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Archive for May, 2015

Relieve Lower Back Pain with Our Favorite Stretches

Posted on May 25th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

 

Whether it’s at the daily 9 to 5 or during the commute home, we spend countless hours of the day sitting down. This has resulted in a growing trend of lower back pain. It may seem impossible to get rid of back pain once and for all, but did you know that yoga can provide relief? You don’t have to attend expensive classes or worry about exercising in front of a big group. Practice at home with a yoga for lower back pain DVD, like our Viniyoga Therapy for Low Back, Sacrum, and Hips with Gary Kraftsow. With daily practice, targeted exercise can help relieve an aching lower back.

 

Yoga for lower back pain

 

Yoga properly stretches your joints and muscles, and increases the fluidity of your movements. Yoga can also build strength in your back muscles, decreasing your chances of injury and pain.

 

Don’t worry if you’ve never practiced yoga before. It’s easy to learn at your own pace with a yoga for lower back pain DVD. Here are some basic poses that are ideal for relieving back pain:

 

 

Bound Ankle Pose: This is typically the starting point in many yoga practices. Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together in front of you. Pull your heels as close to your body as you can, as you “butterfly” your knees open towards the ground. Once you’ve found a comfortable position, grasp your ankles with your hands, and pull your chest forward and down while keeping your spine as straight as possible. This will help open your hip joints, and relax the inner thighs and groin.

 

Happy Baby Pose: Here’s a pose that will feel really great on your back and is a good stretch for your legs, as well. It’s typically done after your yoga practice to loosen up, but it can be done any time you need a stretch or a break. You’ll simply roll onto your back, and bring your knees up to your chest. Then you’ll grab the bottom of your feet with your hands, and pull your knees apart so that they point towards the ground, pulling slightly with your hands so that you feel a stretch. You can gently rock back and forth, or relax in this position as long as you’d like.

 

The Fish Pose: A slightly trickier pose is the Fish Pose, which is great for a good stretch. Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, then bend one knee and bring your foot as close to your body as you can on the floor. Turn towards your knee, and with the opposite elbow, push against the outside of your knee and turn your gaze behind you. You should feel a nice stretch down your spine. Wait for a few counts, then unwind and switch sides.

 

There are a ton more positions to learn that will have your back feeling better in no time, so order your yoga for lower back pain DVD today!

 

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The Functional Approach and Yin Yoga- My Day with Paul Grilley

Posted on May 20th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

PerfectlyClear

By Dearbhla Kelly

Paul Grilley and his teaching partner and wife Suzee. Our group comprised mostly yoga teachers from as far afield as Australia, Connecticut, Chicago, Montana, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Best known as an innovative and brilliant Yin Yoga teacher, Paul has a masterful understanding of anatomy and his ability to convey his knowledge is superlative. He made anatomy practical and accessible by supplementing his use of a skeleton with live demo models from among the yogis present to illustrate particular concepts.
I was present for the last of a five day shoot and the focus was ‘functional yoga’, a method of teaching yoga that applies equally well to ashtanga as it does to yin. A functional approach is pragmatic rather than aesthetic, which is to say concern with which body part(s) the pose is targeting replaces concern with how the pose should look. A new concept for most practitioners of modern postural yoga.
Many of us have come up going to group classes and been taught alignment principles of varying degrees of strictness. Particular emphasis is usually placed on where the hands and feet are in relation to the rest of the body. Almost everyone is familiar with directives to articulate the back foot at an exact rotation and in an exact relation to the front foot in poses like Virabhadrasana I and II, or to sit with the seat touching the floor (or block), knees together, inner heels snug at the hips in Virasana. This approach can have the effect of making poses painful, or even undoable for students whose particular structure does not allow them to articulate their joints to such degrees.
Structural limitations show up when bones bump into each other at a joint (knee, hip, shoulder, spine, elbow) and restrict the range of motion such that no further movement is possible. No amount of stretching will change this; we are limited by our structure simply because when bone rubs up against bone there is nowhere else left to go. No amount of ‘letting go’ or ‘breathing through it’ or ‘releasing the emotion’ will change this.
A functional approach to yoga accomodates the diversity of people’s bodies by focusing on the target area of the pose (for example, glutes and outer thigh in pigeon) and allowing the arms and legs move whatever way is necessary to access the target area. In Paul’s words: “In a functional approach to yoga there is no perfect pose. Each hand and foot position helps or inhibits our ability to stress the target areas. The most effective way to do this varies from person to person.”
The radical inclusiveness of this approach is genius. All are welcome to the practice when we teach functionally. Yin yoga is everyone yoga. Thank you Paul Grilley.

use the code SACREDCOW for 10% at checkout for a limited time at www.pranamaya.com

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Dearbhla Kelly began practicing yoga in 1994 while studying philosophy in Amsterdam. She holds M.A.’s in philosophy from University College Dublin and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Currently based in Los Angeles, she teaches yoga, neuroscience and philosophy workshops worldwide.

Dearbhla is particularly skillful at marrying the esoteric teachings of yoga with the practicalities of everyday life, and integrating insights from current science to deepen our understanding of how yoga helps us find increased joy, wellbeing and freedom. She also finds great joy in doing yoga with children who have cerebral palsy. She has published articles exploring the aforementioned subjects in Yoga Journal, Huffington Post and other publications. See more about Dearbhla at durgayoga.com

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Yin Yoga: An Exploration in Stillness

Posted on May 18th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Yin Yoga

 

Did you know that there are two types of yoga, the “Yin” and the “Yang?” Most popular yoga practices focus more on the Yang Yoga, which is more physically engaging. However, for those looking to achieve inner peace, increased circulation, and improved flexibility, Yin Yoga is what you need. You don’t need to go to an expensive yoga class when you can practice right at home with one of our favorite Yin Yoga books by Paul Grilley, Yin Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice.

 

This slower paced style of yoga will help you focus on your breathing, which is one of the most important aspects of yoga. Deep, synchronized breaths will keep your mind balanced with your body and promote the circulation of blood and oxygen. It’s not so much about getting a workout as it is about improving flexibility.

 

In Yin Yoga you’ll do a series of long held poses that consist mainly of three aspects:

 

Get Past Your Comfort Zone:

If you only practiced the poses that don’t make you feel a stretch or strain, you aren’t going to improve your flexibility. Yin Yoga is about finding your comfort zone, then pushing further until you feel that extra stretch, without hurting yourself.

 

Remain Still:

Once you’ve reached a pose that makes you feel the stretch, you’re going to need to adjust so you can remain still while holding it. If you are teetering or moving, adjust your pose so that it’s comfortable to hold.

 

Hold the Pose:

Don’t think about the time passing. In fact, try not to think about anything but your breathing and the way your body feels at every point. It might be hard to keep from fidgeting, but the point of this type of practice is to clear your mind, which is why the poses are held for long periods of time.

 

You’ll learn many different types of poses and techniques in our Yin Yoga books. Another important teaching how you should hold each pose. Keeping yourself from being distracted is key, because once you become distracted, it’s the first sign that you’re no longer present.

Distraction is manifestation of avoidance and is considered a way to numb what we don’t want to look at. Instead of allowing distractions in our lives, we must alternatively practice quiet and stillness, which is the backbone of creativity and intuition.

Space, time, and quiet in general can be uncomfortable, but it’s what will help you really be able to listen, and achieve inner peace. Learn all of this and more in Yin Yoga books at Pranamaya, like Grilley’s Yin Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice.

 

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What’s the Best Time to Practice Yoga?

Posted on May 17th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

 

If you are just starting out with your yoga practice, or even if you are an experienced practitioner, you may be wondering: what is the best time to practice yoga? You want to get the most out of your practice while making sure your body and mind stay injury- and clutter-free. Well, the short answer is there really is no rigid and inflexible best time. You want your practice to be regular, consistent, and undisturbed, so find a time that works best for you and stick to it. The great sage and author of the Yoga Sutras Pantanjali tells us that our practice becomes grounded when we practice with consistency and without interruption, with reverence and over a long period of time.

 

Most spiritual teachers agree that the best time to practice is between 4:30 and 6 am, before the natural rhythms of life begin to stir. Not to mention that the light and dark influence our states or moods and bio-rhythms. However this just might not be practical for the average person.

That said, experts generally advise you practice early in the morning or in the evening. Both of these times have distinct advantages. Choose the time that allows you, and your body, to engage fully and clearly.

 
Morning Yoga Yoga on the beach
You’ll often hear teachers advise early morning yoga. There are a number of reasons for this. Practicing yoga on an empty stomach helps to boost your circulation, wakes you up, and stretches the stiff muscles that have been unused all through the night. Also, poses like Sun Salutations, including Downward-facing Dog, Cobra, and Plank will open up your lungs and get your heart pumping while keeping you both grounded and energized.

 

On the other hand, some people find their bodies are too stiff in the morning, making practice difficult. You want your body to feel limber, and for some, this only happens at a different time of day. Or, an early morning practice may be impractical because of children, work, or other everyday life concerns. If a 5 am practice just won’t work with your sleep schedule, an evening practice may be a better option.

 
Evening Yoga
 

Yoga at sunsetIf you choose to practice in the evening, most yoga teachers advise the best time to practice yoga is at sunset. Evening yoga can help calm your mind after a long day, relieve stress, and is a great defense against insomnia.

 

Of course, night practice can also limit the kinds of postures you do. Some poses may be too stimulating and affect your sleep, or you may be too tired at the end of the day to allow for an effective, rejuvenating practice. If the evening is the most convenient time for your practice, try incorporating relaxing poses like Child’s Pose, forward bends with baby back bends to neutralize your spine, or the Reclining Bound Angle to de-stress and detoxify.

 

The best time to practice yoga comes down to the time that works best for you. Experiment with your practice to find a time that works for your body and for your schedule. The most important part is to have a regular practice that you can keep up with. And whether you chose a morning practice or an evening practice, be sure to end with five minutes of Savasana, known as corpse pose, to act as a relaxing transition  between your practice and your day or sleep.  

 

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The Benefits of Online Yoga Courses

Posted on May 16th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

online yoga coursesThere are many benefits to practicing yoga and taking online yoga courses, some of which you may already be aware of. Yoga is a form of exercise that helps maintain and promote well being. Many of the practice’s poses help increase strength and flexibility. Yoga also enhances one’s ability to relax through deep breathing, decreasing stress and anxiety. Online classes in particular have a set of perks that aren’t shared by in-person yoga sessions.

Practice on Your Own Time

While there might be a few different options to choose from when it comes to taking classes at a yoga studio in your community, nothing beats the convenience of taking a course in your own home. Pop right out of bed and start your class, or come home from a late night and unwind with a yoga session. Online yoga courses allow for flexibility in both your body and your schedule.

When you practice yoga at home, you also eliminate the time it takes to commute to a studio, and save on gas. Everyone can appreciate the accessibility of online courses, especially those who have unconventional or varied schedules.

Be Mindful of Your Wallet

Many people who practice yoga prefer frequent, even daily, sessions. While this is beneficial for the mind, as well as the body, it can take quite a toll on the wallet. The recurring payments can be one obstacle that prevents people from taking yoga classes as often as they want, or even at all. With online yoga courses, you can download workshops and classes for a one-time price and then watch them whenever you want.

This cost efficient method puts a variety of courses at your fingertips. You can choose from multiple styles and levels of yoga classes, as well as workshops that will give you more in-depth knowledge on certain forms of yoga and teach you how to  perform poses safely. Whenever you want to work through the class again, you can re-watch your downloaded video, or watch it right on our website, as many times as you want!

Go at Your Own Pace

Aside from being able to practice yoga whenever it is convenient for you, online yoga courses also allow you to move at a comfortable pace. Sometimes instructors can speed through a movement or class making it easy to get lost, especially if you are new to a certain type of yoga or yoga as a whole. Make your journey into yoga as comfortable as possible by following with courses from the comfort of your own home. You can even have group sessions with a few friends.  

Without a large crowd, you might find it less intimidating to try new poses or moves that you think you can’t do. You might be surprised at what you are capable of when you aren’t worried about others around you.

yoga courses onlineLearn from the Best

There are no doubt great yoga teachers in many cities, but online yoga courses are able to introduce you to some of the best teachers in the world. Pranamaya Yoga Media gives you access to courses from world class yoga teachers such as Andrey Lappa, Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers, and Mark Horner, to name a few. You get to learn from the best at a fraction of the price and without leaving your home.

Not only are you able to learn from some of the most trusted master teachers in yoga, but you can also open yourself up to new opportunities and try out styles of yoga and meditation that you might not have even heard of.

Practicing through online yoga courses gives you the same benefits as practicing in a studio, with the added bonuses of saving money, practicing at your own pace and on your own schedule, and learning techniques from some of the most sought after teachers. Browse our selection of online classes and download a course today.

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5 of the Best Snacks to Indulge in Before Yoga Practice

Posted on May 13th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Like any other form of exercise, it is never a good idea to head into an intense yoga sweat-session on an empty stomach. That can cause dizziness, headaches, and low energy. Of course, you also don’t wanted to feel overly stuffed or bloated before you hit the mat. Try these five power foods before yoga to boost endurance and performance without leaving you dragging.

 

You can chow down anywhere from two hours before your yoga practice to a half hour prior. Avoid eating directly before class to avoid cramping and to ease digestion. Remember, none of these foods make up for the most important element that goes in your body: water. Hydrate and satiate to get the full benefits of your yoga practice.

 

  1. Apple and Peanut Butter

 

It may bring you back to your kindergarten days, but this combination is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and protein. The soluble fiber in apples makes them easy to digest and their high water content helps hydrate you while boosting your Vitamin C levels. Want a longer-lasting carb hit? Substitute a banana for the apple. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter, or almond butter if you prefer, for an added dose of protein and a small jolt of sugar. This edible power couple is an ideal food before yoga class.

 

  1. Small Green Smoothie

Food before yoga

Sticking to mainly greens in your smoothie ensures high-quality amino acids and antioxidants for a natural energy booster and an immune system defender. Even better? A smoothie can take less than five minutes to make. Choose your favorite form of leafy greens: kale, spinach, swiss chard, and collards are great. Add in a healthy liquid like cashew milk and a small portion of fruit to sweeten the taste. The perfect fuel for an energy-packed yoga practice.

 

  1. Almonds

 

Get a protein kick to help you beat those hunger pangs with the added benefit of potassium, Vitamin E, and magnesium to help with endurance. Avoid salted and roasted almonds and stick to plain, raw ones to get the maximum energy kick. Nuts provide heart-healthy fats and fiber; just be sure to practice portion control. A small palmful are enough to do your heart and body good.  

 

  1. Oatmeal and Berries

Oatmeal with fruit
Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast anymore. Low on the glycemic index for slow-burning complex carbohydrates, oatmeal warms you up and fills you without leaving you heavy. In addition, the magnesium helps you boost energy and avoid muscle cramps. Add a handful of raspberries or strawberries for extra antioxidants and vitamins.

 

 

  1. Yogurt and Seeds

 

A source of lean, energizing protein, yogurt is full of lactose, which contains a naturally occurring sugar to provide sustained energy. Add in your favorite seed for an extra kick of powerful health benefits. Grab chia seeds to help you stay hydrated and lower blood sugar while supplementing your Omega-3. Or toss on some flaxseed for additional fiber and protein.

Food before yoga is always a good idea. It keeps you focused, energized, and satiated. Pick and choose from the list above and keep in mind you want a combination of a simple carbohydrate, a lean protein, and some healthy fat. Train your mind and body with healthy, smart, and easy snacks to turbo-boost your yoga practice.

 

 

 


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YIN AND YANG IN YOGA PRACTICE

Posted on May 11th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Yin and Yang Attitude

All things have a yin-yang to them, even our attitude, and one way to illustrate the contrast is by comparing the attitude of a naturalist with that of an engineer. An engineer has a yang attitude, an engineer wants to change things, she wants to tear an old building down or build a new one up, she wants to dam the river or dredge the canal. Her yang attitude is to alter and change what she sees. A naturalist has a yin attitude . A naturalist wants to know how plants or animals behave without trying to influence them. A naturalist with an interest in butterflies has to go to where the butterflies are and then sit and patiently wait for them to do what butterflies do. A naturalist cannot make butterflies fly or mate or lay eggs , he can only wait and observe. His yin attitude is to try to understand what he is watching. When practicing yin yoga it is best to have a yin attitude. Do not be anxious or aggressive and force your body into the poses. Make a modest effort to approximate the pose as best you can, and then patiently wait. The power of yin yoga is time, not effort. It takes time for our connective tissues to slowly respond to a gentle stress , it cannot be rushed. Learning to patiently wait calms the mind and develops the necessary attitude for meditation practices. Modern culture appreciates the strength of the yang attitude to “go for it,” but there is no end to our desires. To be truly happy we must also cultivate the yin qualities of patience, gratitude, and contentment.

 

Yin and Yang Always Coexist

There is no such thing as a pure yin or a pure yang attitude, just as there is no such thing as a pure yin or pure yang yoga practice. These two aspects always coexist. Yin or yang might be dominant in expression but the other is always present. When practicing a yin pose such as a forward bend, we want to be as relaxed as possible. But if we completely relax every muscle in our body then we might actually fall out of the pose. Some muscular effort is required to balance ourselves in a pose and to maintain the gentle traction, so yang effort is present even in yin yoga poses. The same can be said of our attitude during yin yoga . It is yin to passively observe the sensations that arise, but it is yang to make the effort needed to maintain the pose.

Excerpts from: Yin Yoga: Principles and Practice — 10th Anniversary Edition by Paul Grilley.

 

To learn more about Paul Grilley, visit his website at www.paulgrilley.com and check out his DVD’s and online courses here at Pranamaya.

 

Paul Grilley:  A well-known master of yin yoga, Paul brings a thorough grounding in Hatha and Ashtanga yoga as well as anatomy and kinesiology to his teaching, which integrates the Taoist yoga of martial arts master Paulie Zink and the Chinese meridian and acupuncture theories of Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama. Paul’s book, Yin Yoga: Principles and Practice, explains how yin yoga can teach us to relax, be patient, be quiet, and focus on the skeleton and its joints—a necessary counterpoint to today’s more ubiquitous muscular yoga.

paul-grilley

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5 Teas That Boost Your Yoga Practice

Posted on May 7th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.



There is nothing more refreshing and restorative than the combination of
yoga and tea. Tea is an incredible beverage that has amazing antioxidant properties and a wonderful variety of flavor profiles. It’s no wonder it’s been a beverage staple for thousands of years. The right teas can be powerful allies to a strong yoga practice and a healthy diet. Read what top five teas our experts recommend to boost your yoga practice.

 

Yoga and tea

 

Oolong Tea for Energy

 

Oolong tea is a lovely tea for times when you need a little pick me up in the morning. Oolong tea has also been associated with weight loss. Some studies suggest that the compounds in oolong tea can help reduce the risk of heart disease, inflammatory disorders, and high cholesterol. If you are looking for a warming, energizing tea that will complement your yoga lifestyle, oolong is a great choice.

 

Spicy, Warming Blends for After Class

 

Many studios will serve tea for yogis to enjoy after a class, so for many people yoga and tea are already a natural combination. If you’re looking for something that’s soothing and will help ease the transition between your practice and the outside world, try a blend of something with a little spice to bolster you. Teas with cinnamon or ginger can be very invigorating.

 

Red Tea: A High Antioxidant Alternative

 

We all know that green tea gets touted as one of the healthiest teas you can drink. If you’re interested in trying something new, red tea has wonderful antioxidant properties and offers a different flavor profile than your usual green tea. Like Oolong and green tea, red tea also helps with weight loss, so it can be helpful to combine a yoga and tea routine for the best health and weight loss results.

 

Lemongrass Tea to Aid Digestion

 

Lemongrass is another soothing tea that has a nice lemon flavor without being overpowering. Digestion is crucial to good health and lemongrass tea is well known for its digestive benefits. Enjoy a cup after you eat to maximize all of its amazing properties.

 

Afternoon tea

 

Calming Chamomile at Night

 

When you know it’s getting time to call it a night but find that your mind and body are still alert, a soothing cup of chamomile tea will help you settle down. Chamomile is a great digestion aid and has a pleasant, sweet flavor. This is a perfect yoga and tea pairing for those who practice in the evenings after work and want a restorative, relaxing beverage so they can fall asleep

 

Yoga and tea is a wonderful way to improve your health and get the most out of your practice. Visit our website to learn more from our blog and enjoy classes from some of the finest yoga teachers in the world.

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All Natural Supplements That Enhance Yoga Sessions

Posted on May 6th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

herbal supplementsMaking strong nutrition choices is one of the best things you can do for your body in tandem with a consistent yoga practice. Being healthy and mindful off of the mat will influence your time on the mat, and vice versa. In addition to good nutrition, yoga supplements are one tool you can use to enhance your yoga practice and your health. Our master teachers are here to let you in on the top natural supplements to bring your yoga practice to the next level.

 

Yoga Supplements To Improve Energy

 

Modern life is full of stress and distractions—it’s no wonder that sometimes we feel like we don’t have enough energy to unroll our mats. Luckily, there are some excellent and safe all-natural supplements that are known to improve energy and give you the lift you need to get through the day with ease. Vitamin B5 is fantastic for promoting energy and is incredibly important for metabolism and energy production. Widely available at health stores and online, this is one vitamin powerhouse that will help power you through your busy day and promote a strong and healthy yoga practice.

 

Reducing Inflammation with Tumeric

Yoga supplements

When you practice yoga or any other form of physical exercise, it is routine for your muscles to experience inflammation after they have done work. To help your muscles recover from inflammation and reduce muscle fatigue, natural yoga supplements like turmeric can help. Turmeric can also reduce inflammation in other areas of the body, like the digestive tract. As a bonus, it’s also thought to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Supplements to Help with Stress and Mood

 

Ginseng is one of the wonderful natural yoga supplements that helps improve your mood, concentration, and energy levels. Ginseng is also said to help stabilize blood sugar levels, which can contribute to weight loss. Ginseng is available in root form, powder, or tea, which makes it easy to incorporate into your day however you please. Magnesium is also another great supplement to help you feel calmer and more at ease, and is available in capsule form online and at health and vitamin stores. For those who have a deficiency (which is common among adults), magnesium will alleviate achy muscles, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.

 

Ultimately, yoga supplements are just that: they are used in addition to a strong, healthy, and balanced yoga practice and a nutritious diet. Build the right foundation with Pranamaya’s yoga resources, including yoga DVDs, online videos, and more, and enjoy the opportunity to practice with our world-class teaching masters to enrich your mind, body, and spirit.

 

 




 

 

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5 Essential Yoga Poses That Target Back Pain

Posted on May 4th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Yoga for back pain

 

A staggeringly high percentage of Americans suffer from bad back pain, and many choose to never seek treatment. Ignoring back pain can be detrimental not only to your health, but to your success if it’s keeping you from focusing at work. Maybe you’ve tried everything, from pain medication to massage therapy, but if you haven’t tried yoga yet, you could be missing out on a crucial way to alleviate discomfort.

 

You don’t have to take an expensive class, or feel shy in front of a big group of people. Order a yoga for back pain DVD, like the Viniyoga Therapy Complete Back Pain Series, and practice your treatment in the comfort of your own home! This set will teach you essential yoga poses that will help strengthen and stretch your back. Here is a sampling of five of our favorite yoga poses for the back to help you get started.

 

 

Child’s Pose: In this easy and comfortable position, you’ll start out on your hands and knees, then slowly shift backwards so that you’re sitting on your knees while bending over forward. Stretch your arms out in front of you as far as you can and drop your forehead to your mat while you take slow, deep breaths. This is the pose that you can revert to at any time in your yoga practice, whether you need a break or just want to stretch.

 

Cat Pose: From Child’s Pose you’ll want to shift back up to your hands and knees, making sure that they are both an equal distance apart and in line with your shoulders. Think of a cat arching its back as you slowly curve your spine upwards, letting your head drop and tuck your tailbone inward. Hold this pose for a few deep breaths before slowly uncurling your spine back to the starting position.

 

Cow Pose: Cow Pose is the opposite of Cat Pose. Instead of arching your spine upwards, you’re going to slowly curve it downwards, lifting your head as far as it can go while pressing your bellybutton to the ground and lifting your tailbone into the air. Take a few breaths before returning to the resting position. Alternate between Cow and Cat Pose as much as needed to feel a good stretch.

 

Down Dog: Down Dog or “Downward Facing Dog” is the classic resting position in yoga that can be achieved by slowly un-bending your knees. Straighten them so your tailbone is pointed high, and your arms and legs are straight at equal distances apart. Let your head hang and take a few deep breaths in this position. This can be a bit tricky but you’ll see exactly how to do it in our yoga for back pain DVD.

 

Up Dog: To get to Up Dog, you’ll want to either lower yourself into the top of a push-up from Down Dog, or step into it from standing. From the push-up position, slowly lower your body to the ground, then use your arms to push your upper body up as you arch your back and lift your head.

 

All of these positions are great for stretching and treating back pain, and can be learned in our Viniyoga yoga for back pain DVD. Explore Pranamaya for our entire selection of yoga DVDs and videos.

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