Yoga Teacher Training: Herniated Discs

Yoga Teacher Training: Herniated Discs

yoga instuctor trainingBy Bhavan Kumar

Many Gurus focus on educating interns abut the holistic health and maintenance of the spine during the course of a yoga instructor training program.  The central nervous system, spine and alignment of the skeletal body are always discussed at some point during a yoga teacher training course.  Some lecturers will discuss the many causes of spinal pain.  Herniated discs are unfortunately a common cause of pain within the spine. In some cases, trauma to the spine causes a tear in the outer ring of the disc and in turn, the softer center portion will push out past it and cause horrible pain. The condition can occur anywhere along the spine from the neck to the tailbone.

Most spinal disc hernias are minor and usually doctors will prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug. However, more severe cases may require surgery. Sadly, surgery does not usually help for the long term and sometimes individuals will need to have one surgery after the other and suffer a lifetime of discomfort.

Yoga is a great alternative to the traditional treatment of minor herniated discs with the okay of a medical professional. The beneficial effects of yoga when practiced correctly can be much more long term than traditional solutions. This is because the strengthening of the muscles can relieve the pressure of the discs that have lost that “cushion” effect they have between the vertebrae.

Beneficial Asanas to Teach in Yoga Sessions

Keep in mind when you teach these asanas it is crucial that the student does not force them, and they listen to their body. The best aligned asanas will keep the spine completely straight. Props like blocks, bolsters, rolled towels, and straps can make the poses gentler on the spine.

• Corpse – Try this pose with the legs supported on a chair.

• Warrior II – Place the back flat against a wall for added support.

• Triangle – Again, place the back flat against a wall.

• Mountain – Keep the side of the body against the wall, and a chair to place the foot nearest the wall on.

• Child’s Pose – Do this pose over the top of a rolled blanket or cushion.

• Reclining Big Toe – Use a strap in place of wrapping the hands around the foot.

It’s crucial to avoid rounding the spine, bending to a 90-degree position, and anything that focuses on exercising the abdomen. It’s also important that if the herniated disc is a direct result of an injury that the yoga student go through the entire healing process before beginning a new regimen.

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3 Comments

  1. Masud Parvez January 3, 2016 at 5:13 am

    It’s important that, if the herniated disc is a direct result of an injury that the yoga student go through the entire healing process before beginning a new regimen. Thanks for sharing this valuable article.

  2. Marry Wilson January 3, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Yoga is a great alternative to the traditional treatment of minor herniated discs. Thanks for posting this informative article.

  3. Erik January 6, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Asanas are just a very small part of yoga really in my opinion about 20% of the yoga practice. If one cannot practice the postures then they really have an advantage in the yoga practice. The mahamudra is a great breathing exercise that even a quadrapelegic can practice.

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