Speaking to the Expert: Back care and Yoga

Posted on October 30, 2013

Yoga pose. An article on back care and yoga.

Speaking to the Expert: Back care and Yoga

Published: 30 October 2013

If you frequently suffer from a bad back, many people recommend yoga as a means to strengthen it. With this in mind, we contacted yoga Therapist Colin Dunsmuir to see how he believes yoga can help overcome back ache.

Our Expert's Recommendations

Colin Dunsmuir currently conducts yoga classes at Grace Belgravia which is a private health club for women in London. His classes aim to take the individual into the very heart of yoga, where the focus of his work is to listen to what is needed and use his experience to help develop the student.

One thing that he teaches all of his students, regardless of their age, experience, and competence level, is that yoga is all about breathing. "Many people have a preconception that yoga will be really difficult or that it's primarily about being flexible, but in truth it's primarily about controlling your breathing", Dunsmuir said.

"Beginners shouldn't be intimidated by yoga as a good teacher will help them by creating a programme that is tailored to them". And this flexibility is one of the main reasons why Dunsmuir believes that yoga can be great for alleviating back aches and pains. "Each individual person has their own reason for doing yoga. But a lot of people do join my classes to help strengthen their backs and reduce their overall pain".

"When students complain about their back pain, we have no hesitation in devising a programme that will help them with their specific needs. And we can do this with yoga, as each individual pose has its own variation designed to work and relieve stress from specific parts of your back. So if it is your lower back that is giving you trouble, for instance, we can teach you certain poses, stretches, and breathing exercises to help you limit the problems caused by back ache".

Getting Into Yoga

While for some people yoga will never resolve all of their back problems entirely, it's still a great way to manage pain. "All you need to do is get up and do yoga... you don't really need any props or equipment to start with", Dunsmuir said.

But what's the best way to get into yoga? Well Dunsmuir believes that everyone should try different classes until they find one that is best suited to them. "One of the most important things with yoga is experimentation. You really should attend several different sessions to find out which tutors and classes are most suitable for you. Yoga can also be quite personal, so you need to be in a class where you feel both comfortable and happy".

For more information regarding back strengthening exercises, why not check out the Simplyhealth Back Care app available on iPhone and Android. If problems persist, visit you GP. Also find out how a health cash plan can help manage the cost of looking after your everyday healthcare needs.