My back health
Human body and mind are interdependent. One cannot live healthy without the support of another. In the voyage of regular and dedicated practice of Yoga the occasion comes when three levels of existence body, mind & consciousness are crystal clear and mind becomes so strong that it starts living in its independent identity, withdrawn from sensory matters with adoption of Pratyahara (the stage when mind is checked from moving out through vision, sound, smell, taste and touch the subjects of five senses) and remains cool and calm even under all adversities. It is not affected with the physical changes even wounds and pains. It becomes so strong and balanced that as a result it supports the entire body in such a positive way that it is well protected against possible mental shocks, stress, tension and worries and there is least possibility of sickness. On the contrary when mind is not under yogic discipline, physical ailments leave their impression on the mind which is reflected in your actions and expressions and you are bound to suffer from pains and sorrows.
The exertion on spinal cord, the backbone of your body results into irritability, hypertension, anger, irritation, anxiety, urinary disorders, headache, body aches, a hunchback and the dull lifeless looks on your face. A healthy spine keeps us away from the possibility of cervical ailments, lumbar pain, disk slip and even leg related problems. It is your spinal column that holds the entire body together and any damage to any part of the spine in form of sudden injury, reduced gap between vertebras causing into suppression of nerves, disturbed curvature, calcification causing formation of new bones in different directions disturbs the whole lifestyle adversely and affects mental and physical health as each nerve flowing through the spine is connected to one or the other body part. If you are careful about maintaining your spine healthy and flexible, in turn it will help in mental and physical well being. A stiff back is the beginning of series of ailment where as a flexible back is the source of undisturbed nervous flow in entire body and adds ideal health to your life.
Here are a few yogic postures that may be practiced even by people under different spinal ailments just to bring you out of sufferings and bless you with a flexible, disease free and healthy back bone. These are harmless asanas but for quick and sure results in case of chronic problem a direct communication of the sufferer with the specified counselor is required as ‘Gurupdisht marganeh yogmaiv samabhyesait’ (yoga must be practiced under the discipline introduced by guru).
- Practice these yogic kriyas as a compulsory part of your daily routine.
- Practice yogasana preferably early morning with empty stomach.
- Never practice your yoga routine in a hurry. You may reduce the yoga workout but do it with perfect patience.
- It is better to practice yoga with eyes closed as it checks your mind against possible disturbance during practice. You may keep your eyes open in balancing posture with regular breathing but it is compulsory to keep the eyes closed in the postures where you are advised (Abhyentar Kumbhak) to hold your breath in inhaled position.
- Concentrate on the concerned body parts as advised in different postures.
- As you acquire perfection in any particular posture do concentrate on any favorable mantra in duration of asana for deeper perfection and encouraging results.
- Asanas with Antar Kumbhak or inhaled retention may be repeated three to five times while asanas with regular breathing may be done once only but increase the time duration slowly.
- Don’t practice yoga for display but for decency and accept it not as a work to be done but as a path of perfection and art of living.
- Don’t cheat; you are the best judge of yourself. Go for introspection every day for perfect results.
Here are the few asanas whose sequential practice every day will surely provide you relief from stiff back and back pain besides improving the flexibility and health of spinal cord.
It is a special combination of Tanasana and Katichakrasana. Before going into any asana proper toning up (Taana) of the entire body is a must. It is a wonderful way to tone up your muscular, nervous, digestive, respiratory, skeletal and glandular system and prepare for deeper practices.
First Step with procedure
Spread your asana on the floor and lie down on your back with your feet together and palms resting on the floor besides your thighs. Lift your arms up while inhaling till it reaches on the floor above your head, close the palms together and collapse your fingers. Keep the body above your waist line to upper side and the legs to lower side. Keep your toes pulled towards yourself. Hold the breath in and twist the lower body to right side in such a way that your left heel and hip are lifted from the floor. Hold your legs straight at knees and your upper body firm on the floor. Exhale as you move back to starting position. Repeat it on left side also. Repeat ten times.
Second Step with procedure
Continue to lie on floor. Fold your legs at knees and bring the heels close to hips. Arms resting under the head and elbows kept on the floor. Hold the knees and toes together so that both the soles are clearly visible. Maintain them together and inhale while moving the knees to right side and face to left side at neck but back and elbows will continue to remain firm on floor. Come back to starting position while exhaling. Repeat the same on left side as well. Repeat ten times.
Third Step with procedure
Continue to lie on floor. Hold your left ankle with right hand and bring the left heel close between the thighs with sole firmly placed on the right thigh, Left knee resting on the floor. Move the left knee to right side of the floor and face moving to left side at the same time but remember to hold your left elbow on the floor while performing this act.
Move your left knee and face to their original positions while exhaling. Repeat it ten times. Follow the same process on left side also. Spread your legs and relax your entire body with all efforts withdrawn. Breathe normally to relax perfectly.
In my experience of over 50 years I have found Kati chakrasana is a wonderful asana to bring vertebras of spinal column to their normal position and release all tension and offer it a perfect cure in all possible ailments. Moreover it tones up the digestive system, liver & kidney. It also adds height to growing children.
Lie down on your stomach. Spread your arms to your front side. Stretch your legs to back side keeping them together like the tale of snake. Bring the palms and elbows close to your ribs so that palms rest under the shoulder. Bring the forehead on floor, hold your eyes closed and face absolutely calm. Inhale while lifting up the face with the strength of your spinal column like a snake. Ensure no wrinkles at all and bear a cheer on your face. Hold the position for comfortable duration. Come down to floor gently, exhale, relax and breathe normally. You may rest your arms like a pillow under your face to relax better. Repeat three to five times at same sequence.
It pressurizes the air within the lungs and helps to open out inactive alveoli. It improves the release of carbon dioxide and intake of oxygen thus purifies the lungs & blood and also cures asthma. It cures the overall spinal ailments and makes it flexible.
Lie in the base position. Bend the right knee grip it with the hands, press the thigh against stomach and bring the knee closer to chest while exhaling. Keep the left leg straight and on your asana or practice sheet. Bring the chin closer to your right knee. Continue breathing for better effect on stomach and the back and release all spinal tension. Spread the right leg and head to their original position while inhaling. Relax and breathe normally. Repeat the same on left side and then on both the legs together. Always begin with right side and conclude on both together. Repeat three to five times.
Pawanmukltasana strengthens the lower back muscles and justifies the vertebral gap besides adding a wonderful flexibility to spinal column. It massages the abdomen and digestive organs so it is very effective in removing wind and constipation. Moreover it is useful in treatment of impotency, sterility and menstrual disturbances by massaging the pelvic muscles and reproductive organs.
The most important thing is not simply going through the article, appreciating or quoting it but practicing and applying it by giving an opportunity to work on your system. It will sure decorate you with a healthy flexible and disease free painless strong back bone to support you all through your life.