Yoga for Neck and Back

Disappeared I learned to open my heart and I felt happy for the first time in years. So I said goodbye to the business world and started teaching yoga doesn’t have to be strenuous the easiest movements can trigger major release of chronic Yoga Yoga for real people with real problems hello I’m Deborah Devine and welcome to healing yoga Yoga for real people with real problems as you just saw I had lots of health problems weight gain and tight hips took a toll on my posture causing major pains in my back and neck another factor that can cause this issue for Zoomers is age-related gravity our heads move forward taking us out of alignment based on my experiences in many years of teaching I planned a yoga series that will relieve back and neck pain and bring us into alignment you don’t have to be in good physical fitness for this to work first we’ll loosen up our hips with a simple warm-up then we’ll release the spine. And the upper back before going back to the hips and lower back after that we’ll take pressure off the hamstrings the poses are really easy so easy that you might think that nothing is happening. But whether you do the whole series with me or just one or two poses you’ll feel much better on the back line of the body. So let’s begin joining me today Lynette and Daniel who are both looking for some improvements with their back we’ll begin with a constructive rest position with the knees bent we’ll come down on to our backs. And the feet are about hip-width apart maybe a little bit wider the heels are out the toes are in the arms are coming out to a comfortable place next time an out breath comes along we’re gonna take the knees over to the right.

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And the head is moving over to the left. And then we’re gonna come back up to Center the next in-breath. And then we’ll heel toe the feet in towards the midline of the mat we’ll take the right foot up and over resting on the left knee. And then we’ll circle the foot we’ll bring the hands up we’re gonna circle the hands as well bring the shoulder blades down the back open up through the collar bones. And just feel this wonderful sense of releasing tension in the wrists. And the ankles. And the arms come down we take the heel make it nice and strong spread the toes nice and wide engaging dorsiflexion here the right sit bone comes down towards the ground and points toward the grounded foot so now we’re getting deeper into the hip rotators. And the hip rotators get very tight. Because we sit a lot in our world and these are the muscles that can definitely affect pain in the low back. So we’re just gonna continue this rocking sensation moving the head in one direction. And the knees in the opposite direction and feel this fantastic wringing out of the muscles the glutes the piriformis is underneath the glutes keep bringing the sit bones down towards the ground allowing the knee to move away from the face in an organic very easy way let’s come back to Center unravel the legs.

And we’ll take the opposite foot up and over circling the foot we’ll bring the hands up we’ll make fists out of the hands. And then we’ll circle the hands a few times. And then we’ll let the arms come down will engage dorsiflexion with the left foot so heel is strong toe spread wide apart left sit bone is drawing down and pointing towards the ground and foot. And then we rock this gentle movement of the knees in one direction. And the head in the opposite direction is very helpful to relieve pain and suffering out of the back. And the neck we’re releasing muscles on the front of the spine the psoas muscles these muscles are always charged when we’re experiencing pain we also have them contracted most of the day. Because we’re sitting either in our chairs at the office or in our cars and we’re releasing a lot of tension out of the back of the hips out of the hip rotators with these movements. And also out of the back of the skull which can relieve pain out of the back of the neck as well please continue to enjoy these wonderful movements. And we’ll be back in a moment to work with back and back issues Healing Yoga Yoga for real people with real problems hello my name is Lynette and I discovered I had scoliosis in my 50s I must have had it all my life. But I was only diagnosed in my 50s typically depending on how I sleep.

But I get up in the morning I’m actually leaning over on one side it takes quite a maybe about 10 minutes before I can actually straighten up sometimes when I go for massages depending on how they massage how the massage goes I can’t get off the bed you know I’m just in agony so what I try to do most mornings as I tried to stretch I stretch on a ball or I just do some stretching lying in bed. So that I could loosen up my back and that seems to help a little bit welcome back we’ve been working with the spine. And the neck and Lynette has been dealing with a little bit of scoliosis a curvature of the spine maybe one side of the spine is a little bit more toned and there’s a little bit of weakness on the other side of the spine and Yoga is a wonderful way to balance things out and create a little bit more strength on the side that needs it a little bit more release of tension on the side that’s overused. So we’re gonna begin with apan Asana this is a pose whereby we are going to come down onto our back. So you can take your hands and support yourself as you come down keep your knees bent next time an in-breath comes along we’ll take the arms up and over then we’ll exhale bring the right knee in towards the belly hold on to the outside of the right knee for a moment. And then inhale release let go of the knee. And then we’ll exhale. And the opposite knee will come in the left knee will come in. And we’ll hold for a moment. And then inhale. So we’re getting a lot of action happening on the front of the spine there are some muscles that lie on the front of the spine they connect where the ribs. And the back meat they go down the front off the low back they go into the pelvic Bowl they pop out of the front of the hips and they attach on the inner thighs. And then the connective tissue carries on all the way down to the knee. So these are the muscles that we are using contracting when we sit. And we sit a lot and these are the muscles that will really have a big effect on our back health all right now we’ll just bend the knees one at a time.

And then we’ll roll over to the left. And then we’ll take the top arm hand press it down into the ground come up on the opposite elbow and forearm and use your upper body strength to come up and let’s come into standing Tad Asana Mountain Pose we are gonna take the feet about hip width apart maybe a little bit wider, if that feels good the heels are out. And the toes are pointing in a little bit. So we have the beginning of this idea of an inner spiral happening with the legs now sometimes you might be pressing your knees back locking your knees back maybe just give the knees a little bit of a micro bend a little bit of softness in the knees then we go to the upper part of the legs. And we feel this rotation going on internal rotation. So this internal rotation is going to give the low back a little bit more room the SI joints are gonna enjoy that. So once we establish this inner spiral we’re gonna take the heads of the femurs the top of the leg bones will press them back then we’ll move the femurs out we’ll engage the muscles of the legs move the femurs out creating more space in the hips then we drop the sit bone we drop the tailbone we let the pubis symphysis the pubic bone. And the hip points come up. And then the spine is just going to rise up out of the pelvis bring yourself onto the toes. And then bring yourself back on the heels feeling much stronger you feel when you’re coming back on to the heels all of a sudden you’ve got all kinds of action happening with the quadriceps ease front leg muscles. And then just feel the spine rising we’re gonna let the in-breath come up the front line of the body lifting everything in its path feel the heart opening the sternum rising the out-breath is going to crest like a wave at the crown of the head go back down the back taking the shoulder blades down the back taking the sit bones down tailbone down grounding through the heels. And now we’re gonna add another element we’re gonna take the belt you can use a bathrobe tie you could use an old tie that your husband has lying around and we’re just going to do a couple of up and overs so coming into Tad Asana again feeling yourself really strong taking the belt in front of you.

And then inhaling lifting up exhaling coming back down these up and overs are fantastic for getting some space in the discs we’ve got the Mountain Pose going on so we’ve got all of this strength that we’ve got in the lower body. And the pelvis is in a perfect position to allow the spine to grow out of it we’re going to find the sweet spot there’s a place on your journey up and over where you’ll be mmm I’d like to spend some time here. And then once you find that spot for me it’s right here right now we’re gonna ground down through the heels engage the muscles of the legs engage the pelvic girdle squeeze all of the muscles of the lower body into the bones. And then break the belt squeeze the shoulder blades together open up the armpits let the heart rise up let the neck get nice and long take the head back a little bit. And then release please continue to enjoy these ups and overs. And when you get tired just rest recover. And then come back again. And we’ll see you in a few moments healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems well I haven’t done yoga now for maybe the last eight months. But when I had been taking yoga classes I was taking gentle yoga classes and that also helped you know I’d go to the yoga class and I’d be all twisted over to one side. And when I left leave the class I’m much feeling much better the pain is gone I’m able to straighten up and walk home from yoga.

So It has helped quite a bit welcome back we spent the first part of the practice releasing the upper back and so as now we’re gonna go a little bit deeper into the psoas and we’re also gonna release the hip rotators as well as the hamstrings the low back is going to love this next sequence we’re gonna begin with a lunge variation. So we come down onto our knees. And we take the left foot forward. And we come into this very simple lunch now you can have something supporting you in front Daniels got a chair handy Lynette has a bolster handy we’re just gonna find out how much room we’ve got with this front part of the right hip. And we don’t want to push into pain we want to stay in this place of comfort slash discomfort and as soon as we move into the pain zone we just back off a little bit. So we’ll just scooch our toes a little bit further forward. And then we feel like resting our hands on our knees or on a chair Daniel. And then you feel a little bit more ambitious maybe you’ve got a little bit more openness in the hips. And you come forward on to the bolster. So you just put your hands on the bolster here we’re gonna take three long slow smooth and complete in-and-out breaths we’re gonna go to the back leg squeezing muscles into bone go to the glute squeeze the glute go to the front heel and press down and feel the femur descending in the hip socket let the out breast be complete feel that beautiful pause at the end of the complete out-breath. And then feel the in-breath expanding your ribs maybe moving down into the lower part of the lungs at the back at the end of the third breath cycle we put our hand on our knees we engage the lower body squeezing muscle to bone we come up pressing into the heel of the front foot we switch sides. And then again we’re finding where we can be this opening part of the front of the hip we’ve got to find out where we can really work the pose it might be in a different place than the opposite side. So we’re pressing into the heel of the front foot engaging the back leg muscles hugging them into bone going to the glutes squeezing the gluts.

And then lifting the ribs off of the pelvis coming forward how far forward would you like to come the shins got to be nice and vertical to support the weight of the body coming forward a couple of breaths here three long slow smooth and complete in-and-out breaths this action of squeezing the glutes is really important. Because many of us have glutes that are not really engaged. Because we sit in chairs so squeezing the glutes is a wonderful way to engage the lower part of the back and release all of the tension. And the pressure that’s been carried there. Because we’re not engaging the glutes opening the heart taking the shoulder blades down the back it’s going to release some space of real estate in the lungs in the upper part right around the collar bones the end of the third breast cycle will come back again well switch sides and we’re gonna get into the hip rotators now. So It’s lovely to do these repetitions. Because every time you do it it becomes easier and easier now you might find that you’ve got a little bit more room in your hips. And you can come forward a little bit more and, if not that’s okay too things will come over time so of course continue on to the other side in your own practice. But now we’re going to be moving into genre sheersh- Asana a wonderful hamstring stretch.

So we can sit on the bolster or we can sit on a chair, if that’s a little bit easier for you. And we take the belt again. And we loop the belt around the ball of the big toe. And the ball of the little toe on the left side. And then we’re sitting on the edge of the seat. So that the sit bones can be grounded. And then we’re going to lift the front spine we’re gonna lift the whole front part of the spine sitting on the front part of the sit bones is really important. Because that is going to help your back come into alignment and be friends with gravity. And then we release that side. And we switch over to the opposite leg and we’re gonna have a little bit of support for the knee, if the knee doesn’t come down to the ground then we bring the ground up to the knee we’re sitting on the front of the sit bones we inhale opening the heart opening the collarbones exhale let the heart come forward we’re moving from the hip creases we’re not really moving into a collapsed sort of way we’re letting the whole front line of the body be nice and open lots of room for the lungs to bring oxygen into the system Jana Shoshana is yoga secret weapon when we’re dealing with back issues when we stretch the hamstrings we give the entire back line a wonderful release of tension and by using the breath in our awareness we’re bathing all of the muscles of the back line in prana and life force and releasing the hamstrings releases the low back. So you should feel wonderful after this pose please continue to enjoy Jana sheersh- Asana for the next few moments. And we’ll be back to continue working with her back issues healing yoga Yoga for real people with real problems take every opportunity to stretch the back with variations of downward facing dog for prevention and management of back challenges use the wall your desk the kitchen countertop or any surface that will allow you to comfortably extend and release your spine welcome back we’ve been working on the spine and in this practice we did a lot of work releasing the pelvis from the spine we’ve released the muscles on the front of the spine we’ve released the upper back as well the shoulder girdle out of the spine. And now we’re going to be moving into a wonderful forward bend that’s going to give the low back lots of room. So let’s take the feet a little bit wider apart the heels are out the toes are in bring the hands onto the knees we’re taking the sit bones. And the tailbone back and we’re bending at the creases of the knees we’re gonna contain the belly organs we’re just gonna have a sense of containment we’re not really squeezing anything here and we’re just going to see, if we can experience a little bit of length in the hamstrings.

And then we take the right elbow to the right knee the left elbow to the left knee and, if that doesn’t feel comfortable just come back to the hands on the knees lengthen your legs one at a time taking the sit bones. And the tailbone sup and then, if you’re feeling a little bit more open in the hamstrings bring your hands down but, if this is uncomfortable just come back to what feels best letting the legs lengthen and opening up the back of the knees one at a time is a wonderful way to get a little bit more open in the backs of the legs the calves are starting to open up. And then we take the hands on the hips. And we get really strong in the legs we keep the spine in a nice natural curve alignment. And then we inhale. And come up strongly now we’re going to be moving into shav Asana we’re gonna be cooling down let’s come down onto the back and for Linette we’re gonna be using the bolster or you could use a blanket a rolled up blanket rolled up towels and using the arms to support you letting yourself down easy keeping the knees bent. And then once you come down maybe one leg comes along the other leg comes along the upper arms are rotating externally shake the legs out maybe you want to take your legs a little bit further apart. And then just surrender completely the spine is completely set ported and there’s a wonderful support for the low back in this pose it’s a variation of soup de baddha kon Asana this elevated shav Asana. And then over here we’re working with Daniel and Daniel is going to be using the bolster a little bit differently bring the bolster underneath the knees and we’re gonna get an inner spiral of the upper leg bones. So the feet. And the knees are kind of pointing inwardly and that’s creating a little bit of space in the SI joints again letting the head be supported with something soft a nice blanket would feel wonderful. And then you can just lift Daniel here we go how’s that all right upper arm bones rotating externally.

And then we’ve rotated the upper leg balloons internally now just let them go the low back is resting on the floor the bolster under the knees is supporting the low back by taking a lot of pressure off the hamstrings get very tight and they pull the sit bones down and having the knees bent very slightly in shav Asana is a really wonderful rest for the low back let your eyes close let go of your jaws let go of your eyebrows and breathe ah please continue to enjoy shav Asana for the next ten or fifteen or twenty minutes, if you can. And we will see you again next time on thank you for joining us you.

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