When I was at the doctor the other day, discussing what could help my back pain other than pain killers and pill changes, I wasn’t concerned when she mentioned yoga and pilates. I have done some pilates before and a little yoga–even though that was a very beginner class that I wasn’t too into because of the gym class I was in–and I love my yoga pants more than just about any article of clothing I have. So I got myself a yoga mat, checked out a few classes, and downloaded a few podcasts. Then I realized there’s way more than I thought and I have no idea what I’m doing.I started looking at videos and figured out there’s about a million types of yoga and I don’t know what a one of them means. I’m doing a little research know so let’s figure out which one I need be most looking at here.
There’s Hatha yoga, which is slow and gentle and for winding down at night and that’s not what I need at the moment but it’s definitely something I’ll keep in mind once I figure the rest of this out. Vinyasa yoga (or flow yoga) is where classes flow right into each other and, according to Mind, Body, Green, is own of the most popular in America. I’ve seen that this kind is offered at the studio I’ve been looking into and I’ve considered it but let’s dive a bit farther to see what else there is. Kundalini yoga says something about a root chakra (Um, yeah) and that’s supposed to be around your lower spine and work you core. This seems definitely like something I’ll be trying. Back and working my core, which is always in need of some help, is like a brownie that makes you lose weight! I’ve already done some Restorative yoga, which focuses on relaxation. We did this during stress management and I did some on my own when I was trying to figure out what the heck kind I need to do. Prenatal is something I’ve heard of and thank the good Lord that I don’t need to do it yet. There are a few other kinds on the list but I’m not really worried about anything that involves vegetarianism (Been there, done that and enjoy a steak and cheese too much to go back).
It’s looking like Kundalini is the way to go for me. Now, I know what type to be looking at when I’m scrolling through videos (The only thing I was sure of was that I wasn’t interested in the yoga for seniors stuff. I may act old but I’m not there yet. Let’s get out of my 20s first). On to some things specifically for my back….
Gaiam Life has the top 6 yoga poses for back pain (Does mine count if the pain only comes one day a week and isn’t exactly chronic? Oh, well. It can’t hurt). A fist forward bend is the first on the list. I did this in one of the videos I made a little way of the through earlier. I’m fairly certain this was one that I did feel in my back. A wall plank comes next, which seems very much similar to the previous pose. I’m not sure how this is going to strengthen my back but when I feel a little burn in my back I feel better so I’ll give it a try. Oh, downward facing dog. This is actually one of my favorite poses for a couple reasons. First off is the awesome name. Second is because I feel it in a lot of my muscles–my back, my legs. Plus, I find it to be a very relaxing pose, which is an important part of the practice of yoga. Um, okay, the pigeon is next and no, I’ve never heard of it or done it but remember I am very new to all this (As in I’m trying to figure out why these podcasts aren’t downloading right). The girl who wrote this says it’s good at opening a lot of your lower body muscles that contribute to back pain. Well, mine’s more of a hormonal thing but I’ll give it a go. Back traction pose is next and it seems to require a block, which I do not own but have figured out from one video I watched that pillows work, too. It looks close to a bridge, which I could literally stay in for hours at a time because I love the way it feels, so let’s try this one, too (I’m seriously willing to do anything at this point). The final one on the list is child pose. I’m torn on this one. I wasn’t experiencing my back pain when I last did yoga but I remember it making me ache a little more than it made me feel good. But hey, what the heck? I’ll believe this girl and keep doing it.
Other poses I’m seeing are the one-legged spinal twist. Oh man, that one is awesome. Talk about making your back all feeling good and what not. Cat and cow pose is coming up but I’m not a fan of that one. I may have not been doing it right (maybe) but I didn’t feel a whole lot with this one. Triangle and fish poses came up but I’ve never done them. I’ll see if they are on any of the videos I’ve found first (I really need to enroll in a class). Locust pose is supposed to be good for strength; I don’t mind this pose from what I remember (I think I just did it when they said upward dog in an audio thing. I need visual stuff here, people). Bow pose, camel pose–these are things I really need to look in to. Now, reverse warrior I have never done but I do enjoy the warrior pose and actually have great balance during this one (For those of you who have a Wii, Wii Fit lets you test your balance in a few yoga poses including the warrior). Shoulderstand is something I am really going to have to work my way up to. We tried it in Stress Management and I fell every time.
Okay, I feel like we’ve got a better understanding of this yoga thing now. Tomorrow will definitely be a start to something because I really want to get into this. If anyone has any suggestions or anything to share about yoga, please let me know. I’m really looking forward to this new interest (And let’s hope I can convince Michael, Whitney, or Mama to do this with me along the way so I don’t have to alone…or at least make some new yoga friends).