I have a dream job! At least, what I do feels like a dream job for me. I work hard and I love what I do. My job is also my vocation, my passion, and my lifestyle. My job as a yoga instructor keeps me healthy and I am able to help many people on a daily basis. I have met many friends from my yoga practice. Every day I am in the most positive work environment, surrounded by great people. My students show up to yoga class because they want to and not because they have to. They encourage me to be the best I can be. There are no credits to be earned, no evaluations, no grades to give. I have an opportunity to be creative every single time I teach. I am able to use various skill sets that I have developed over the years and I continue to grow every day. My work takes me on travels to various parts of our beautiful state, to other states for both workshops and conferences, and to various countries for retreats. My work is with community and individuals. Every day, I am fortunate enough to have instant feedback, verbal or non-verbal, from my students either during or after class. My life feels rich beyond measure and I feel a great amount of gratitude towards the ancient yoga teachings and to my students on a daily basis.
What an intro to this blog post! Well, I taught the following gentle sequence to a class last week and a person who experiences a lot of back and hip pain due to spinal stenosis of the lower spine expressed how this particular sequence made her back feel so GOOD! So the next time we met, I repeated the sequence and the result was the same. Lower back and hip pain GONE.
I have put together some photos found on the web to demonstrate the postures in this sequence. The sequence is a gentle all-levels sequence. I would love to hear your feedback on the following sequence of yoga postures should you give it a try! Hold each pose for at least three to five rounds of breath.
The above sequence is followed by two rounds of Sun Salutations. We focused on the twelve postures of the Sun Salutations and assigned a month to each posture. I defined the postures as having a quality or representation associated with it:
January: Mountain (represents Solidity, Constant Growth in various areas of spirituality and human development, Foundation in which we are firmly a part of the earth and gently being pushed skyward by the plates of the earth)
February: Standing Backbend (represents Flexibility, Adaptability, Reaching upward, extending beyond perceived limitations, embraces a quality of courage found in all arching poses)
March: Forward Bend (represents moving inward and having the ability to be introspective)
April: Warrior I (represents the embodiment of our physical, spiritual, and emotional strength)
May: Downward Facing Dog (represents a connection to our animal kin, and the ability to be playful and not afraid to explore possibilities. Downward Facing Dog involves getting your body into an inverted position, which requires us to see the world from a new perspective!)
June: Plank (represents solidity, strength, ability to bridge a gap, to be of assistance like a plank used for a moving van which is solid, very helpful, dependable)
July: Cobra (The cobra sheds its skin and so the pose represents the ability to metaphorically shed our skin, to begin anew, to refresh, to start or take on something new in life like a new way of being or a new way of seeing.
August: Downward Facing Dog (see May)
September: Warrior I (see April)
October: Forward Bend (see March)
November: Standing Backbend (see February)
December: Mountain (see January)
After the two rounds of Sun Salutations, we did the following poses using Chair as Prop:
The photo below is Reverse Plank using the chair. This can be modified by bending your knees (bend knees if your back is achy or if you have sciatica). Strengthens back muscles and corrects poor posture. We did not use a block, though the block adds a strength component to the posture.
Tags: all levels approach to keeping you back healthy with Hatha Yoga, chair as prop, hatha yoga for your aching back and hips, keep your back healthy, spinal stenosis, Symbology of the sun salutations, yoga for back discomfort, yoga sequence for spinal stenosis