06 Aug Yoga for Spine Health (Back and Back Pain)
Yoga for Spine Health (Back and back pain)
Our Vertebral column is referred to as “Meru Danda” in Yogic terminology. “Meru” is the mythological celestial Mountain, the strongest and the most steadfast and centre of the Universe. This explains the importance of our vertebral column that is literally the backbone of our upright gait, our ability to carry ourselves, sit and stand tall. This vital column of bones is a part of our skeletal system consisting of 33 bones or vertebrae. The cervical or neck area consists of C-1 to 7 vertebrae, Thorax T-1 to 12 vertebrae, Lumbar L-1 to 5 Vertebrae. The Sacrum has 5 vertebrae which are fused together and the Coccyx or the tail bone has 4 vertebrae which are also fused together
Wear and tear of the vertebrae and the supporting muscles is a natural part of aging and yet, In most of the cases the wear and tear is mostly due to abuse of the back bone, wrong diet, over use and in some cases inherited disease like Osteoporosis, Khyposis and Scoliosis. Back pain can affect any age group depending on one’s lifestyle and work habits. With the present Millennium man Back pain has become a chronic bane of his life. Young adults in their 20 s complain of constant pain in the low back and neck. This is most common amongst the young executives of corporate group. Over worked house wives, new mothers, Professionals, menial laborers, worst amongst those who lead sedentary lifestyles.
Back pain can affect any part of the Vertebral column. when one suffers from upper back or neck and shoulder problems it is referred to as “Cervical Spondylosis”, shoulder pain as “Tendinitis, frozen shoulder” etc. when the pain radiates to the Lumbar area which is the most focal point of pain suffered it is referred to as “Lumbar Spondylosis” The word Spondylosis refers to the degenerative changes such as Osteoarthritis of the Vertebral joints and the degenerating of intra-vertebral discs.
In acute cases medical intervention is imperative. Yoga as a preventive science strongly recommends avoiding pain and its complications before its onset by its holistic approach. Regular Asanas of static and dynamic stretches; target based cultural postures that give the muscles the most needed flexibility, tonality and muscle strength. Diet: Rich in bone healthy calcium and vital minerals. Attitudinal training: to strengthen ones will power, tenacity and discipline. Relaxation: techniques and over all fitness regimen.
The following are some of the excellent back strengthening Asanas taught at The Yoga Institute, Prabhat Colony Santacruz E:-
Shalabhasana: Lie face down arms stretched beside body plams down. Raise right leg straight breathing out about a foot high. Bring it down breathing in. Repeat with left then with both legs together.
Bhujangasana (its variations):
Basic Bhujangasana: Lie face down palms in line with shoulder, raise upper body up to pelvis breathing in and come down to original posture breathing out.
Bhadrasana: Sit upright or Lie down legs stretched out. Gently fold both legs, soles of the feet meeting each other. Pull them closer to perineum with hands. Knees touching the floor. Maintain posture to one’s capacity.
Parvatasana: Sit upright cross legged arms on either side, palms facing up. Raise both arms above the head palms meeting as you breathe in. Bring the arms down to original posture breathing out.
Yastikasana: Lie down prostate, arms stretched beside close to the body. Raise both arms up and beyond head breathing in, simultaneously stretching the feet forward. Get back to original posture breathing out.
Chakrasana: Stand feet apart two to two and half feet, arms stretched beside body. Raise both arms above and beyond head bending backward breathing in. Bend forward all the way arms stretched up and out beyond the back breathing out. Get back to position breathing in. Relax breathing out.
Ushtrasana: Kneel down, body upright. Gently bend upper body backwards till both the arms reach the heels breathing in, get back to position breathing out.
Dhanurvakrasana: Lie face down, Bend knees and clasp the ankles with palms. Hold firm and raise both upper body and thighs off the ground breathing in. get back to position breathing out.