I get low back pain. Being a PT and a yoga teacher does not mean I don’t occasionally overdo it, or that I have somehow miraculously evaded the effects of aging. However, I do feel confident in how I move my body when my back starts its little twinges. I do not hesitate to take immediate action to keep the twinges from becoming full on back pain. I have a few favorite exercises for my low back. The first one, commonly known as bird dog or alternate arm and leg lift, is my all time favorite. I start with a few gentle cat/cow movements on hands and knees to...
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From the Evoblog
Tapas is the third of the niyamas (observances). It can be translated in many ways, including heat, purification through discipline, passion, and commitment. Tapas is the fire of transformation that sparks positive change. It is the commitment and discipline we need to break free of habits, or samskaras, even when it is difficult or uncomfortable. We experience tapas when we choose to stay with challenge and not back away. Swami Kripalu said that tapas is “the friction produced by going against the grain.” Fire is a transformative element. We have an opportunity through tapas to burn up negative habits and inertia so that we can become our highest...
This weekend I had every intention of waking up to my alarm in time to get to early morning yoga class. I’ll wake up naturally, I thought, and will be at the studio in time to center myself. It was a busy week of focus and distractions, I didn’t practice as much as I “should have,” I felt frazzled, and my plans for early morning weekend yoga were just what I needed to get back into my happy place. And yet, I slept in both days, ignoring my alarm and waking up as class was about to begin. Was I disappointed in myself? Sure. Annoyed that my plans for...
The health care world is recognizing the importance of treating patients with a “biopsychosocial” approach. This is using medical terminology to describe considering someone’s body (bio), mind (psycho) and social life (social) while treating medical conditions. A wide variety of conditions such as high blood pressure as well as painful conditions such as low back pain can benefit from this approach. There is a well known link between states of mind (such as anxiety or depression) and an experience of chronic pain. Long term management of conditions such as chronic low back pain likely benefit from treatment of both the physical aspects of the condition (such as yoga asana)...