Yoga and Pilates are both great practices when it comes to taking care of your back. In my classes, we don’t claim to cure back pain as such, but if you are having trouble and niggles, I will always help you modify the poses and movements to support your needs.

So, what have we got in store for you in Back Care Week?

In Vinyasa Yoga and Pilates

We’ve been practicing some strengthening poses and of course lots of luscious stretches. Making slow and considered moves during our Vinyasa allows us to listen to our bodies and notice any points of discomfort, allowing us to make tiny adjustments as needed.

Standing shoulder twists

As part of our warm-up routine, keeping head and face facing forward, we turn our shoulders one way then the other, gently twisting our core.

Sphinx or Cobra

Our Vinyasa begins as always with forward fold, which can feel very nice on tired backs, then we move into plank, lower ourselves to the floor and move into either Cobra or Sphinx for a mini back bend. It’s helpful to remember to clench the buttocks whenever you bend upwards like this, to protect your lower back from over extension.

Superman and swimming

This more of a Pilates move than Yoga. Lying face down arms and legs stretched out in line with our bodies, we begin to slowly raise one arm, reaching forward. We can combine this with the opposite moving at the same time or kick up the impact but fluttering the arms and legs in a front crawl motion.

Superman (or Superwoman) is similar but is done on all fours and tend not to attempt to swim!

Focus on clenching the buttocks in swimming and keeping the back in tabletop position for superman.

Crescent arms for lunges

From our back bend we move up into Down Dog – a restorative pose, although some of my members may feel it’s not that restful! From here, lone foot comes forward between the hands and we go into a high lunge with crescent arms. Another back bend in the opposite direction for many who sit at desks all day long.

Puppy Pose

Puppy Pose is a big lower back stretch, front of shoulder stretch and upper back stretch. It’s the one that starts like Child’s Pose but with your bottom in the air whilst sliding your hands away to the front of your mat. The aim is to get your lower arms, elbows and even (one day), your armpits on the floor!

Child’s Pose

A lovey restful position, rounding the back off after all that hard work. In every practice, we always bring our bodies back to a central line to end the flow, whether that’s a Pilates or Vinyasa class.

Twisting stretches

For some additional stretches we’ve incorporated knee drops, roll backs, knee hugs or circling the knees whilst hugging them in, and one that I don’t think anyone’s tried before – the front shoulder stretch which also targets the lower back.

Whilst lying face down with arms out to scarecrow, lift one hip from the floor to begin a gentle twist (ladies, this might a bit uncomfortable to begin with). The aim is to get your hips vertical or even past vertical with the upper leg/foot on the floor behind.

Taking care of our backs is essential for free-flowing movement in our everyday lives – everything hangs off our back! To join a class, go the Booking page, or get in touch with me to ask about suitability, or seniors discount.