How to Help Yourself with the Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs Programme
Who is YHLB suitable for?
- Those who want to learn to help themselves.
- Those who like the prospect of learning methods for “getting back control of their back condition”
- Those looking for a kind and gentle, person-centred approach.
- Those whose back pain has become chronic, e.g. persistent pain or pain that is there the majority of the time.
- Those whose back pain comes and goes (recurring/ episodic), e.g. several bouts each year. Don’t wait until your next episode of bad back pain – start now.
- Anyone prepared to commit to weekly classes, which teach you to incorporate some yoga skills into your daily life.
- Holistic approach – so particularly beneficial for those who have:
- stress / emotional factors (which may be contributing to back pain experience)
- injuries or health conditions that prevent participation in other exercise or sports
- multiple conditions, e.g. headaches, hip replacement, high blood pressure (your teacher will show you modifications for maximum holistic benefit).
What to Expect:
- No previous experience of yoga is necessary; but it can offer those with yoga experience more subtle knowledge of lifelong best practice methods (“optimum rather than maximum”).
- You will not be asked to do anything which your body or mind is not comfortable with.
- Not just for fitness fanatics, i.e. it is suitable for people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels! (but note that it can help fitness fanatics get back to their favourite sports!)
- Yoga is a philosophy (i.e. as well as helping your back pain, it can show a positive way of living, but it is not a religion)
- No complicated, challenging or advanced yoga, i.e. no Olympic gymnastics!
Steps to YHLB
- Find a Teacher or two in your area and contact them for potential start-date OR Find a Regional Teaching Team and email the Area Contact for potential locations.
- Find a Teacher or two in your area and contact them for potential start-date.
OR Find a Regional Teaching Team and email the Area Contact (or YHLB Hub, e.g. Cornwall) for potential start-dates.
- If and when there is a suitable scheduled course, you will be sent a Specific Course Info Sheet with details such as: start-date, 12 class dates and times, venue, timings, course fee payment, etc.
- Book onto the course via the Teacher (or regional Hub). Phone your teacher for a brief chat about your back to enable them to help you more. (If in doubt, ask your GP, if specialised evidence-based YHLB yoga taught with a kind and gentle approach is appropriate for you – show them Trifold or www.yogaforbacks.co.uk website.)
- Tell others about the courses to help raise awareness and viability of courses.
- Get your Resources Pack, once you are told that the course will go ahead.
- Begin your course at Class 1 with pain-relieving poses, including the importance of relaxation and begin simple home practice.
- Enjoy your first half of the course (taught according to the 12 differing class plans used in our research), which gradually introduce the gentle, easy and subtle yoga techniques, poses and some practice sequences (CORE) into your daily life. Your teacher will help you modify and adapt for your individual needs, but you will benefit from the small group experience.
- There will definitely be at least one break (usually after Class 5 or 6), where you are encouraged to continue using your yoga skills in daily life to help yourself.
- Enjoy your second half of the course (PROGRESSIVE), which builds on the CORE poses and sequences. This enables you to continue to gain further postural awareness, strength, flexibility, awareness of build up of stress/tension, practice of poses and skills consolidation so that you can enjoy returning to, or beginning, hobbies, sports, normal activity levels at work/home/play/leisure.
- Learning skills over at least 12 weeks (the course will take 3-5 months to complete, including breaks), is likely to consolidate knowledge, so that you are able to integrate simple techniques into daily life to help yourself forever.
- Continue using your new-found and learnt techniques in daily life forever. Once pain has disappeared or decreased, most practice twice a week (approx.. 30 minutes), but also integrate simple techniques into daily life.
Some enjoy a daily 20-30 minute practice, perhaps before work for a productive enjoyable day or before bed for better sleep.
Some just use postural awareness for standing / sitting / lying / moving, breathing techniques to relieve tension and bring energy, and some pain-relieving poses, relaxation and some stretches as and when they need it.
Yoga works like credit/debit system – keep in credit. Commit and you will gain more benefits.
- Do catch-up classes, if you miss a few of the YHLB course 12 classes. Spreads out the learning, encouragement, support and motivation.
- Possibly do a few Refresher YHLB classes (reduced rates).
- Some of you might like to join a general yoga class to maintain the class experience, but some might just continue to practice at home.
- Enjoy and continue to tell others about YHLB, e.g. friends, acquaintances, GPs, physios, consultants, Councils, Public Health Dept., Workplaces, +++ Thank You – this project is for sharing.
Where and When?
- Courses available throughout UK – www.yogaforbacks.co.uk (Find a Teacher page – Qualified Teacher Register listed alphabetically by County plus Trainee teachers below; interactive map; Teaching Teams)
- You may need to wait up to 12 weeks or longer for a start-date.
No Course near you? N.B. It is best to learn with a YHLB teacher.
- Been to yoga classes before? – If you are not experiencing severe back pain, you may find that you will be able to help yourself via the Resources Pack (but we recommend finding a YHLB teacher to help you).
- Never done yoga before? – i. You would be likely to benefit from our YHLB Relaxation Album (especially Track 1). Consider asking experienced yoga teachers near you to do the YHLB teacher training course.