The first of September: where I live, the days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. Summer travel and vacations are over and children are getting ready for a new school year. As we prepare for the last quarter of the year and gear up to its activities, it is useful to reflect and make new resolutions. September is a little like January: the new school year gives us an opportunity to make a fresh start. In this blog I would like to help you choose some simple daily practices that can help you manage your back health and your peace of mind. When we are busy it is all too easy to forget about our health, but why not resolve to devote at least 10 minutes a day to ourself?
The four categories below represent important pillars of back 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?
De-stress the mind
It may not always seem directly related, but stress very often has a negative impact on back pain. Take at least 10 minutes a day to sit in a comfortable position and simply practise breath attention or to do a mindful walk. The idea is to stop our non-stop thinking and doing and bring our attention to a single and calming focus such as walking or breathing. More tips can be found in this blog about de-stressing.
Relax the body
If you have nagging back pain or have recently suffered acute back pain as the result of a herniated disc, the restorative rest position with your legs bent or on a chair can work wonders. Try staying in it, paying attention to your breath, for about 10 minutes a day. Check out this blog for more information.
Tight back muscles have to be released regularly and safely. Please check out this previous blog and 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 strong. See here for abdominal strengthening and check out this link for exercises that promote back strength.
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 am also going to make a video with abdominal strengthening exercises especially suitable for people with back pain. It will be on my website in a few months!
How else can yoga therapy help you? Are there topics you would like me to address in a blog? Please let me know…