I’ve been doing yoga on and off for about seven years now.  Originally I started yoga to reduce my stress level, but I quickly found that what it did for me was make me extremely limber AND fixed my back.  I have had occasional back spasms that are fairly debilitating. Many of you may have experienced lower back pain, so you know what I’m talking about.  I can’t sneeze without almost screaming, can’t tie my shoes, can’t roll over in bed at night without waking up, can hardly drive a car because I can’t turn my head in either direction.

So, what I discovered was, if I did yoga, even on an erratic schedule, my back spasms ceased.  And the limberness helped me in riding my horse as well. The yoga I do is not the twisty yoga that you see sometimes.  Don’t envision someone looking like a human pretzel.  The poses I use are so easy, anyone can do them.  And as the instructor, Rodney Yee, says on the dvd, it may seem that these exercises are small and won’t make a difference but within a short amount of time, you will see the benefits.

I’ve included some pictures of the poses I use.


Posted on November 4, 2011, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Yoga and pilates can work wonders for the aging body. I know I should take more time to do these things! Glad yoga is helping keep you young!

  2. This is so timely because I suffering with back spasms–too much stress this week. I hope to get back to pilates next week, but doing the basic yoga poses a couple of times a day have definitely helped!

  3. Thanks so much for this post, Patti. I was born with a joint problem (not desease) that caused me to be “double-jointed” … this means that I fell up stairs as a kid, my ankles turned out and my hips moved outward. I have suffered from the pangs of post-kid, older joints. My brother started me on traditional Yoga when I was ten. I watched and read Richard Hittleman (an older Hatha Yoga teacher) and found it not only eased the pain, it gave me strength to do the other things I loved.

    I left it for a long time and the results were not pretty. Recently, I went back to moving my joints and while I am still confused by the “new” yoga, my body remembers how good it feels to stretch. It is a life changing experience 🙂

    • I am amazed at how much the simple Yoga techniques can help your body. And when I go weeks and weeks without doing it, I start feeling mini-spasms and realize it’s because I’ve put off the Yoga for too long. My body is yearning for the stretching. I’ve never heard of Hittleman. I’ll have to look him up.

  4. Patti, it’s great that you’re getting relief through the Yoga stretches. I love Yoga but rarely follow thru on actually doing it. 🙂 I have a set of stretches I do in the evening and without them, I’d have constant headaches and a sore lower back because of the time I spend at the computer. But the benefits of Yoga far out distance any of my stretches. Hey, I wonder if there are any online Yoga classes? That would be cool to join.

    • Online yoga classes? I have no idea. I’ll have to check that out. I’m still listening/watching my old VHS tape to practice my yoga! One of these days the thing is going to die and I’ll have to move to another room, I guess. You DO need space to perform all the stretches. I’m finding that a lot of people use yoga to help out with their bodies.

  5. As a yoga instructor and massage therapist with a background in Physical Therapy, I have seen many, many times where people have healed thier bodies through yoga. The movements can be gentle and calming but are extremely effective in improving strength, balance, flexibility and muscular endurance.

    On an energetic level, yoga postures open up the meridians of the body, aiding in circulation of Chi to promote balance and wellbeing as well as optimal function of organ systems. It is really quite a remarkable practice. i’m so glad you found yoga. It can be life altering for sure.

    • Thanks SO much for posting your comment, PJ. It just validates what I’ve experienced and what I’ve read over the years. It’s awesome how much it helps our bodies, isn’t it? And I’m finding that a lot of people are gravitating to Yoga as a way to help themselves but you don’t have to kill yourself doing it.

  6. I’ve wondered about yoga. I’m not at all flexible, though, so I’ve never thought it was be a good match for me. That said, I would LOVE to have fewer back issues (mine are upper back). Thanks for the heads up. I should check it out!

    • Hey Julie! What’s GREAT about yoga is that it doesn’t have to kill you to try it out. You won’t go away from it feeling sore or worse than before you started. My Rodney Yee tape is a gentle morning “AM Yoga” and it’s the same one I’ve always used.

  7. My mother swears by yoga. I’ve done it a few times. I don’t think I did it enough to really see results. I have a difficult time exercising for the sake of exercising…even though I know I’d feel better if I did. Thanks for this info. You’ve made me at least think about trying yoga again. LOL

    • I hate to sound like “mom” but you have to do the stretching continuously in order to get that limberness I was referring to, but hey, I’m the last person to tell anyone to exercise. It took me years to finally ride my bike every day because I was so stressed out and sick, I had no choice. I was taking a course on anxiety and she said to cut the caffeine and exercise or shut up, so I did!

  8. Hi, Patti. I am a huge yoga fan. I go four times a week. And have gone to classes for almost five years. I have had very good results from it and truly believe everyone should try. I would love to see it taught in schools for kids because they can carry this practice with them throughout life. Not all kids are team sport types.

    Thank you for the good post.

    • Hi Vicki! Good for you. You’re WAY more dedicated than I am. I end up doing yoga maybe twice a week, but I also ride twice a week and ride my bike every day. I’m more fit now at my OLD age than I’ve ever been in my youth!

  9. I love yoga! Esp the happy yoga buzz I get after class, it’s such great stress release.

  10. Patti, I was always kind of afraid to try yoga because I’ve never been very flexible and I thought that was practically a requirement (at least it looked that way when I was watching a few yoga classes in action :). I really liked the poses you included, though. They seem doable, even for me. I did do tai chi for a while and loved how that helped reduce stress. You’re inspiring me to do a little of that today…

    • You know, Marilyn, you are completely right. When you think of Yoga you think “pretzel people” but they aren’t that way before they started. That comes later. I’m 59 years old and I am WAY more flexible than my 17-year-old athlete son and my 12-year-old daughter. Neither of them can do what I do and ALL I practice are the very simple poses (and a few more) that you see in the pictures. It’s amazing.

  11. Love yoga! I’ve recently discovered it as well. It’s really helped with my posture after spending so much time at the computer typing. 🙂
    Glad your back is doing better.

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