Yoga for Back Care

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Yesterday I was in a rush to finish vacuuming the livingroom before it was time to meet my six-year-old at his bus stop. As I was putting furniture back in place I awkwardly hoisted a wooden rocking chair and strained a muscle in my mid-back. It was a moment of inattention that I’m still paying for a day later, and I expect I’ll spend the weekend with this little reminder of why we need to treat our backs with care.

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Most people will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime, whether it be occasional or chronic, upper or lower, trauma- or lifestyle-induced. There’s something about walking upright (not to mention sitting all day) that creates a vulnerability in the back. Take that vulnerability and add stress, poor posture, and bad habits, and you have a recipe for back pain. The good news is that many back-related aches and pains can be managed with a regular maintenance routine of stretching and strengthening.

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For example, taking good care of your spine means moving it in all directions every day. Forward and backward bending, side to side stretches, and twists are all important for spinal health. But flexibility alone isn’t enough; a happy back also requires a strong and stable core. The muscles of the back, abdomen, hips, butt, and upper legs all work together to keep your back feeling good.

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I’m currently teaching about this (and more!) in a workshop called Yoga for Back Care. This special workshop series is comprised of four 90-minute classes held once a week for four weeks. Over the course of the workshop I teach yoga poses specifically designed to relieve back pain and promote back health. The current session is sold out, but there is still room left in the May session. It will run on May 10, 17, 24, and 31 from 4:30-6pm at Rama Lotus Yoga Centre, in Ottawa.

Photos by Réné Lamarche

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  1. Joni Ogawa

    Hi Erin,
    After taking your back workshop, I’ve gained a new-found respect for cat-cow. I used to see it as just a “filler”, something to fill in the time before the next pose, because it never really made me “feel” anything. I’m so grateful that you made me understand the importance of cat-cow and I continue to include it in my daily 10-minute practice. Thank you so much 🙂
    Joni

    Reply
    • Erin

      Hi Joni!
      You are so welcome! I’m a big fan of cat-cow too. I’m thrilled to hear you’re continuing on with your 10-minute practice. Way to go!
      ~Erin

      Reply
    • Erin

      Hi Julie,
      That’s awesome! I’m so glad you’ve found yoga to be helpful with your back problems. Me too!
      ~Erin

      Reply
  2. Sara

    Ah, your blog was exactly what I needed to find after deciding this week to return to my home-practice of yoga – I stopped a few years back after my instructor suddenly died. Looking forward to reading more on here 🙂

    Reply
    • Erin

      Hi Sara,
      I’m so glad my blog has helped motivate you! Good luck with your home-practice! Remember, even a few minutes a day adds up to a LOT over time.
      ~Erin

      Reply