Back to Life: Yoga for Low Back Care (Part 1, The Psoas Connection)

The following 3 posts are re-posts of a lower back care series I originally published in 2011. These re-posts are for reference for the 50 yogis who attended my low back care workshop today at Semperviva yoga, and also for anyone out there in the blogosphere who is experiencing lower back pain. Much health and healing to you all! Namaste. J

Most of us, at some point, will experience some form of lower back pain. Whether it is from sitting on a plane for too long, from gardening or from something more serious, like a disc injury, it is one of the most common complaints I hear from my students.

For years, I have had my own struggles with low back pain. Over a year ago, I was told that I would need back surgery, a diagnosis I took very seriously. As a dancer and yoga instructor, I rely on my body every single day. But who doesn’t? What injuries often teach us is that we take our bodies for granted and it’s time to change our ways.

Continue reading “Back to Life: Yoga for Low Back Care (Part 1, The Psoas Connection)”

Back To Life: Yoga for Low Back Pain (Part 3: Transverse Abdominis)

Previously we discussed the role of the hamstrings and the psoas muscles in regard to a painful low back. If tight, both muscle groups have the ability to pull on the lumbar (lower) spine, creating pain and even injury*. This week we will discuss the core’s role in stabilizing the lower spine, specifically transverse abdominis (or TVA).

Transverse abdominis is the deepest layer of abdominal muscles, wrapping around the torso from front to back and from the rib cage to the pelvis.  It acts as a corset supporting and stabilizing the low back. We use transverse abdominus without even knowing it when we “suck in” our stomachs to fit into a tight pair of jeans.

Continue reading “Back To Life: Yoga for Low Back Pain (Part 3: Transverse Abdominis)”

Back to Life: Yoga for Low Back Care (Part 2, Hamstrings)

As we discussed in part one of this series, the majority of those who suffer from lower back pain do so because of muscular imbalances that we can correct with some simple exercises. Last week we discussed the psoas muscle and it’s connection to a healthy and balanced low back. This week, it’s all about the hamstrings.

The hamstrings are a group of three muscles (biceps femoris, semitendonosus and semimembranosus) that are located on the back of the thigh. Their origin is along the sit bones (ishial tuberosity) and they insert down into the bones of the lower legs (tibia and fibula).

Continue reading “Back to Life: Yoga for Low Back Care (Part 2, Hamstrings)”

Back to Life: Yoga for Low Back Care (Part 1, The Psoas Connection)

Most of us, at some point, will experience some form of lower back pain. Whether it is from sitting on a plane for too long, from gardening or from something more serious, like a disc injury, it is one of the most common complaints I hear from my students.

For years, I have had my own struggles with low back pain. Over a year ago, I was told that I would need back surgery, a diagnosis I took very seriously. As a dancer and yoga instructor, I rely on my body every single day. But who doesn’t? What injuries often teach us is that we take our bodies for granted and it’s time to change our ways.

Continue reading “Back to Life: Yoga for Low Back Care (Part 1, The Psoas Connection)”