80 min Intermediate Yin Yoga for Lower Back Pain | Yoga with Dr. Melissa West 421

by Melissa West on February 2, 2018

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Yoga for Lower Back Pain


A 2012 study in the Journal of Complementary Medicine found that yoga reduces pain, anxiety and depression and improves spinal mobility in patients with chronic lower back pain more effectively than physiotherapy exercises.

Low back pain occurs from anywhere below your ribcage to the top of your legs. It can happen when you lift, reach or twist. Often back pain is non-specific. In fact, pretty much everybody will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. It can be caused by strain or injury, herniated discs, arthritis, illness or a spinal problem that you were born with.

The pain can be dull or sharp. It can be localized or spread over a large area. You may even experience muscle spasms. If you experience sciatica, the pain can also radiate down your leg. Most of the times low back pain is acute and it goes away after a few days. Chronic low back pain is quite debilitating and intersects with your mental health overlapping with depression, anxiety and stress.

The relationship between low back pain and depression is understandably strong. It is depressing to be in chronic pain for any length of time. In this yin yoga class for low back pain we will attend to the tissues of the low back and take some postures that will counteract depression. Additionally we will practice some yin yoga postures that will promote good posture which will support your low back and prevent low back pain.

We are a culture that is overstimulated. We are constantly searching for stimulation. As we practice yin yoga can we soften into the subtlety of our interior landscape? This can be challenging when we are experiencing chronic pain. In fact often times we can spend a lot of time avoiding, turning away from or bracing against our chronic pain. What would it be like to soften into and fully experience the chronic pain? What does the pain feel like? Is it burning? Pulsing? Throbbing? Where do you feel it exactly in your low back? Does it have a colour? Is it constant or is there an ebb and flow to your experience of the pain?

This is not an aesthetic practice. Can we be intelligent in our yin yoga practice for low back pain? Can we feel the stability of our bones and the floor and soften our muscles our jaws, our throats, our brows our eyes, around this experience? Can we soften and releases ambition and striving, any straining to impress and desperately seeking to improve. Can we soften? Can we soften again? Can we soften again? Is our body soft? Can our mind become soft and flexible?

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

If you made it all the way to the end of the class put: “My lower back feels better” in the comments

Thank you for your donations: Rachelle, Ainize, Diane, and Donna

Relieving your back pain is not something you can do in just one video. I am going to share with you a good, better and best way to do that now.

  • Good: We release a video here every Friday at 9 am PT, when you subscribe and turn on notifications by pressing that bell, you will receive that video and it will support you in your daily practice
  • Better: At the beginning I told you I will tell you where you could go to get 8 days of yoga for back pain. If you go to melissawest.com/backpain you can sign up there to receive 8 days of yoga for back pain: 1 video a day for 8 days with the best of yoga, ayurveda, self massage and pranayama (or breath practices) to help your back.
  • Best: The best way to relieve your low back pain is with our value added classes in our membership community. We have over 20 of them. I think the best is self-massage with our soft foam roller.

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