Tuesday, September 12, 2017

YogaFit Training: YogaBacks

I am way overdue in posting a workshop review.  It's been a crazy busy summer and fall isn't looking any calmer.

In June of 2017, I was back in Minneapolis for YogaFit's Mind Body Fitness Conference.  I missed 2016, and in the interim they had changed hotels from downtown Minneapolis at the Hilton to the DoubleTree near St. Louis Park.  I really appreciated the change - parking, price, safety and food options all being key factors.  Especially the free parking! 

I picked up another couple sessions, YogaBacks being one of them.  This is a one day workshop that focuses on back health.  This workshop was led by Kim Gray out of Illinois.  The YogaFit instructors are one of the main reasons I keep coming back to these sessions - the quality of teaching and knowledge these folks bring is amazing.

The background for the course (from the YogaFit website):
  • A basic overview of common back issues, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, and sacroiliac instability
  • General guidelines for dealing with common back issues
  • How to recognize levels and type of pain, such as acute vs chronic pain
  • Yoga poses appropriate at different stages of back pain
  • Yoga poses to maintain a healthy back
  • YogaBack protocols and sequences that serve as a starting point for a therapeutically based back-care plan
  • Breathing techniques designed to alleviate or mitigate pain
  • How to modify poses, using props and gentle assists, to ensure a safe and appropriate experience
Yikes!  That sounds like some pretty intense stuff!   It was, but it was very doable and approachable thanks to Kim.

Over the course of the day we covered:
  • Causes of low-back pain 
  • Medical Red Flags - with the warning please don't come to class until you've seen a doctor. We don't want to make a condition worse or cause someone pain. 
  • Guidelines for a back-focused sequence which involved numerous reminders to stay pain free, or if already in pain, don't make the pain worse. 
  • Pain discussion - how the body protects against pain. 
  • Anatomy of the spine
  • Breath 
  • Theraputic Yoga for common back conditions
  • and we did a hour and a half master class that was wonderful
My take-away:  this should be a MUST DO class for anyone teaching yoga.  Back issues are so prevalent in our society and having the knowledge to move a class safely through a regular sequence or a back-specific sequence is a must in my opinion.   Having the ability to say to someone, "I recommend you see a Dr. before continuing," rather than assuming the back pain is muscle related, is a yoga practice in itself.  

I highly recommend this session.  

**These reviews are my own opinions and experiences.  I am NOT compensated in anyway by the YF corporation or other entities.  I attend these and other workshops on my own time and with my own finances for self improvement.  I share my experiences to help others find what might work for them. 

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