Bikram Yoga for Back Pain
By The Spine Institute, 9:00 am on
Whether you’re cleaning house or in the middle of an ongoing text-a-thon, there are plenty of times when your spine is likely to be in an unsupported forward bend. This is one of many positions that can throw off alignment, compress vertebrae, and cause your backbone to lose some of its natural flexibility. To help undo some of the damage, Los Angeles spinal surgeons suggest trying Bikram yoga.
What Is Bikram Yoga?
Often referred to as “hot yoga,” Bikram is performed in a hot room heated to approximately 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity to promote muscle relaxation. The sequence of two breathing exercises and 26 movements, or postures, is ideal for those new to yoga. The emphasis on stretching ensures muscles will be properly warmed up.
Why It’s Good for Your Back
If you have some degree of back pain, you’ll likely find the heat therapeutic. The combination of heat and humidity allows your body to perform deeper stretches without discomfort, which minimizes your risk of injury. As with some other forms of yoga, Bikram helps decompress the spine through a series of controlled moves and bends, which can strengthen muscles either directly or indirectly supporting your back. Yoga, in general, also helps:
- Improve coordination
- Promote relaxation
- Increase range of motion
Stabilizing Your Spine
While all forms of yoga can have noticeable health benefits, not every type of yoga is ideal for someone with back pain. Ashtanga yoga, or so-called “power yoga,” involves pushups and lunges and other exercises that may be too demanding for someone with back pain. By targeting supporting muscles, the poses associated with Bikram can stabilize your spine with moves that improve blood flow and also send essential nutrients to the discs cushioning your spine.