We can all find ourselves pushing a little too much in our practice sometimes, at times we can find things that used to feel natural and free flowing a little difficult and challenging as the body doesn’t quite do as it once did. This can be for many reasons, maybe the body is overly stressed or tired, or the challenges are there due to bad eating and sleeping habits, due to emotions building within the spine and back muscles or a number of things. But when our minds are not letting go and accepting a more gentle approach until the body is ready again sometimes little injuries can occur and can often be in the back. Here are some tips just to bring awareness and help protect our spine and back muscles.
1. Warm up well before practicing asana and especially before attempting back bends. Suryia Namaskar either from a gentle approach or a dynamic one is the best way to warm up.
2. Engage your abdominal muscles and core strength throughout your practice.
3. Lengthen your spine before twisting, forward bends and back bends. In fact just keep lengthening through the spine!
4. Engaging your glute muscles (bottom muscles) will take the strain off of your lower back, before back bends such as Ustrasan (camel pose) lift up and lengthen through the spine and engage your glutes before folding back into the bend.
5. Any discomfort in your lower back during forward bends keep the knees slightly bent.
6. Whilst lying in Savasana if discomfort is felt in the lower back bend the knees and let them rest to each other or place a bolster under your thighs.
Try not to put pressure on yourself and your body during your practice, follow your breath, let your breath be your guide and accept where we are on a moment-by-moment basis. This is difficult sometimes but everything is constantly changing so if something is difficult for a while accept it and know that it will change. As we accept the weather we should try to accept ourselves.
Have beautiful days
Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn!
Om shanti shanti shanti
AlwaysMangala / Nicky