Our back, and more specifically our spine, is the central structure of our body that literally supports and sustains our entire body. If at some point the well-being of our back gets lost, it immediately has a major impact on the structure and coherence of our entire life. So it definitely pays off to give your back permanent attention. And this can be done on various levels.
First of all there is the attention. Bring your attention to your back regularly. Whether you do mental work in a predominantly sedentary job or mainly physical work, you will benefit from allowing your attention to "commute", to go back and forth between the object of your activities and your body, and more specifically your back. How does your back feel? How is your pelvis? What position is your lower back in? Do you have a slight hollow there or do the points of your lumbar vertebrae stick out because your lower back has sagged? And also: where does your head stand in relation to your torso? Is it nicely on top and in balance? Or does your head protrude systematically?
Our breathing supports our back more than we might suspect. How is your breathing? Deep or very shallow and restricted? Do you breathe mainly upwards (thoracic breathing) or downwards (belly or abdominal breathing)? It is good to use your whole breathing space, your whole breathing capacity, and to breathe sufficiently upwards, towards the upper chest, shoulders and collarbones. This causes your chest to expand, the expansion and contraction in the rhythm of the breath brings life and movement to the body’s tissues. And this makes it less likely that energy will be trapped and the muscles will have less chance to cramp up and create “knots”. The expansion of the chest opens the body and gives full support to the whole back.
Especially for the large number of people who spend most of their days sitting, it is good to consider your sitting position on a chair. Prolonged sitting on chairs or sofas keeps the muscles in the back of the thigh short, whereas we would benefit from long, supple hamstrings. Moreover, the flow of blood is also slowed down. Sitting on a chair is also fatal for our pelvis. We gradually lose freedom of movement in our hip joint. In fact, sitting and living on the floor is one of the healthiest decisions you can make for your back and hips! Not evident in our Western culture, which collectively rejects contact with the earth.
Going back and forth with your attention between activity and body can be combined well with micro-movements. These are all kinds of short movements, such as raising and lowering the shoulders, rolling the shoulders, twisting the upper body to the left and right from the waist, stretching the arms and laterally stretching the torso, which break the long, static sitting posture. You should also get up for a few minutes every half hour and take a walk.
Finally, it is important to keep your back in top condition by regularly doing appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises. Our yoga for the back class is perfect for this. In yoga for the back, we combine attention, breathing and appropriate exertion and relaxation to leave back problems behind us for good. Whatever your condition or body type, our yoga for the back class will provide you with the keys to a full, conscious experience of the wonderful structure that is our back and to restoring and maintaining the wellbeing of your back.
Yoga for the back on Friday evening from 19.00 to 20.00 in a small group of maximum 7 persons, the ideal preparation after a busy week to go totally relaxed into the weekend.