Yoga induced back spasms.

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    Mar 04, 2008 2:23 AM GMT
    This is a question for you yoga guys.

    Periodically I try some beginning level yoga from a dvd I have. It never fails that about one minute into prayer/meditation pose my back begins spasming. I double check my posture against that of the instructor and I have thoroughly stretched my back out beforehand. Is there something I'm missing? I end up fast forwarding past all the sitting poses and I don't have much problem with the non-sitting ones. I usually end up having to pop a couple Flexeril to get to sleep because the spasms get progressively worse through the night.
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    Mar 04, 2008 4:24 AM GMT
    Im certainly not a doctor, but I am a yoga teacher-in-training, and it sounds like you might have a problem with your SI joint, like I do. I have found that doing backbends has helped me strengthen my lower back, as well as increase ab strength so that sitting poses have become more comfortable. Sometimes it's easy to try to sit up too straight, and this can take away from the natural curve of the spine and cause problems.

    Try this-If you haven't already:

    -Sit on the edge of a pillow or bolster, and allow the knees to be below the hips
    -Tip the pelvis forward slightly
    -open the chest
    -position the head over the shoulders, and then stick your fingers in yours ears (trust me)
    -nod yes and no-this is where your spine enters your cranium-it's that high up (this is called Alexander Technique)
    -in order to keep the head in it's proper position, the chin tucks slightly, bringing the crown of the head towards the ceiling
    -when you fix the head, it can help fix everything below it!

    I hope this helps-even just a little!

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    Mar 05, 2008 11:16 PM GMT
    Usually , when you start yoga it brings all the 'problem' areas of the body. Its normal for you to identify pain and discomfort. The posture is there as guide to help vaciltate knowledge of the pain. The best way for you to address these issues is to go to a class at a yoga centre, and work with an instructor. Once you have some basics done with them,you can do do your own practice at home with some knowledge and comfort.

    You also mentioned skipping poses. I don't recommend that. Sequences are usually combined to facilitate a strategic balance. Doing poses out of sequence may leave you open for further injury, or keep you from reaching the depth and benefit any given pose may have to offer.
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    Mar 05, 2008 11:39 PM GMT
    When beginning a yoga program it's essential that you get some live instruction so you can develop optimal form. Teachers are trained to see those little postural nuances that the average exerciser cannot which can help prevent injury. The instructor can also provide comfortable modifcations for certain poses that DVD's sometimes do not mention.
    Once you've got the basics down you can return to the DVD.
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    Mar 10, 2008 6:15 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. It seems I have some things to try and look into.

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    Mar 11, 2008 12:52 AM GMT
    in addition to these suggestions (all of which are excellent) also consider that your hamstrings and other muscles along the lower back and back of the legs can get very tight very easily. imbalance in one part of the body registers throughout the whole.

    if you're lower back is weak you need bring balanced strength to your entegrated core.

    bolsters were mentioned - those are very good for changing the angle at which you sit, and you can gradually acclamate to sitting flat by graduating from a bolster to a flat pillow to a folded towel to a yoga mat to the bare floor.

    remember to neither hyperextend nor slump in the lower back