Over the weekend, Keith Allen and I put on a workshop at the Yoga Pod in Boulder discussing simple strategies to maximize spinal health while performing yoga. We broke down the general families of yoga- forward folds, back bends, and twists- as these three movements are performed repetitiously throughout any yoga class.
In the videos below, I am going to demonstrate a few cues that Keith and I taught to effectively engage your core while performing various yoga postures.
Properly Engaging the Deep Core Muscles
Forward Fold Postures
Forward folds have great calming benefits for the nervous system, which is important after a low back injury. These poses are very grounding and provide a stretch to the entire posterior chain- back and legs.
Backbends are ideal for people who spend excessive amounts of time sitting each day. The focus should be on opening up the heart and chest, while bending back from the middle of your spine. You should not feel muscle cramps or tightness in the low back when performing cobra, sphinx, or other back bends.
Whether you are experiencing any low back issues or not, understanding the importance of core activation throughout your Yoga practice will save your spine and allow you to practice more fully.
-Jim Heafner PT, DPT, OCS
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