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Yoga to the Rescue for Back Pain

Yoga to The Rescue for Back PainBack pain affects eight out of ten
  people at some point during their lives
  and it is one of the most common
  medical problems. With almost twenty
  years of teaching experience under
  her belt, internationally renowned and
  respected yoga guru Desirée Rumbaugh
  has put together some simple and
  effective ways to relieve and prevent
  back pain...

'S TECHNIQUES IMPROVE STRENGTH AND SUPPLENESS and go a long way towards healing back problems in some cases, completely relieving the pain. One of the industry's most respected instructors, she shows you how to improve your posture, causing less pressure and giving relief from tightness. As you would expect, she advises that if you suffer with back problems you should consult a doctor or a specialist before commencing the workout. And, obviously, If you experience pain or discomfort while trying any form of exercise at all, you should seek medical advice.

Having lived with a painful back for some years, I was keen to put this DVD to the test. Some of the ways Desirée suggests for relieving pain really did work quite quickly and some of the exercises were not too difficult for me to do, although not everybody has the same diagnosis so, naturally, we would urge caution.

Desirée's instructions are clear and sensible. She has the skills and the natural ability to pass on her extensive knowledge and has tailored her exercises accordingly for complete beginners and for more advanced yoga practitioners — she starts with simple exercises
and moves through to more advanced techniques.

"The wise sages used to say that you are as young as your spine is flexible," says Desirée, pointing out the many advantages of using the techniques demonstrated in Yoga to the Rescue for Back Pain.

Explanations are good and particularly helpful are Desirée's demonstrations of the wrong way to do something. She is very flexible, so there will be positions you cannot do until you are more experienced. Each pose is demonstrated and there is an explanation of how it relates to helping your back — abdominal work, for instance, is good for the back as it strengthens the muscles that support it.

Positions like The Cat and The Cow, The Downward Facing Dog and The Sphinx and Cobra poses will all fall into place with practice. The Cobra is particularly good for backs but you need to make sure you achieve this without discomfort. There are good tips on how to get comfortable, and how you should protect your knees and back.

Everything should be gentle and slow, says Desirée, with no rush or strain. She emphasises the balanced action and the alignment with nature and the importance of only doing what you can do comfortably.

Outer Hip Stretches, hamstring stretches and a position called Windshield Wipers are covered. The latter is a great way to unwind and relax around your hips, back and the front of the waist. One very effective way to combat back pain is Preserving The Lumbar Curve: laying over a rolled blanket can be very relaxing if you follow Desirée's instructions, but you may need to experiment with the size of blanket.

You could have more power to heal your back than you realise — Desirée says that one way to help is to make sure you are walking and standing correctly. Use a mirror or rope
in a friend to help you to make an assessment.

Finally, we come to Shavasana — a deep resting pose. You can stretch and align yourself with nature and find the exact balance for the lift of the heart. Relax and close your eyes, breathe gently and normally. Let your whole body soften...

By following the advice given in Yoga to the Rescue for Back Pain, you could reclaim your flexibility and find a new freedom from pain.

Desirée's DVD, Yoga to the Rescue for Back Pain, will be released on 19 May (2008), courtesy of Acacia at an RRP of £14.99. The music is from www.shamansdream