Have you ever said, “I have a bad back”? Has back pain ever interfered with your life? Welcome to the vast majority of the adult population.
Now here’s the big question: Is back discomfort such a common occurrence that you’ve simply resigned yourself to living with it? In a British study dating from 1984, 2,700 people between the ages of 30 and 60 practiced yoga for two hours a week for a minimum of one year. Various conditions were studied, ranging from anxiety to migraines. Of the 2,700 participants, 1,142 reported back disorders of some kind. Of those, 98% experienced an improvement in their condition. (Source: Yoga as Medicine, by Timothy McCall, M.D.)
If your doctor were to recommend a drug that had a 98% success rate in helping your back pain, I’m guessing you’d be willing to try it. Perhaps you haven’t tried yoga for your back pain because you have a perception that yoga is only for young, strong, athletic people with lots of flexibility (it’s not). Or maybe you’re hesitant because you think it might interfere with your religious beliefs. (Although yoga does have a spiritual aspect, it’s practiced by people of all faiths.)
The right kind of yoga can be a profound addition to whatever you’re already doing to care for your back.
Look for a “Yoga for Backs” class, or sign up for some private classes with a yoga therapist. You’ll learn specific positions or movements to help return your back to normal functioning, you’ll discover how to breathe properly and you’ll be fully supported in learning to relax – a powerful step toward healing. (If you have a severe back condition, please check with your physician to ensure yoga therapy is appropriate for you.)
Don’t settle for living in pain. The right kind of yoga can help.
*Catherine Reid is a Registered Yoga Teacher. Looking for a yoga class in the Comox Valley? Tell me when, where and what kind at www.catherinereid.ca/future-class-sign-up, or call 250-898-8414.