Free Download! Can Yoga Help Relieve Low Back Pain? Key Principles for Practice

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Lillah Schwartz

Lillah Schwartz, C-IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist, E-RYT 500, is an Asheville-based yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and author, with more than 40 years of experience. She shares with students what she has learned from years of study with master yoga teachers, along with ongoing exploration about...

Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide and the second most common reason for doctors’ visits in the US.

Numerous studies now indicate that yoga can be a powerful tool in the treatment and ongoing management of low back pain.

But how exactly can yoga help relieve back pain? In this free download, yoga therapist Lillah Schwartz, author of Healing Our Backs with Yoga, talks about the various musculoskeletal factors that contribute to back pain and how and why yoga often can help.

One key is to help people with low back pain harmonize the structures in their bodies and come to a place of greater functioning, Lillah notes.

“The beauty of yoga is that it connects one part of the body to another,” she states. “You can discover in your practice, not only is your big toe mound connected to your inner groin, but it’s also connected to the origin of the psoas muscle at T12. Now when you expand your arms, they also connect at the psoas. It’s the beauty of how yoga can lead us to those connections in our body. The fluidity can be brought back in to how we move through our life.”

Over 30 plus years of practice, teaching and working with hundreds of clients, Lillah has merged her strong Iyengar background with a thorough grounding in anatomy, kinesiology, and functional movement.

Her greatest teacher, however, was her own experience with chronic pain after a horseback riding accident, which caused asymmetry in her pelvis and SI joint, and dysfunctional movement.

After years of experimenting with yoga postures geared to restore alignment in her body, Lillah developed a method for relieving her own back pain. This, in turn, became the basis of her life’s work: Helping people suffering from low back pain.

A well-crafted yoga practice can be the mechanism for increasing spinal strength and stability, and cultivating length and space in the spine, Lillah notes.

But you have to know what you’re doing: “If I perform my yoga this way, I can be really strong and pain free,” Lillah notes. “But I have to be careful not to do it that way.’”

Lillah further discusses the methods she has developed for facilitating increased functioning and reduced pain. A key is to start from the ground up:

“If someone doesn’t know their body and how it works, you start with baby steps. You start with basic alignment, basic connections. You teach them how to use the breath, a simple sequence of poses that is anatomically balanced. And once they have the fundamentals you can lead people to the broader, bigger connections.”

Click Enroll link to download this free talk. Also, to learn more about Lillah’s approach to yoga for back pain relief, be sure to check out her online course: Yoga for a Healthy Back - Part I  Key Elements & Practice for Back Pain Relief.