festive season, this time of year can be very hectic and self-care too often forgotten. Nevertheless, September is a little like January: the new school year gives us an opportunity to make fresh resolutions. It may be tempting to just dive into the autumn activities, but how can we better support our wellbeing and avoid burnout towards the end of the year? This blog about back care and wellbeing helps you choose simple daily practices to manage your back health and your emotional wellbeing. Devoting at least 10 minutes a day to self-care can be the support we need to keep living a full life. The aim is to maintain our mobility, flexibility, strength and peace of mind.
The four categories below represent important pillars of back care and health management. You can focus on one or more, depending on your needs and how much time you have. Which of these 4 pillars of back health can you include in your daily routine?
Four pillars of back care and wellbeing
De-stress the mind
Stress has a major, negative impact on back pain and health in general. However, we can prevent overwhelm and burnout by stepping away from whirling thoughts at least once a day. The idea is to step away from incessant thinking and constant ‘doing’ and bring our attention to a single and calming focus. For example, you can take 10 minutes a day to simply breathe, For this, sit in a comfortable position and simply follow your breath. When thoughts come and you realise you’re thinking, choose to let them go. These thoughts will come back when they’re needed.
Alternatively, you could focus your mind away from your thoughts while walking. Find out all about mindful walking in this blog: https://beneyoga.co.uk/three-yoga-shortcuts-to-find-inner-peace/.
Finally, other tips can be found in this blog about de-stressing.
Relax the body
In acute times of stress or pain, a restorative pose may be all we need. Stay in a pose of your choice for 10 to 15 minutes, simply paying attention to your breath. Check out this blog for a variety of positions. Also, if you back is giving you trouble, do contact me here for a free consultation call: https://beneyoga.co.uk/book-a-free-consultation-call/. My back care package of five sessions gives you a tailored programme of movements, breathing and relaxation practices. Back pain is very individual and when it is acute or chronic, it is most safely managed in private sessions.
For back care and wellbeing, we need to regularly release tight muscles. Tight back muscles have to be stretched regularly and safely. Please check out this previous blog about releasing tight lower back muscles. Ideally, try to devote at least 10 minutes to releasing tight muscles together with breath awareness. Before bedtime could be a good time to do this.
Once tight muscles have been released, they have to be strengthened to keep your back and core muscles strong. Check out this link for practices that promote back strength. I’ve written many blogs about core strength, and created one video series to help with abdominal strengthening if you have more severe back pain. You can try one session for free: https://beneyoga.co.uk/videos/.
My resolution this autumn is to keep writing a blog every two weeks, and to keep doing my daily yoga practice so I can help myself and other people through yoga. I feel at my age that a daily practice is essential to keep moving with ease.
How else can yoga therapy help you? Are there topics you would like me to address in a blog? Please let me know…