Yoga For Back Care
❝You’re Only as Old as Your Spine❞
Back pain is, unfortunately, incredibly common. In fact, back pain is one of the most common medical issues in the UK and beyond. The causes of back pain are multiple. And of course, there is absolutely no one size fits all for finding causes of back pain, and more importantly, preventing it, and caring for the back. But our Yoga for Back Care course can help us to get on the road to understanding how to better care for our backs. The back may feel like it’s behind us, but in reality, it’s right in the middle of our body, and everything we do, from your head down, impacts the health of our spine, and the health of our spine, will impact the quality of our lives. Exercise can be one of the best ways to prevent as well as manage many forms of back pain.
This Yoga for Back Care course includes Sally Parkes’ fabulous five-part course. In addition, we have curated a series to include tutorials on specific issues, from Sacro-Illiac issues, to scoliosis and sciatica, to a series to help you to protect and recover, when the back is needing extra TLC, a series for neck and shoulders and bringing it all together, with the healthy back care series.
It goes without saying but if you have any medical conditions, please contact your health advisor before attempting to participate in any classes (although you may watch some of the tutorials for interest, without participating).
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Yoga for Back Care Series
Our core strength is vital for supporting our spine health. In these short classes, best followed in order, Sally Parkes is our guide in these classes, which are ordered in increasing difficulty. Start with the introduction, and then the first class, which is gentle movement to support and strengthen the muscles around your spine. Classes get increasingly challenging, so please listen to your body. Only do what feels nourishing and supportive. Maybe just do the first or second video. Respect and honour what your body is telling you and do not attempt the final class unless you have a good range of mobility and strength.
Yoga for Back Care: Introduction
Welcome to the Yoga for Back Care. This is an introduction to the course, and may help you to use the classes. If you are currently feeling real back pain, wait until that settles before starting the course and see your health practitioner for their guidance. This introduction helps us to understand the anatomy of the spine, and how our spine works, so that when we practice our classes, we know how we're keeping the spine healthy, the impact our movements have on the sprine, and how we can increase our spinal health, care for our backs better, and reduce back pain.
Yoga for Back Care: Core Focus
The first in the yoga for back care series, this back care class is a gentle introduction to the larger muscles that make up your back, filled with gentle stretches and mobilizing your back. This class is mostly seated and suitable for most mobility levels. Although if you are currently experiencing back pain, do ask your health care practitioner before practicing.
Yoga for Back Care: Building Core Strength
This yoga for back care class is increasingly tougher, building up core strength! This class focuses on building up internal strength and activating the back muscles. This class builds on the back care classes deep core introduction class, the focus on this class is on increasing range of movement whilst activating the outer core, and why being able to activate the core is important for stabilisation of the spine and pelvis. You will need a chair.
Yoga for Back Care: Deep Core Muscles
The yoga for back care class is mostly either seated, on the back or on all fours and includes gentle, supported and floor-based movements to mobilise the shoulders, spine and pelvis. Combine mobilisation with conscious breathing and gentle stretching to release stiffness and increase the feeling of embodiment, really inhabiting and saying 'yes' to your body. Bring awareness to the entire body via the breath before bringing attention to the psoas, lower abdominal area and pelvic floor to practice how to activate and release these muscles, the deep core, in equal measures.
Yoga for Back Care: Building Strength
This Yoga class is perfect for back care, keeping your back strong and mobile. Class focuses on building core strength and mobility for the spine and hips - essential for back care. This really lovely Yoga for back care class focuses mostly on symmetrical standing movements as standing poses can help to build strength through the body, avoiding unnecessary stress on the back, particularly on the lower back area. chair and wall for support at various points too. This class is mostly standing poses. You will need a yoga block, or a book.
Yoga for Back Care: Enjoying Strength
This Yoga for Back Care class focuses on strenthening the muscles which will help to keep your back strong. This class is stronger, suitable for intermediate yogis, moving more towards free standing movements now now to apply the principles learned in previous classes. This back care class is more fiesty, demanding a greater physical fitness and mobility, but with a focus on alignment and listening to the body and the information it feedbacks to us, should we choose to listen. You will need a yoga block, or book. And a sense of humility - if the posisitons in this class are too much, do go back to the other back care classes.
- From the Blog
We all deserve a pain-free and more mobile body! Movement is a fundamental characteristic of life, and muscles play a major role in that activity. In the human body musculature constitutes 30-50% of total body weight. Any kind of motion relies on the strength of your muscles whether it is walking, jumping, writing, sitting or chewing food and digestion.
- From the Blog
The amount of people experiencing back pain in the UK on a regular basis is now massive with 20.3 million people in the UK alone, which is a third of the population, having a musculoskeletal issue or condition. With so many people experiencing back pain, back care and movement for back care is a vital topic.
- From the Blog
A complete guide to yoga for strength in our mind and body. This article includes the best yoga poses for building strength and a free Handstand Course!
Back Care Tutorials
Find out about some common causes of back pain and get some detailed information on back care from Osteopath Ben Parker, alongside Yoga Teacher,Lucy Parker.
Low Back Pain: How Yoga Can Help
In this yoga anatomy class, learn about the anatomy of the spine and the most common causes of low back pain in adults, followed by suggestions on how you can strengthen and support your spine during a yoga class. It’s estimated up to 8 out of 10 people in the UK are affected by back pain at some point in their lives with around a third of the population suffering an episode of low back pain each year. Understanding the anatomy of our lumbar spine and the importance of core stability can truly help you to support and maintain a healthy back on and off your yoga mat. NB: Please note that all advice and recommendations in this film are given generally and do not constitute any form of an individual diagnosis or treatment plan. A consultation with a medical practitioner or registered physical therapist is recommended.
Yoga for Osteoporosis & Osteopenia
Osteoporosis is said to affect over 3 million people in the UK (NHS). This condition (and it’s younger sister osteopenia) affects the density of the bones and so their strength, resilience and support. In this video, Lucy & Ben explain in clear and simple terms what proactive measures can be taken to reduce the risks of developing these conditions. They explore how to work within certain parameters to help should you have a reduced bone density and finally offer a better understanding of opportunities to maintain the health of the bones. Remember, many people only learn of any weakness in their bones when they have suffered a fracture. As we age it’s vitally important that we protect the strength of our bones and respect the role they have in our health and mobility. Prevention really is key here, watch this video to find out how and why! Please note that all advice and recommendations in this film are given generally and do not constitute any form of an individual diagnosis or treatment plan. A consultation with a medical practitioner or registered physical therapist is recommended.
Yoga Tutorial for a Healthy Spine
A yoga anatomy tutorial all about the spine; essential for any yoga students and teachers looking to expand their knowledge! The more we know about the spine the more remarkable and astonishing it becomes; it is fundamental in so many movement patterns allowing us to move in so many ways whilst staying light, graceful and steady. This video will teach you about the intricate structure of your spine and begin to respect its subtle changes and adaptations that make life on two feet possible and enjoyable. Class starts by offering you a way to gain a felt sense of your spine and its various ranges of movement and functions. Then discover how to find good posture in standing and sitting to limit those all too common issues of back ache. Finally, learn how to use your spine to inform your alignment, ease and freedom on your yoga mat. NB: All advice and recommendations in this film are given generally and do not constitute any form of an individual diagnosis or treatment plan. A consultation with a medical practitioner or registered physical therapist is recommended.
Yoga For Scoliosis
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine which can present in spectrum of different grades. For some, a scoliosis can be very mild, hardly noticeable and certainly not an issue for everyday movement and living. For others it can be very inhibiting, restricting movement, causing pain and discomfort, perhaps even leading to corrective surgery. In this video, Lucy & Ben explain what scoliosis is and explore how you can help yourself, or loved ones, with this condition. Explore the role of good breathing and gentle movement to stretch out and gain ease and comfort. Please note that all advice and recommendations in this film are given generally and do not constitute any form of an individual diagnosis or treatment plan. A consultation with a medical practitioner or registered physical therapist is recommended.
Anatomy of Breathing
You can hardly get through five minutes of any good yoga class without being reminded to breathe. Of course, all of us breathe every second of every day, we do it instinctively. However, how much do we all know about the mechanics of breathing and how we can optimise our breathing for our health and wellbeing? This yoga anatomy video offers an invaluable insight into the anatomy of your breath and how to use your breath on and off your yoga mat to help you feel good both physically as well as mentally. Please note that all advice and recommendations in this film are given generally and do not constitute any form of an individual diagnosis or treatment plan. A consultation with a medical practitioner or registered physical therapist is recommended.
Frozen Shoulder: How Yoga Can Help
This anatomy yoga video will teach you about the shoulder joint and what can go wrong with it. Frozen Shoulder has become a catch-all phrase to explain a range of shoulder issues. In particular, we focus on a condition called adhesive capsulitis (which we could call a true frozen shoulder) and how best to adapt your yoga practice to best support your recovery from this condition. NB: Please note that all advice and recommendations in this film are given generally and do not constitute any form of an individual diagnosis or treatment plan. A consultation with a medical practitioner or registered physical therapist is recommended.
Unfortunately, Sacroiliac issues (SI) are common amongst yoga practitioners. These classes will help with SI challenges.
Yoga for Sacroiliac Stability
Sacroiliac (SI) pain can be common in many yoga practitioners. This series of movements, all done on the back when done daily can help address instability and discomfort in the sacroiliac area. It’s also ideal if you’re short on space and time. You’ll need a blanket, block and strap.
Functional Back Care: Somatic Spine
A somatic movement class of gentle, but deep practice to bring awareness to the lower spine and sacroiliac area. This class is deeply restful and unwinding for the spine and can leave you feeling relaxed, but moved in interesting ways. Help your body access its own intelligence through embodiment, touch and intuitive movement. Class takes place entirely on the floor. You will need two blankets.
Pilates for Lower Back Pain
A pilates class specifically focused on strengthening the SI (or sacro-illiac) joint. The lower back can sometimes feel pain because of tweaked SI joint, so it's great to give it strength back. A tough, targetted class to release the tension in the SI joint by strengthening the glutes, tummy and hips. You will need a cushion or block or pilates ball.
Recovery from illness or injury: Protect and Recover
When recovering from an illness or surgery, it’s vital to listen to your health practitioner, and your own body. Teacher Lizzie Reumont has had to undergo multiple life-saving surgeries. This series will help to modify your practice and give tools for listening to the body when recovering.
Yoga For Illness and Recovery
How can yoga support us through times of illness and recovery? We talk with Lizzie Reumont, a Jivamukti yoga teacher and Rolfer, who has experienced a number of illnesses through her life. We explore with Lizzie what happens physically and mentally when our body lets us down; how can we practice in a way which nourishes us and supports us; and how we can show up for ourselves as we go through difficult times. Why not check out our Gentle Yoga for Times of Illness course
Protect & Recover 1: Lower Body
When you're recovering from illness or injury, start slow. Work through a very gentle recovery in this series from the ground up. This first class looks at the feet, ankles, knees and hips. Learn to understand how your body works and find and explore your own movement. This is perfect for those in the beginning stages of recovery or looking to strengthen weaknesses from past injury or illness. Warm up and move through stiff joints and bring overall awareness to the interconnectedness of the feet through the legs to the hips. This class takes place mostly seated in a chair and is accessible to most bodies.
Protect & Recover 2: Gentle Floor & Modified Standing Poses
Perfect for recovering from illness or injury, or for those seeking more gentle variations to the usual yoga class. This yoga class focuses on gentle, smaller movements and exploring the movements of the lower body. Starting with lying on the back, we then move through modified sun salutations. If you want to be able to flow, but your body has more limited mobility, this is a great class for offering variations on common poses. Learn how to lunge safely, how to do chair-supported warrior poses and some gentle chair twists, before closing back at the floor to rest.You will need a chair.
Protect & Recover 3: Healthy Spine
Perfect for recovering from illness or injury, or for those seeking more gentle variations to the usual yoga class. This yoga class can be done either standing or in a chair. This class helps to very gently mobilise and create a sense of awareness and balance through the back - the vertebra, ribcage, shoulders and arms and hands as they relate down into the hips, and up through the neck. The slow pace gently brings the spine into flexion, extension, side bending and twisting either in sitting position or through standing. You will need a chair.
Neck and Shoulders
These classes are quick and easy for when you need to simply keep your neck and shoulders moving. If you have a sedentary job, use a keyboard or a mobile device (or are a human living in modern life!) chances are, your neck and shoulders could do with some love. These classes are easy to fit into the day and many don’t need a yoga mat or any space.
Your Daily Shoulder, Neck & Head Practice
This short yoga class mobilises, strengthens, and relaxes the shoulders and neck through their full range of motion. This is so important for our sedentary lives, and is a vital class for when you've ben busy at work, when you're feeling overwhelmed or when you're travelling. Additionally, you will give yourself a face, head, and jaw massage to help you release tension and find calm. Practise this class regularly as a preparation for your time on your mat or simply to feel good in your body. You will need a yoga brick or block.
Release Tight Neck and Shoulders
Neck and Shoulders
Most of us experience pain in our neck and shoulders. Perhaps it from from sitting for long periods, using mobile phones and laptops or sometimes pain in the neck and shoulders can be from stresses from dealing with the challenges that we expereince in our lives. This classes targets the neck and shoulder with a combination of 10 stretches and movements for releasing tension, creating mobility and openess. A great daily practise or something you can integrate a few times a week in addition to your other practices. Can be done from sitting or standing and practised anywhere!
Short Shoulder and Neck Relief Class
Quick Neck Release
The neck holds so much unnecessary tension. This short tutorial class gives you essental tools to deal with daily tension which accumulate in the neck and upper shoulders. The class releases the neck, upper trapezius, helps release the jaw, elbows and wrists and allows greater bloodflow to the brain. No need to be on a yoga mat, do this class everywhere and anywhere, every day and feel the tension slip away.
Love Your Neck, Shoulders & Upper Back
A simple yoga class, perfect as a bookend as a warm up or wind down to the beginning or end of a practice, even perfect as a post-athletic stretch out, or a break during the day. With a focus on with poses that open your shoulders, hips, hamstrings and lower back. You will be doing some seated poses so if you have tender knees or ankles, I recommend having a block for under your pelvis. We use the wall in this practice, so you'll need to be near a wall as a prop. You may want a bolster for legs up the wall, our closing posture, it feels great under the pelvis, it really helps to support hamstring lengthening. You wil need a block and a belt handy.
Healthy Back Series
Learn how to care for your back from the whole body perspective. Remember that your back health starts with your feet and ends with your head, and is everything in-between. Keep your spine healthy with this series to learn the interconnection of the body, and how to care for your back through gentle movements and yoga.
Healthy Back (1) Spinal Warm Up
The first class in our spinal health class is an all-levels movement class to help to understand our relationship with the spine. First of all, we learn the anatomical principles of keeping the spine healthy and then move on energetic jumping to feel how the body moves, and then a focus on the feet, to help us ground down, so we can stand taller. The feet are absolutely crucial to spinal health! With gentle, fluid movements to open the hips and side stretch, this class is a crucial first step in keeping your spine fluid and mobile (note that this series is not for you if you have back problems). You will need two blocks and a strap and a rolled up mat or swimming aid noodle.
Healthy Back (2) Hips and Lower Back
Experiment with exactly how your pelvis sits in your daily movement. Learn how to position your pelvis and experiment with the effect on the lower back. This gentle yoga class uses standing as well as supine poses to focus on creating space and freedom in the hips and the lower back. Perfect for those of us who spend large portions of our day seated! You will need a block. (note, this healthy back series are maintenance back health class, they are not suitable for those with ongoing back problems).
Healthy Back (3) Supine hips and lower back
Healthy Back (4) The Middle Spine
Healthy Back (5) Spinal Torsion Supine
Healthy Back (6) Upper Back and Neck
A gentle class taking place entirely whilst seated, this simple but very effective yoga class to 'unstick' tight shoulders and the neck. Often our neck and shoulders are contorted with use of technology. This sequence finds length in the both sides of the neck and through the shoulder blades. You will need two blocks.
Easy Back Care
These gentle yoga classes are accessible to most and are the perfect way to wind down after a long day, especially if you’ve been sedentary most of the day. Care for your spine each and every day.
Easy Yoga for Back Care: 1
Stiff or painful back and shoulders? Maybe you’re wondering how to build movement into your daily life? Take this 4-part series with Leila and benefit from this easy to follow straightforward routine. Easy and effective pain relief and maintenance for those of you who are new to yoga, who are working with injuries or those with very limited time. Props: Yoga block or stack of books. Yoga belt or tie/scarf.
Easy Yoga for Back Care: 2
Stiff or painful back and shoulders? Take this simple daily sequence to add freedom and mobility to the spine. In practice 2, Leila builds on the flexes, twists and side stretches building on last week’s class to create a greater range of movement for the back, neck and shoulders. Easy and effective pain relief and maintenance for beginners, those with injuries or those with very limited time. Props: Yoga belt or tie/scarf.
Easy Yoga for Back Care: 3
Stiff or painful back and shoulders? Take this simple daily sequence to add freedom and mobility to the spine. In practice 3, Leila builds on the flexes, twists and side stretches building on last week’s class to create a greater range of movement for the back, neck and shoulders. Easy and effective pain relief and maintenance for beginners, those with injuries or those with very limited time. Props: Yoga belt or tie/scarf.
Easy Yoga for Back Care: 4
Easy Hips: 1
Tight or painful back, legs or hips? Take this easy series with Leila and benefit from this easy to follow straightforward routine. Easy and effective pain relief and maintenance for those of you who are new to yoga, who are working with injuries or those with very limited time. Props: Yoga block or stack of books. Yoga belt or tie/scarf.
Easy Hips: 2
In this second practice, Leila offers 4 simple poses that open the hips, backs of the legs, calves and feet to relieve tension in the hips and lower back. Take this easy series with Leila and benefit from this easy to follow straightforward routine. Easy and effective pain relief and maintenance for those of you who are new to yoga, who are working with injuries or those with very limited time. Props: Blanket or thick towel to roll.
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