Common sense for your back

 

"I am feeling much better today! It’s incredible how a few gentle movements can make the difference." ~ Olivia Roland, 26

 

Since 2000, many students have come to this back class after their physiotherapy has ended. While their therapy has restored basic functionality, many continue to seek complimentary options to mitigate chronic pain and to improve functionality further.

 

Conscious movement vs. exercise

 

The lower back class mimics therapeutic exercise on a mechanical level, but the word "exercise" reinforces the mindset of having to make effort to progress. Effort implies tension, and people with back problems already have enough. In the lower back yoga class, we aim to improve the functionality of the back with the least amount of effort necessary. We take the body through comfortable conscious movements that reduce compression of the lumbar vertebrae and produce positive feeling sensations.

 

"When leaving, I felt like I had grown at least an inch, if not two, in height!" ~ Ulla Leppanen, 30

 

"Since I am doing my (your) practices, I feel much stronger and far more stabilized, and am able to do walks of 7 - 8 kms. (a year ago I would not have thought this possible)." ~ Nicole Mahowald, 74

 

Conscious Relaxation

 

The rhythm of the class is slow and steady. Once directions are given, the audio becomes silent to allow full concentration on all sensations within the body during the execution of each practice. There are also short or long periods of conscious relaxation between practices to deeply release unnecessary residual tensions. This relaxation is as integral to the class as the physical practices themselves.

 

"I really need this class, nothing could replace it so far. I have had back problems for a very long time and only this class could make it good without ever hurting. I could not find anything else." ~ Anna Kobol, 62

 

Key areas of focus

 

The practices of the class are simple and effective. The key areas of focus are:

 

  • abdominal strengthening

  • leg strengthening & stretching

  • hip opening

  • psoas stretching

  • backbends

  • deep relaxation

 

The practices are done mainly lying in a supine position. There are no sitting practices. There are a few standing practices and just one back-bend that people with lordosis may omit.

 

"I would recommend this class to everyone, even to people without back problems. Prevention is better than cure." ~ Nathalie Simon, 34

 

Learn from a yoga teacher with 30 years experience

 

At 23 before starting yoga, Fred Bender herniated his L4-L5 and L5-S1 intervertebral discs. After two years of various therapies, he turned to yoga where, for the following 30 years both as student and teacher, he dedicated himself to learning variations of traditional yoga practices to alleviate stress and compression to the lumbar spine.

 

In 2000, he implemented his back class at his yoga center in Luxembourg to a handful of students. As demand grew, he added more classes in larger rooms up to 45 students, but eventually, demand grew beyond his personal capacity, so he taught his method to all yoga teachers within his center.

Today, over 200 students a week attend his center's back classes.

 

"...(My students) sleep better, have less back pain and feel generally better. I am ever grateful to you for sharing this class. It has become the core of my practice and of my teaching." ~ Nadia Ernst, yoga teacher, now in France

 

Choose among low back pain classes optimized for your condition and schedule

 

Our "Lower Back Yoga - Floor Class" iPhone app has an in-app 3-month subscription package for 7 low back pain classes:
 
  • the crisis management class

for when it's safe to start moving after a back pain crisis (2 practices - 7 minutes)

 

  • the floor class

the free app class + 1 additional practice (8 practices -11 minutes)

 

  • the maintenance class

the essential practices - 2-3x a week when your condition has stabilized (15 practices - 35 minutes)

 

  • the full back class

for almost all low back pain problems, especially all disc-related conditions (disc herniation, disc bulging, disc degeneration) - 1-2x a week for when your condition is stable but impeding your quality of life (28 practices - 67 minutes)

 

  • the full back class (modified for lordosis)

the full back class, less practices where certain back-bends and hip-extensions may compress the lumbar discs (22 practices - 45 minutes)

 

  • the full back class (modified for sciatica)

the full back class, less practices where buttock contractions may impinge the sciatic nerve (24 practices - 60 minutes)

 
  • the full back class (modified for SI joint problems)

the full back class, less hip-opening practices that may further destabilize the joint (22 practices - 50 minutes

 

Materials Needed

 

  • A yoga or exercise mat

  • Wall space

  • An elastic band or cloth belt

  • a cushion

 

Please read Before Starting before your first class.

 

"I feel a lot more normal in my back now after nearly 9 years of recurrent back pain." (after 7 once-a-week classes) ~ Atanaska Ivanova-Massart, 39

 

"I had almost resigned about my worsening back problems. When I started the lower back yoga, the effect was immediate, and for the last year, having followed the classes regularly, my back has been better than in 20 years. I even started skiing again." ~ Jonas Winnerlov, 50

 

List of practices

 

The "Full Back Class" contains the following practices. Other classes contain different sequences of the same practices. As variations of traditional yoga postures, their names are invented to describe the basic mechanics of the practice:

 

1. Breathing

 

2. Abdominal strengthening

 

3. Leg strengthening & stretching

  • first bridge

  • hello legs

  • single leg lifting

  • alternate leg lifting

  • second bridge

  • band stretch (blog post )

 

4. Hip opening

  • hip opener

  • hug-the-knees massage

  • lying spinal twist

  • ankles-scissors

 

5. Lying wall practices

 

6. Standing wall practices

  • wall push

  • modified triangle

  • modified warrior

 

7. Back-bending

  • trunk raises

  • leg extensions

  •  

8. Final practices

  • cat-cow

  • child's pose

 

9. Guided relaxation

 

"This yoga class is doing me a lot of good and I would like more friends to know about it."

~ Sabine Ehrhart, 50

 

*All testimonials came unsolicited and appear with permission.

 

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