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Yoga used to eliminate back pain

Weekend workshop educates on prevention, treatment

By: By Megan Sarrazin

  |  Posted: Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 06:00 am

PAINFUL POSTURE - Yoga can be used to help alleviate back pain often caused by incorrect posture.
PAINFUL POSTURE - Yoga can be used to help alleviate back pain often caused by incorrect posture.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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Improper posture can have a large and negative effect on everyday life.

“We know that back issues account for a huge portion of work-related days off,” says yoga instructor Angela Wiens. “I think it restricts every other activity (people) might want to do.”

This is precisely why she is hosting a workshop to share techniques to alleviate back discomfort and prevent pain by ensuring proper posture.

The workshop is directed at individuals already experiencing lower back pain with symptoms of tight hamstrings, tenderness in the lower back or restricted movement in their core.

“We focus on why people might have back problems, specifically targeting postures in yoga to alleviate that,” she said.

Muscles in the body are interconnected and an ailment in one area can often lead to pain in another. She said it is common for people to experience a manifestation of pain in the lower back when the issue really stems from the hip.

“I think as we move into our body with more awareness, we start paying attention to where we have blockages and where we start restricting our flow in our bodies,” she said, adding once this is realized, steps can be taken to counteract it.

When experiencing back pain, Wiens said it is common for individuals to remain stationary, although she said this doesn’t necessarily have any benefit. Instead, she said activity that respects the body and its limits could help ease pain and aid in a faster recovery.

People can experience back pain for a number of reasons. It could be the result of physical trauma like a vehicle collision, surgery and even emotional issues.

“From a yoga philosophy, it has more to do with emotions,” Wiens said. “Lower back is often related to money issues.”

The yoga poses demonstrated throughout the workshop focus on the deep fascia level — a level of fibrous tissue with muscles and blood vessels embedded inside. This layer of tissue contributes to flexibility and focusing here can help isolate and decrease pain.

Wiens said although individuals experiencing pain will benefit from the workshop the most, it is also open to individuals wanting to learn more about yoga or the prevention of back pain.

She said she hopes the workshop will increase people’s awareness about preventative measures while encouraging them to adopt healthier habits to prevent injury.

The two-hour workshop is held roughly three times each year at Servus Place. The next session runs at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 with a fee of $25.


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