Yoga is an excellent way to keep the body limber and in shape. Yoga breathing exercises (pranayama) gently work the muscles of the upper back. The yoga breathing exercises and postures also have the potential to reduce much of the tension and stress that can contribute to back pain. A primary focus of yoga is therapeutic relaxation through gentle exercise and meditation. Yoga teachers believe that by focusing the mind inward, one is able to profoundly relax and revitalize the body and achieve a greater sense of harmony and well-being. It can also help you be aware of your bodies and emotions. It can help you lessen back pain by making you aware of what brings it on.
Yoga is an excellent therapy to relax. When your attention is directed inward, your body receives messages that you are safe and secure and that it is appropriate to relax. So muscles relax, blood pressure drops, nerves are calmed, anxiety is decreased, immunity is heightened, and healing is enhanced. All of these things can greatly improve one's ability to deal with both the symptoms and causes of back pain. Yoga is also excellent to prevent back pain.
A qualified yoga professional can tailor a specific yoga program to your needs. Lying flat on your back (the Corpse posture) is helpful for releasing tension and relieving pain, rotating the back (the Spinal Twist) eases tension in the upper back and shoulders, and back rolls (the Cat Stretch or Cobra) can increase the flexibility of the spine.
The other yoga postures
that may be helpful:
All these postures may be used both as a preventive measure and to help remedy back pain.
In a 1985 survey published in a US magazine, 96% of respondents who practiced yoga reported relief from persistent back pain, compared to 23% who were seeing neurosurgeons.
See Also: Yoga Infocenter in Holisticonline.com
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