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You are as young as your spine is flexible

It is something which most of us have been plagued with at some time, the pain in the back, raging from tightness to chronic pain. Back pain is the cause of more disability than any other condition and at least one in ten of us will suffer at some stage.

It is a fact that as we age the fluid which lubricates the discs between the vertebrae starts to dry and the discs no longer provide the amount of padding as previously in our youth.

Good posture effects your state of mind. If you sit with your spine straight, you are more likely to remember positive memories or think positive thoughts. It is also proven that an upright posture changes your hormone levels. Stress hormones like cortisol diminish while testosterone levels increase. It so happens that this hormone combination is linked to positive leadership abilities and disease resistance.

Another expression commonly used is'' Use It or Lose It'': Staying mobile and stretching, through practices such as Tai Chi and Yoga, slows down the process of the body’s natural degeneration process by increasing muscle and tendon circulation, and maintaining elasticity to the spine. They also remove tension from our mind and body, strengthen our muscles, reduce excess weight, and correct our posture. It’s crazy what powerful effect these art forms have on all aspects of our existence.The chemistry in your body will change in as little as 15 minutes of practicing one of these meditative exercises. That really is an incredible fact and time which all of us have. 

An article in The Telegraph speaks about researchers from the U.S, and how they found, that whilst analysing more than 1000 patients suffering from long term back pain, those who practised Yoga had significant reduction in their level of back pain.

The National Institute for Health and Care instruct doctors to recommend other forms of exercise to patients for a variety of reasons, but unfortunately Yoga does not appear to be mentioned.

The article also mentioned the issue of how there have been some injuries from Yoga, which has led to talks on changes in the regulations for Yoga teachers. Any Yoga instructor should be required to attend a minimum of a 200 hour teacher training course in my opinion. Having a great self practice of Yoga and being able to tie yourself in those pretzel shapes does not make a great teacher. I have learned so much through injuries and not having as strong a practice as previously. It has taught me to empathise with beginners and recognise that it has to be modified in so many ways.


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