If you feel unstable or uncomfortable in standing yoga poses and balances, it is possible that your abdominal muscles are not engaging properly. Weak abdominals will fail to hold the trunk steady in static or dynamic yoga poses. As a result, you may feel wobbly and tire quickly. Even if you have done many abdominal workouts, your strong abs may have become too rigid to freely release and contract during movements. This blog shows how using core muscles correctly can improve your stability in yoga poses.(more…)
As a yoga therapist, part of my job is explaining what yoga therapy is. Most people haven’t heard about yoga therapy, or about yoga therapy for back pain. While yoga group classes often attract people who are already quite flexible, strong and healthy, yoga therapy sessions give you your personalised yoga practice. Yoga can be beneficial for everyone, even when in pain, unable to walk, kneel or bend in certain ways. But more than just making yoga accessible, yoga therapy actively seeks to support an individual’s journey to greater health and wellbeing. A yoga therapist is a yoga teacher who had additional training to make yoga beneficial and safe for anyone willing to give it a try. If you’ve ever wondered if an individualised yoga practice could help you, this blog discusses 5 reasons to choose yoga therapy.
We may not all be a mother, but we all have a mother. Whether you’ve known her or not, whether she’s still alive or not, this day can celebrate the fact she gave life to you. What happened after that has much to do with circumstances and doing what one thinks is best. I have been very lucky with my mother, who was always there for me, despite having a disabled son, a full-time job and a husband who often worked abroad for the family. Truth be told, she may not always have understood why I chose the yoga teaching path. But now she does her yoga practices every day, and swears they take away the pain in her joints. It is her joint freeing practice that I would like to share with you today. Here’s to mothers, healthy joints and yoga for all ages!(more…)
If you would like to strengthen your upper arms but, like me, are not into weight lifting and find push-ups too hard, this blog is for you. You may wonder what arm strengthening has to do with yoga, and with yoga for back pain. Quite a lot actually: weak arms prevent us from doing yoga poses such as dog pose and plank pose efficiently. When done with good alignment, these poses benefit the back and abdominal muscles, strengthening muscles as well as bones. Moreover, strong arms assist us in carrying things, so the back and shoulders don’t have to do overwork. Our muscle mass reduces with age so if we want our body to keep functioning well it’s important to include arm strengthening in our daily routine.(more…)
After a certain age, our muscles usually start to feel tighter. Whether this is due to age, stress or lack of mobility, it can affect our overall wellbeing and energy levels. We don’t need to accept and ignore a tight body as a sign of getting older. Yoga offers simple practices to keep muscles mobile and strong. Also keeping our back healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s often sufficient to know a few practices to do at home in the morning or evening, and to remember some postural habits throughout the day. These daily practices will allow you to avoid creakiness and pain in the long run. My tips to keep your back healthy aim to mobilise the spine, strengthen the core, correct posture and de-stress .(more…)
You may be paying attention to your posture and doing your back exercises conscientiously, but still undo all the good work with some seemingly harmless movements. It can be so discouraging, and the culprit is usually a simple movement that you’ve always done effortlessly and without thinking, such as tying shoelaces or reaching into a high cupboard. Look after your back even better and try to avoid these five movements that could hurt your back. Some of the tips are also important to prevent back pain, as they are about making daily tasks more efficient and safe for your back.(more…)
If you’ve ever had a herniated or slipped disc, you know how excruciating this kind of lower back pain can be. With shooting pain down your leg, this crippling pain can put you out of action for at least a few weeks. In the best possible scenario, a slipped disc is diagnosed early and you learn which movements exacerbate the condition and which exercises may heal the spine. On the other hand, if you don’t change your movement habits, you may suffer long-term pain and eventually further deterioration of the spine. Physiotherapists, osteopaths or chiropractors offer different treatments, with varying results. This blog discusses the intervention by yoga therapy. Yoga therapy for herniated discs can teach you which movements to avoid and which practices are suitable for each stage of the recovery. It also includes relaxation and breathing techniques, which are important to help you deal with the stress that this condition causes.(more…)
As we now have the festive period behind us, with possibly too much slouching, sitting, eating and driving, let’s look ahead and start the year with some essential back care. Even if you don’t have back pain, these gentle core strengthening practices are important to keep your back healthy. They also direct the awareness to your core area and this awareness may help us stop eating more than is good for us. The practices are gentle, because we don’t need a six pack to have a toned abdomen in a mobile, aligned and strong body.(more…)
Chances are you are very busy at this time of the year, and it may be hard to find some moments for self care. If you can, give yourself a bit of time in the morning. Often, this is the only window of opportunity before the activities of the day take over. Especially if you have back pain, what you do every day counts. A short practice to keep your back mobile will do wonders for your day and indeed for this whole festive season.
The morning practice doesn’t have to be long or complicated. The one below is just enough to move your back, stretch your limbs, deepen your breath and encourage the blood circulation. Give your whole attention to the sensations in the body and to the breath, so that your mind can relax too. You may find that this short period of concentration in the morning sets you up to feel more centred during the day. And don’t we need that inner balance during the Christmas period!.(more…)
If you have a desk-related job you know how tight your body can feel after a few hours of sitting. Also driving for a couple hours makes us feel like we are made from cardboard. Loosening up gently is important after both situations to prevent back and hip pain. Plenty of simple yoga practices can counter tightness. They will also improve blood circulation and oxygen intake, which increases energy and alertness. This blog focuses on one yoga practice that helps with releasing hip flexors. This set of muscles can get particularly tight after being held in a contracted position for hours.(more…)