For those individuals who like to pursue non-traditional means to treat lower back pain, yoga can offer a safe and inviting arena in which to do so. However, before you attend your first yoga class, or any physical fitness class, be sure to check with your doctor initially.
Since back pain is frequently the result of a biomechanical imbalance in your spinal structures, your doctor can tell you what, if any, movements to avoid; the level of challenge that will be most productive for you; any safety modifications, and the effects of exercise with any medications you might be taking.
After your doctor gives you the “thumbs up” to engage in yoga, be sure to tell your yoga instructor about it. Any good yoga instructor should be able to listen to what your medical limitations are and assist you through the use of props and any pose modifications. This will ensure that your yoga session is not only safe, but beneficial for you, as well. The main thing to remember is that, unless you are certified in professional rehabilitation specialist, do not attempt to teach yourself. That could be a recipe for disaster and further injury!
Yoga creates a balance between the strength and the flexibility of your muscles. Many people have tightness in areas affecting the spine, such as in the hips and in the shoulders. Yoga releases the tension in those muscles, which should reduce the back pain. Yoga primarily emphasizes stretching and flexibility, but is also aids in muscle strength.
There are many styles of yoga practices out there. The one most preferable for those with back pain might find the Hatha Yoga style as a good place to start. Hatha focuses on physical postures. The rest and restoration classes offered through Hatha yoga are a great place to start if you have back pain. Just remember that gentler is better. Styles such as Kundalini, Ashtanga, and Bikram yoga are for more challenging and may not be in your best interest when dealing with back issues.
Yoga is designed to create body awareness and places emphasis on alignment. In other words, each body part somehow affects the others, from your feet all the way to your head.