Back problems like lumbago, sciatic pain, whiplash, spinal curvature, pinched nerves or even sore back muscles seriously affect one's quality of life. Yoga can improve your life by rendering your body in good shape, and by developing your mental and spiritual powers. Bikram (Hot) Yoga comprises of a set of 26 poses, or asanas, and two breathing exercises, which are practiced in a room heated up to 40 degrees centigrade. This school of yoga is challenging and focused; which is why people with serious back injuries must seek advice from their doctors before taking it up.
That said, common back issues can often be easily fixed by Bikram Yoga. This is because minor back issues are usually a result of weak and rigid muscles of the back, which makes movement difficult, and creates pain and stiffness. Hot yoga loosens up and empowers the muscles, relieves tension and stiffness of the shoulders and hips and reduces pain in the back. To make any type of yoga (including Bikram) safe, it is imperative that you take up the positions accurately and pay attention to your body's threshold of pain; when any posture becomes too uncomfortable or painful, you must stop.
Bikram Yoga is not only safe, but also effective, for a herniated disc and other lower back troubles. In fact, many therapists advise taking up gentle exercise, rather than popping pills for the rest of your life. Under the guidance of an experienced Bikram Yoga instructor, you should be able to see results within a month, and if you keep up with a scheduled practice, you will experience larger range of movement, and be free of pain and stiffness.
Initially you can skip intense forward bends that put too much strain on your back. Camel pose can be performed with a bad back, but only go as far as feels comfortable. Some other back strengthening asanas are:
- Half Moon Pose
- Backward Bending Pose
- Awkward Pose- widens pelvic region, relieves sciatica
- Eagle Pose- strengthens lower extremities, improves mobility of hip girdle, facilitates the flow of fresh blood to the joints
- Standing Bow Pose- elongates the spine, reduces pain in the lower back
- Triangle Pose- stops pain in the hip and back
- Tree Pose- makes hip more mobile, decreases inflammation of the lower back area
Sciatica can also be helped with Bikram Yoga. As sciatica is more of a nerve problem, sufferers may experience more symptoms when they are angry or upset. With Hot yoga you will not only work out your body, you will also learn to control your emotions and your mind. This ability to calm yourself and to turn attention towards the desired object will enable you to deal with Sciatica in a more effective manner.
Often, women with back pain feel their symptoms worsening when they are premenstrual. Bikram Yoga can help them by flushing toxins from their bodies, elongating their limbs, joints and muscles allowing more fluid and painless movement.