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16/06/2010 at 16:29

I've spent the past couple of days looking through various types of Yoga, but I'm probably even more confused now than I was before I typed Yoga into google!

I have a bit of a problem with my lower back, not helped by being about 3 stone fatter than I ought. it's one of the reasons I stopped running some years ago. however I'm not a big fan of what I've become and seriously need to do something about it. I've tried a few times over the past couple of years and failed, gone back on the fags and chocolate and put more weight on.

Anyway I don't expect Yoga to be a miracle cure for the old back, but if it can help then it's got to be worth a punt? (and if it can help me being a bad tempered git then that'll be a bonus too)!

but where do I start? there are Christ knows how many differing types! I'm erring towards Hatha. but to be totally honest I've not got a clue.... can somebody help? (I'd prefer something without the chanting... will feel a big enough prat without that thanks!)


16/06/2010 at 16:38

In my experience, Hatha is the most beginner-friendly type of yoga. 

The amount of chanting or time spent lying on the floor in the dark (I mean, meditating) varies between instructors, the only way to tell is to try out a few different classes and see which one you prefer.

Happy stretching!

16/06/2010 at 16:42

Can not help with the yoga.

However regarding the bad back, this is something I experienced last year and was totally out of action for a month. When things did begin to improve I found the only real exercise I could handle was swimming. Nothing furious, but a gentle breaststroke really did help with the discomfort and was good to be exercising until things improved and I could get back to running.

16/06/2010 at 16:48

My boyfriend started doing yoga after putting his back out hoovering a few years ago. It has been such a positive experience for him and I have recently started attending classes with him.

I wouldn't worry too much about the differnt types. The most important thing is to find a good teacher you get on with. Try a few classes out.

16/06/2010 at 17:47

xine267 - can cope with the lying on the floor in the dark (but will "they" be able to cope with me snoring??)

Solent - did my back a quite a few years ago, after getting over the initial problems I was still able to run 70 odd MPW. but every now and again I had a bit of a relapse, though I now don't think this was running related. Swimming was always good, used to use it as recovery. but (and this will sound really pathetic) I'm too fat. never really been bothered by what I look like but until I can shift a bit There's no way I'm exposing my middle bit to the world...

 Roundy - Good to hear about the bf and yourself, will have to see if I can find somewhere I that I can drop in and have a look see.

16/06/2010 at 17:55

I'd try a few classes too, to see which you get on with best, some teachers are much better explaining than others.

I do pilates and Iyengar yoga. I started doing pilates first and found that was most beneficial to my back as it strengthen my core which supported my back better, it's also made a difference to my running and enabled me to get back into shape quickly after a recent hysterectomy. I find some yoga poses quite uncomfortable for my back but Iyengar yoga uses props such as blocks and bands which definately make it easier.

16/06/2010 at 20:08

Thanks K,

Just need to find somewhere reasonably close to home... most appear to only cater for pregnant ladies.

16/06/2010 at 22:19
Wii Fit yoga is just fine.
16/06/2010 at 23:32
hi started yoga with my running 5years ago lost 5 stone its the way to go good luck and keep at it. 
17/06/2010 at 00:08
Try getting the book Chirunning, it combines Tai Chi, Pilates and running an it is based on posture.  Have a look at it and it may help with your back, you can get it for about £4 off Amazon
17/06/2010 at 07:54

Another vote for yoga. I think it's helped me mostly with core strength and overall flexibility.

Everybody seems to deliver a slightly different class (even within the broad headings -- hatha, iyengar, ashtanga, bikram, "power", etc), but in my limited experience, I've found that ashtanga seems to be more physical. Don't be surprised if you have to try a few different instructors before you find one that works for you.

I wouldn't suggest doing yoga from a video or a wii to start out. There are often subtleties to the poses that an instructor can help with. And they'll tell you if you're doing it really wrong. An instructor can also offer alternative poses that won't stress your back.

Good luck!

17/06/2010 at 08:13

Agreed Rennur,

You certainly need an instructor at first to tell you what you should be feeling, and where, and to give you slight alternatives if you have injuries.

17/06/2010 at 12:44

Thanks for all the advise, really appreciated.

Can anyone recommend a class/instructor in the Walsall/Sutton Coldfield/Tamworth areas?

my main problem is I work 4 on 4 off, and when I'm on shift I don't get back home till19:30 ish.

17/06/2010 at 13:22
You might find pilates suits you better than yoga a) because it's particularly focused on core stabilty, which is what you need to support your back and b) there's none of the chanting stuff involved if you find that offputting. There are two types of classes - one involves machines and is more likely to be one to one, which you could start off with as it would address your particular back issues (but would be more expensive) - and the other is matwork, which is ordinary classes.  Sorry, can't help with local suggestions, but you could try googling body control pilates for instructors.
18/06/2010 at 15:40
i've been doing Iyengar yoga once a week in a specialist class (not a gym) for 8 years now - i started due to having major problems with my lower back (2 herniated discs at 25 years old)

i don't think i'll ever make a full recovery, but the yoga has been the single best thing for me to help sort it out and prevent recurrence of the problem (touch wood) - it's also EXCELLENT for recovery and is a perfect compliment to running

Iyengar focuses mainly on accuracy, strength and flexibility, with less of a focus on breathing (like Hatha) or physical workout (Bikram - from what i gather)

it's bloody hard work, make no mistake, but i'd definitely recommend it
18/06/2010 at 15:41
...there's also no chanting in Iyengar yoga
18/06/2010 at 21:05

I did ashtanga yoga for a while and it was great for general aches and pains and flexibility.  Ashtanga is quite physical, it is about the flow of a selection of postures in a set order.

However my friend who has a bad back was told not to do yoga by her chiropracter who advised pilates.  She found that very helpful.

19/06/2010 at 12:53

Hadn't really given pilates much of a thought TBH. maybe it's something to consider.

theBorne; there's a Iyengar yoga school not too far away, in Brum so I might check them out. was beginning to think lyengar was possibly the way to go anyway.

 many thanks to all for the comments.

07/08/2010 at 08:14

Hello Friends........

  • Yoga improves your endurance, especially the more athletic forms of yoga such as ashtanga yoga, power yoga, vinyasa yoga, and Bikram yoga. These rigorous yoga practices follow a specific sequence of poses (asanas) that become more challenging as you progress. Unlike the more gentle hatha yoga, the forms of ashtagna yoga, power yoga, vinyasa yoga, and Bikram yoga require you to keep your body in constant motion between poses, resulting in a strenuous cardiovascular workout and improved core strength.
  • Hatha yoga can relieve chronic back and neck pain, since the poses and postures gently stretch and strengthen your back and neck muscles.
  • Yoga is often prescribed to help heal various injuries, including repetitive strain injuries, knee and back injuries, pulled hamstrings, even minor skin burns. Of course, you should consult your physician before using yoga as a treatment for any injury!


united health

08/08/2010 at 00:16

I'm tempted to suggest that, if you are worried about chanting then you don't have a back problem!

If chanting gets rid of your back problem then CHANT! But seriously, yoga (any type yoga) will probably help. Well it did with me anyway. "Cat and Cow" is a good start. 

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