Yoga is a practice that incorporates both the mind and body, and has countless health benefits. It involves different postures, called asanas, and breathing techniques called pranayama. The goal of yoga is to provide its practitioner with both physical and mental improvements. According to SpineHealth.com, practicing yoga can help with back pain in a number of ways.
Strength from holding yoga positions
Holding positions in yoga is not intended to be uncomfortable. Yoga asanas gently strengthen muscles in the back, as well as in the abdomen. These muscles are essential to the spine's network and help to maintain proper posture and movement. When these muscles become well conditioned, back pain can be immensely reduced.
Stretching and Relaxation
Both stretching and relaxation can reduce tension in stressed muscles. Providing flexibility in muscle joints helps to expand range of motion and decrease the likelihood of injury. Stretching also increases blood flow, allowing nutrients to flow in and toxins to flow out. This helps to nourish muscles, particularly back muscles. Breathing is also intended to match movement in yoga practice, which helps to encourage good circulation.
Balance and Body Alignment
The yoga practice emphasizes proper alignment of the head, shoulders, and hips. Consistent practice and mastery of this alignment will ultimately lead to better posture and balance. Unlike many other forms of exercise, yoga focuses on both sides of the body equally.
Awareness of the Body
Awareness of your body will increase the more you practice. Not only does yoga help you to become more flexible and limber, but it also trains you to understand and listen to your body. This awareness acts as a preventative measure; you become more in tune with your body to know what it wants, needs, and what it should avoid.
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