I was fortunate to attend a one day training event for yoga teachers on yoga for healthy lower backs the other weekend. The course tutor, Anna Semlyen, is one of the key tutors who was involved in the large scale clinical research study which proved that yoga helped those with lower back problems, and, was better than many other options e.g. physio.
I won’t go into the research trial here as I covered it previously, but the one day course took us through the basics of the research study, the special 12-week yoga programme, and then we learnt various postures, techniques and movements that are key to the programme. This included useful stretches to do if suffering from an acute back incident as well as stretches to ease chronic pain, tension, tightness etc. It also incorporated movements for the sacroiliac joint and the core abdominals, both of which are essential in maintaining a healthy lower back.
I’m currently working my way through the accompanying book, and gradually introducing some of the beneficial poses and stretches into my classes.
You can find more information on the Yoga for Lower Backs website, including links to the large research trial and articles, any yoga teachers in your area who have done the longer full training course (there are two in Ceredigion), and buy the yoga book and relaxation CD which accompany the programme. (Relaxation is a key part of healing.) Or you could like them on Facebook.
Further research that came out of their trial showed the cost-effective nature of this treatment – let’s hope yoga can be offered to people by the NHS!