I understand the suffering a back back causes
After rupturing two discs in my spine in my 20s, I saw endless osteopaths, chiropractors, physios etc. Nothing they did relieved the chronic back pain. This went on for years with seemingly no solution other than cortisone injections or spinal surgery.
Giving yoga a go
I eventually tried yoga. Sometimes I could barely walk to get there and would decide not to go, but on the times I did, I don’t recall a single time it made it any worse. There were a lot of postures I couldn’t do but my teacher was kind and would be supportive with whatever I could do that day.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Gradually, and with practice, every now and then something would happen during those yoga classes that helped and I would walk out after the final relaxation thinking my back doesn’t hurt as much! And on these rare occasions, I finally realised that for me, yoga had the possibility of alleviating my back pain. So I started to try and go to yoga classes two to three times a week. I also started to practice doing some exercises that helped my back pain at home on my own.
Managing the condition and becoming ‘pain free’
This was over 15 years ago and now, I am mainly back pain free. I still have to be really careful, bend in the ‘right’ way and not lift anything too heavy. This caution plus a daily yoga practice have made living a full and active life possible for me. It also inspired me to train to become a yoga teacher so I can share the benefits of yoga with others.
Making time to help yourself
I know most people don’t have time or inclination for a daily yoga practice, so my recommendation would be to try and attend at least one yoga class a week and then practice a short 15 minute sequence of postures every day or every other day. Commit to finding the time – if you have lower back pain I really strongly believe that regular practice can make a big difference. See my blog posts over the next week for five postures that will make all the difference.