23 Jul Have you ever had lower back pain? Check out this article from Spirit Journey Yoga
Namaste to You All:
The lower back is a sensitive spot for many people. While there can be a ton of causes of lower back pain, a weak core and poor posture from sitting all day (and consequently shortened or tense hip muscles and/or PSOAS muscles that then pull on the lower back) are two common contributing factors to lower back aches and discomfort. It’s always important to figure out what’s causing pain so you can address it and prevent it from happening again. In most situations, doing some gentle yoga can help relieve tightness and give your lower back some relief.
Yoga is great for working on flexibility and core stability, correcting posture, and breathing—all of which are necessary for a healthy back. Yoga is safe to do daily and it’s important to make sure you’re in tune with your body. There is a fine line that needs to be observed with two words……pain and sensations.
The fascia system is your largest sensory organ and all things you feel, from a paper cut to a hip that you bumped, resides here. The mind may say this is “painful” and you might stop or back off before getting the release that you wanted in the first place, but PAIN is how our bodies tell us something is wrong and usually the REAL pain sensations in the body can be described as FAST, SHARP and HEAT. Please, listen to yourself and never go into pain. Sensation is a whole other side to feeling the body releasing blockages and that is generally what we feel when doing yoga. With that said, you are the captain of your body and mind and giving yourself relief takes work and sometimes going into uncomfortable sensations.
If you have any history of lower back injuries, problems with your discs, or experience pain that lasts more than 72 hours without improving, I suggest seeing a doctor or physical therapist before doing any exercises. If you have an issue that requires medical attention, it’s best to address it before it becomes worse. Do listen to the words of your care provider and if he/she suggest MEDICATIONS before looking at EMOTIONS and just your overall state of being at the present moment then take all with “a grain of salt”. Listen to your intuition or “gut instinct”. There is an emotional reason for most things in our lives although sometimes we have a hard time seeing them. Therefore, Spirit Journey Yoga is about observing how and why emotions can move our daily lives and know how to navigate through them and how OTHER people sometimes steer us emotionally as well.
Fascia studies, another major topic in Spirit Journey Yoga, is very important to the human experience today. What fascia is, how it affects us and how to release it, are topics that ALL humans should know about because the fascia affects us deeply all the way to the cellular level. It is how we move, store all our attitudes, memories and traumas, it keeps us in the “shape” of a human and is like the glue that binds and holds our bodies together and another name for it is the “organ” of structure. I could go on and on but let’s look at how to release the fascia.
It’s simple in concept, there are four ways to create less tension in the fascia system within your body:
1. “Move your body like a human”
As a human these days we tend have a limited pattern of moving and sitting. We walk and then we sit and then we sit more. So, when we focus on different movements like what yoga offers us, we move out of our normal patterns. Yoga allows us to take on all the beautiful and organic movements that may look strange but on the inside the body LOVES these different movements and it is through these sensations, feelings and breathing, that the body lets go of blockages and tensions. Our bodies can move in so many ways, so move, dance, shake and do more yoga. Yoga poses are like natural medicine for the nervous system and body.
2. “Move more than your normal range of movement”
When we move in our normal range of motion we develop patterns. Sensations go away and they become, to our minds, safe and OK. To find more release, the Spirit Journey Yoga method, is suggested that you reach just a little bit beyond these patterns. Just a millimetre or more at a time while listening to that SAFE FEELINGS WITHIN of moving into all the different ways the human body can move or hold a pose and feel what arises. As you do these movements, you can reach through your fingers or heels or any body part you are focusing on just a little bit more. Move slowly and give time to feel the extra reach and length or space that is created by using this method we call “Active Extension”. Powerful stuff and at first the sensations can be on the edge of sensational. Pure medicine and be playful with yourself!
3. Getting a Massage & (SMR) Self-Myofascial Release through “Roll & Release Yoga”
Getting a massage has profound benefits for the body and having a trained professional work the tension lines that are blocked feels amazing. One step ahead of this is using the number one teacher of your body and that is YOU. Working with balls, blocks, elbows, thumbs and any other creative way to give yourself a massage is called “Roll & Release” in the Spirit Journey Yoga method. You become your own therapist and you steer the direction of release as well as how long to stay in certain areas of tension. This is an amazing technique that is undeniable benefits like detoxing the lymphatic system, focused attention to exactly where and what do you need for release as well as the benefits of getting to know your patterns of tensions and feeling safe to explore them. To learn more go to www.spiritjourneyyoga.com website and register for a free e book on this.
4. The Nervous System
Observing your Nervous System (NS) and staying in the range of a relaxed state or Parasympathetic NS has been shown to cure cancer, relieve pain and help let go of depression. This is where true letting go has the most impact because if you’re not calm and relaxed the fascia does stretch and get space from just doing the first three techniques of release, but the body will spring back into the shape or contractions of what your emotional state is and that could be tense. For lasting effects, we need to keep on getting used to what the body feels in a true relaxed state and give yourself time for yourself to lay down or sit and simply breathe. Please keep practicing and breathing in a deep, full, smooth and soft but energetic way that feels joyful and brings you to a state of ease. This ease will transmute into less tension overall.
If your lower back pain is more of a general achiness or discomfort, it’s worth trying some yoga stretches to address any tightness and alignment issues. Here is 8 of my favorite yoga asana for lower back pain relief. I recommend doing the stretches below, holding or moving each pose for anywhere from one to five minutes. Make sure you take it slow and use the four ways to release the fascia to get the most relief.
Here are the stretches I recommend:
Downward Facing Dog
Standing Forward Bend
Knees to Chest with Slow Rock along the back
Reclined Pigeon Pose
Reclined Supine Twist
Here is a link to my YouTube Channel and how to do these poses and a little class from founder of Spirit Journey Yoga Rusty Davis.
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I hope this blog and video has helped you along your journey with lower back pain. We at Spirit Journey Yoga want to help and use the yoga method in a way that ALL can get the benefits and when you focus on Spirit or Breath during this practice, you can then take this awareness into your day to day lives and those aches and pains and tensions will start to leave the body. It will take some will power and work AND we know you can do it!!