My 300hr yoga teacher training is almost complete (this weekend is the last one!) and while it’s been a ginormous pain in terms of travel, I have truly learned so much about the more therapeutic side of yoga. Yoga Alliance frowns on that term, because apparently yoga can’t be therapy from a legal standpoint, but I think we can all agree yoga is great for overall health. One of the trainings I did focused heavily on anatomy and spine health, and with so many of us having poor posture and experiencing mild back pain, I thought I’d share three things you can do to improve back pain. And hey, if you’re in the Connecticut area, I’ll be hosting a Back Care Workshop at Namaslay® Studios in June, so sign up and join us!
1. Strengthen the transverse abdominis - The transverse abdominis sits under the external obliques and the muscle fibers go laterally which means they help hug in and support the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine and the cervical spine are two of the most finicky parts of the spine and often the parts that see the most injury due to lack of stabilization. By strengthening the transverse abs, you’ll have more stabilization in the low back and therefore, may see less pain.
2. Strengthen the glutes - The glutes aren’t just for show! Building your glutes also helps to support back health. Things like air squats and glute bridges or single leg glute bridges can easily be incorporated into a yoga practice and are a great way to develop the glutes for more stability.
3. Strengthen the upper back muscles - The upper back muscles are often quite lazy, and when there isn’t much substance to them, our arms tend to internally rotate, which brings us into a slouching position. One of the things you can do to combat this is build the upper back muscles. Poses like locust and supermans are easily incorporated into yoga flows and over time will help to strengthen the upper back muscles for improved posture and decreased pain.
Be sure to check out my podcast on back care for more, and if you have some back issues going on, feel free to leave your questions down in the comments section and I’ll answer when I can!