As many of you know, I have Scoliosis in my back. Translation - my spine is crooked leaving me with chronic back pain if not managed. Nasty!
I began yoga once upon a time to address issues with stress and back pain primarily. Since then, yoga has become so much more to me, but the core of my initial practice was about trying to find ways to manage these issues, and yoga certainly brought this to me.
Looking specifically at back pain, it’s just plain awful. Believe me - I get it! I find it so odd when someone tells me they don’t know what it’s like to experience constant aches in the body… What the? This was the story of my life! What excites me, however, is knowing there are safe, non-invasive ways (that’s right, no drugs or operations) to manage the pain. The first step is to bring mobility back to the spine. Stretch it out and get the circulation pumping.
When the back is stiff and sore, I LOVE doing 7-10 rounds of Vagra Swasa Breathing (Tiger Breathing) to loosen everything up and relieve the dull ache or shooting pain. A very safe asana for anyone to practice.
How to do:
Knees and feet are parallel, hands are one forearms distance away from the knees.
*Distance is important to make sure you get the full stretch in the upper back.
Inhale - concave the spine and look up.
Exhale - arch the spine and look down. Be sure to really push up through the shoulders here. This is one round complete.
Repeat - inhale up, exhale down, inhale up, exhale down
Make sure there is no tension in the neck at all. This should be a flowing motion.
Finish coming back to a neutral position then rest back on your heels and stretch it out. Your back will love you for it!