become a certified vinyasa yoga instructorBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Always remember to take the time to meet with students before they participate in a Hatha Yoga session. A student who has a pre-existing health condition should consult with his or her Yoga teacher before taking a class. Additionally, advise all of your students to consult with their doctors before participating in Hatha Yoga classes. Informed students and teachers will help all of us to keep our classes as safe as possible. It must be pointed out that any physical activity can cause an injury, including a walk through a shopping mall. However, safety procedures and precautions in Yoga classes will reduce any potential risks for students.

Q: One of my students wants to start to take private Yoga training sessions with me. He was working as a gardener at one point, and he got the feeling that his back problem was directly related to a lack of stretching and working with a shovel first thing in the morning. It got to the point that he could not stand up, without pushing his back into position. The stretches did fix it though.

More recently, he had worked at a garage for three years, stripping out the interiors of cars. This involved much manual heavy lifting with car seats, etc., whilst having to bend his back sideways into the car. Today, he feels less pain, and more stiffness in the lower right side of his back. Since he lost his employment, the pain is now present.  He also has pre-existing knee problems. Do you have any suggestions?

A: In regards to this person’s back, his jobs required him to use a variety of muscles with no regularity in his routine. It is wise to warm up the muscles before we go to work. In his case, his back muscles are developed from the work he does, but there is no warm-up or steady routine of regular weekly resistance.

He should practice Sun Salutations daily, slowly, and modify them for his knee conditions. This, and a few twisting and lateral bending asanas, will give him the steady resistance he needs.  Losing a job also causes excessive stress, which a regular daily Yoga practice – including asanas, meditation, and pranayama, should relieve.

© Copyright 2010 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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