The belly

Yesterday in my Deep Yoga teacher training program a big focus was the belly.

There are many of us in the program who have back issues, myself included.

I have Kyphosis. The Mayo Clinic describes Kyphosis like this, Kyphosis usually refers to an exaggerated rounding — sometimes called round back or hunchback. While Kyphosis can occur at any age, it’s most common in older women where the deformity is known as a dowager’s hump.

My posture is not good and I believe I have a weak core. These along with the Kyphosis contribute to my lower back pain.

Mary, who taught us yesterday, met with anyone who wanted to talk about their back issues informally an hour before class started. It was a good conversation and gave her ideas of what to focus on for the formal class.

We learned to have a strong belly while keeping it soft. We learned how to work from our bellies instead of our backs, which is really going to help eliminate back pain.

She helped me and many others to work on standing correctly to give lift to our spine with a healthy sacrum while having an even pelvis and tailbone.

I have … Continue reading

Yoga practice for low back pain

In the last all-day Saturday yoga teacher training there was a huge focus on standing poses. The second half we worked on chanting, which meant a lot of sitting.

The next day my low back hurt.

Standing and sitting are both hard on my lower back.

Normally on Sundays I attend a rather active Vinyasa yoga class.  I decided for that day that practice was not appropriate for my body.

I did a little research on yoga for back pain. Baxter, who is one of my yoga teachers and the director and a teacher of my yoga teacher training, specializes in back care. He writes for the Yoga Journal blog. You can find one of his back care posts right here.

Baxter also has a blog where he writes with others called Yoga for Healthy Aging. I decided to search that blog and came upon a sequence Baxter put together for low back care.

I decided to go with a gentle approach for my back care home practice:

Learning about my sway back, core

On a day when I can sleep in, which is usually 6:30 a.m. Yes, 6:30 in the morning is sleeping in for me. How sad …

Anyway, Fridays I normally work from home. So I usually just roll out of bed and turn on the computer and work.

Today I got up about 5:45 and headed to the gym for a 6:30 a.m. hard core class.

Will pushes us pretty hard. But he never gives you a hard time if you take a break or just can’t do something. He will come over and correct you or give you an alternative.

The last 10 minutes or so of class we do ab work. In a lot of the ab exercises my back can only handle so much and I just can’t continue with the discomfort in my back.

So I asked him about it after class. I mentioned my weakish core (no matter how much yoga and abs I do I still don’t have a super strong core), my back issues, like my kyphosis, which is a curvature of the upper spine, and my sway back, which Will told me today is called lordosis and he also … Continue reading

I’m not interested in hurting myself

Today during my Vinyasa yoga class I thought about what Vickie, one of my yoga teachers, says to the class when she puts us into a challenging pose … I’m not interested in you hurting yourself or I am not interested in you hurting your insert body part here.

I have kyphosis. One time in a yoga class the teacher told everyone that old people have kyphosis, which can be true. But I have it, too. I have a slight curvature of the upper spine, which can give me lower back pain. I have weak back muscles and a weak core. A strong core makes for strong back muscles. I continue to strive and work on both.

In class tonight we focused a lot of work on our lower backs. Eventually I really started to feel it in my back. So I took a step back and focused  on not hurting myself and taking care of me.

I gave my back and body and mind extra time in Child’s pose tonight. And Lily, the yoga teacher tonight, came over and helped me get deeper into the pose. She has an amazing touch and is training to be a massage … Continue reading

Stretching out the back

One of my team co-workers recently started exercising. She is taking it slowly with walking on the treadmill. I am proud of her for making the commitment and making it to the gym.

Her back was really bothering her yesterday. She wanted to at least do some stretching. I told her that about a month ago my back was also bothering me. So I just went online and found some yoga stretches and then, of course, wrote about it. I printed out the stretch diagram pictured to the left for her.

I went down to the gym before her and did about 45 minutes of cardio. She came down right when I was finishing up. Perfect timing. So we did the series together. I also had her do a standing forward bend against the wall. She couldn’t reach her hands to the ground. We don’t have any yoga blocks at the gym so I propped up two dumbbells for her to place her hands on as if we had blocks available. That gave her a better and safer stretch.

She said child’s pose felt really good for her back. I told her that one is great … Continue reading

Taking care of my back with support

I have back pain. I have for years. When I was in my early 20s I went to the doctor because of my bad posture and almost constant aching pain in my lower back.

My doctor sent me to an orthopedic surgeon who told me that I have a mild form of kyphosis. The simple way to explain: I have slight scoliosis.

I went to physical therapy and most of my back pain has disappeared. I still have it at times. But nowhere near as painful as it was more than 10 years ago.

The past week or two my middle to upper back has been sore. But not really back pain. More like sore muscles. Maybe because I am trying to do more weights and abs? Not really sure.

Yesterday in yoga we did bridge pose. We also had the option to do wheel, which I can do, but I decided to stick with bridge two of the three times we inverted. The third time I went with a supported bridge pose, which is pictured above and provided by Do … Continue reading