Take it back, my spine’s outta-whack
There’s a strange click-clack
In the back of my sacroiliac
Oh, my achin’ back!
For many of us older women with a fondness for 1940s music, this Andrews Sisters/ Bing Crosby refrain from South America, Take It Away says it all. Our spines simply aren’t what they used to be!
Decades of wear and tear have left our lower backs stiff and sore. Injuries, surgeries or mostly sedentary lifestyles add to the problem. But if you think your spinal aches and pains are here to stay, think again!
As Cat explains, learning to re-engage your “… legs, inner thighs, pelvic floor… tailbone, sit bone muscles as well as the low belly,” supports your lower back as Mother Nature intended. To learn more about why and what to expect, read on!
Cat has chosen each of the poses in this video to gently decompress your spine. With consistent practice, they’ll help realign your posture and improve your flexibility. She even offers each pose with different levels of difficulty, so you can build on your progress as your core muscles strengthen.
The foundation of her teaching philosophy? In her own words, “The primary practice of yoga is learning to listen to yourself in a very kind way and just seeing what does your body need.” Instead of worrying about how out of shape you’ve become, focus on working toward a less painful, more flexible lower back!
Cat continues, “So the goal isn’t about having some perfect yoga pose. There isn’t a perfect yoga pose!” Stick with that that approach, and you won’t waste time and energy beating yourself up about not conforming to some imaginary performance standard.
The only goal here is to heal your sore back naturally, though proper breathing and strengthening techniques.
All the poses start from a lying- down position. Don’t have a mat? Then a blanket or large throw is fine. For two poses, you’ll also need a yoga block or similarly sized pillow.
In a pinch, a book wrapped in a thick towel for comfort and “grippability” will do. If you need a second rolled-up towel to support your back, use one! Work with your body as it is. And remember, the help you need today may be totally unnecessary tomorrow!
Finally, for shavsana (the resting period at the end of the workout) you can either lie flat or elevate your legs with the support of a wall, post, couch or coffee table. Elevating your legs can be a wonderful tonic for varicose veins.
What obstacles are keeping you from using our free yoga series to help your aching back? How does Cat’s gentle approach encourage you? If you’ve already tried yoga, how do her teaching methods compare to what you’ve experienced? Please join in our conversation!
Tags Yoga for Seniors