What Yin Yoga is Best for Lower Back Pain?

by Melissa West on December 6, 2017

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Lower Back Pain


Hi I’m Melissa from Yoga with Dr. Melissa West, we´re all about We are all about connection, connection to a teacher and teachings that allow you to connect with your True Nature and a community of people that are dedicated to a genuine path of spiritual transformation.
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I have a question from Helen today. Helen says, I’m new to yoga and am really enjoying yin yoga and your videos! I am curious if you have any suggestions or which stretches may best help my lower back, simply laying flat as in the ending causes pinching so I have to bend my legs.

One thing I always like to make sure is that those people that experience low back pain do bend their knees or place a bolster or folded blanket or cushions under their knees in savasana. This will ease the pain or pinching that Helen describes in her low back in savasana.

In fact, it is always a good idea to check with your medical doctor, but generally, straight legs in forward folds are a contraindication for people with back pain.

Back pain can be caused by a number of things from the shapes our bodies take sitting long hours in cars or in chairs hunched over our computers and laptops, strained muscles and ligaments from lifting a heavy objects or a sudden movement during a sports activity, to whiplash damage from a car accidents. No matter the cause, back pain can be debilitating and it can be helpful to have a yin yoga pose to find some relief.

Bernie Clark, one of the foremost teachers in the world of yin yoga has a fabulous article on yin yoga and lower back pain explaining the connection between lower back pain and stress.

He explains that it is always a good idea to get checked by a medical doctor, however, studies show that people with low back pain have no structural issues with their spines. What Bernie suggests is that it is the chronic tension from stress that seems to cause back pain. Our fascia, the shrink-wrap of our body has 10 times more nerve endings than our muscles. When psychologically stressed, our fascia contracts. This chronic contraction of our fascia can lead to lower back pain. Of course yin yoga can help to release chronically tight fascia.

Yin Yoga is a genre of yoga that focuses on the deeper connective tissues wrapping around the joints, particularly in your hips, pelvis and lower spine. This is quite different from most forms of yoga which focus on the muscles. With yin yoga we hold yin yoga poses for longer periods of time, usually about five minutes rather than the typical five breaths

When we come into a yin yoga pose, we come into the yin yoga pose (remembering that this is not an aesthetic practice and it doesn’t matter what your pose looks like) and find an appropriate edge. Edge is not sharp shooting pain, burning or electric, but it may be a dull ache or uncomfortable.

Then we resolve to be still. This is to allow your muscles to soften, let gravity take the weight of your body. We want the energy to pool in the deeper layers of the bones and the joints.

Finally, we stay for awhile. The reason we stay for longer in a yin yoga practice is to affect the deeper connective tissues that wrap around the joints and bones.

There are many yin yoga poses that are good for back pain. Today we are going to do keyhole and keyhole twist. Releasing the hips, buttocks and thighs in keyhole helps to release the low back.This pose is also excellent for sciatica. When you come into the twisting version of this pose you will further release your low back.

If you would like my Bonus 8 days of Yoga for Back Pain: Click Here

Thanks so much for watching, if this video was helpful for you and your back is feeling better, let me know by pressing that like button.

Let me know in the comments, what is the cause of your back pain?

Relieving back pain is not something that you can do with just one short yoga video. I am going to share with you 3 ways that you can relieve your back pain.

1. Good: Be sure to subscribe here on my YouTube channel. I put out new videos here every Wednesday and often I answer your questions and point you to resources on back pain.
2. Better: If you would like my Bonus 8 days of Yoga for Back Pain: click here
3. Best: Become a member of our membership community. There we can support you in an ongoing way with your back pain with over 20 exclusive classes for your back pain.

Link for members:

Membership Sign-Up

Yoga for Back Pain – Members Link

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