yin and my lumbar joints

There are often many questions about Yin Yoga and specific spinal conditions. Feel free to ask your question here, or check out other posts or contribute input from your own experience.
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fannie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:48 am
Location: truckee, california

yin and my lumbar joints

Post by fannie »

hi Bernie,
i am a new yoga instructor, trained in the hatha style. i had a back injury at work 4 yrs ago( i was 39 with no prior back issues at all) that left me with a torn disc, muscle sprains and later to find out i had moderate to severe joint damage at L4,5 and S1 right side only. an unfortunate incident with traction at PT, left me worse off and alone to deal with it (lost jobs, money, my relationship etc..). Yoga saved my sanity. yin saved my back.
i am writing because my experience with chronic pain, that nearly did me in, in general, a whole other story really, was debilitating mentally and left me with some severe muscle imbalances when i finally (after a not so pleasant yang style yoga training, which i am now introducing slowly again) discovered YIN in our last weekend. i had tried yin before and couldnt walk for two days after and vowed never to go there again, until that weekend. i had attended sarah powers' mindful meditation seminar here in truckee, at the beginning of my yoga teacher training, and she saved me in more ways then one. the journey has continued since. i denied all the "experimental injections" tried the pain meds and muscle relaxers and have been very diligent in my path to find a better more active, less disabling, painful life, and Yin has been a huge component. i want to teach a personal specific class for back sufferers since the muscle imbalances have been a HUGE issue in controlling a lot of the irrational pain. it doesnt stop it all together but it makes it BETTER. i lost a lot along the way, personally, mentally and socially, but i gained ME back.
and meditation is the best. i have always been very Yang, and never thought i would say that.
anyway i have your book, AWESOME, paul grilleys dvd and all of sarahs as well, and i am learning. since low back pain is such a HUGE epidemic, i need to say my piece and my story. i welcome any feedback from professionals or other LBP suffers. i want to help and heal beyond myself.
one of my favorite yoga quotes "due to the oscillations of the mind, you have to make an effort". i did. and it has been the best decision.
thank you for reading!

steph
Bernie
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Resources for lower back disorders

Post by Bernie »

Hi Steph

Thanks for sharing your story: I am very glad you got to meet Sarah and learn from her. I am sure that helped a lot. Another resource you may want to check out is Stuart McGill and his books and DVDs, especially one called Low Back Disorders. He explains what happens and illustrates many simple exercises that I have incorporated into my yang yoga teaching.

The key is to keep the spine in a neutral position while you exercise and strengthen all the muscles around the core. All around the core includes the side stomach muscles as well as the back muscles and not just the stomach muscles, which too many people overdevelop and that leads to low back issues. It is quite easy to program into a regular yoga class positions like the balancing Cat (he calls it the bird dog) and Crocodile and Side planks on elbows (he calls these the side bridge).

Cheers!
Bernie
fannie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:48 am
Location: truckee, california

Post by fannie »

thanks! i will check him out for sure. i do all the poses you mentioned already so that is a good sign he might be great to look into!
any thoughts, or asanas, to help with chronic muscle spasms (tendon, ligament tightening) specifically in the QL and the multifidis? sp? i've never been able to get those back under control around the joints at my injury sight after the traction.
side bending or twists, even minor, are tough.
thats my latest area of work.
steph
Bernie
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Post by Bernie »

I am not sure what to recommend to help with you spasming in the QL or multifids. Hmmm...if I come across anything, I will let you know. The only thing I can think of is the Crocodile and Side Bridge: I just love these. They do touch the areas you are talking about. Do let us know if you figure it out.

Cheers!
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