Monday, October 28, 2013

Saving Your Back with Yoga

"I'll be starting a pretty intense fruit-packing job from next week. It involves carrying heavy boxes full of fruit to and fro, and since the last few months of my life I've been quite sedentary and not very active, I'm sure that if I don't warm up before-hand at the start of every work day I'll quickly mess up a muscle or my back. Could anyone advise me on a few poses that'll help warm me up for a day spent on my feet, using my arms, shoulders, and back a lot?"

Submitted by Latvis on reddit.com/r/yoga/
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 Saving Your Back with Yoga by Alexander Smith

As a yoga teacher, I recommend Sun Salutations to warm up the body. You will be exercising your legs, core, chest, arms and shoulders. This sequence is taught in every Vinyasa yoga class.

During the course of your new job, it sounds vital that your spine is in alignment while you are lifting the heavy boxes.

One way to become more aware of your spinal alignment: With your toes to touch, inhale arms up, lift the chest, exhale swan dive over your legs, hinging at your hips hands to your shins or the ground. Inhale look up and lengthen your spine, exhale release deeper over your legs. In Uttanasana (standing forward bend) release the muscles in the back of your legs and butt as they are suppose to stretch. Engage the front of your thigh to straighten your knees but only as straight as possible for you don't push hard. Just breath and feel the sensation of the stretch. Yoga is a process of deepening. Take a few deep breaths here, lengthening your spine on the inhale and deepening the stretch in your back body on the exhale. On an inhale, slowly rise up to standing, stacking vertebra on top of vertebra. Feel the alignment of your spine and how the skeleton naturally holds your weight. Raise your head up last.

If you practice keeping the integrity of your spine, you will be able to perform your job healthier.
Another way to promote awareness of your spinal alignment: Start playing with the range of motion with your pelvis. Tilt your tail bone down toward the earth and then reverse this motion. Feel how your lower back arches when you tilt the front of your pelvis down and straightens when your tilt the back down. Keep this body alignment in mind while doing heavy lifting.

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