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urdhva dhanurasana

pradeepkumar2010-07-05 07:48:18 +0000 #1
Couple of times my lumbar region has been hurt in urdhva dhanurasana making forward bends difficult. Does anyone have any similar experience. Do you think this is anything serious than a muscular strain/sprain.

any sharing would be appreciated.
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 07:53:27 +0000 #2
When backbends are done with improper action the likely result is compression of the lumbar region of the spine.
pradeepkumar2010-07-05 07:53:18 +0000 #3
PAin is in the lumbar region making forward bends difficult. How do i distinguish lumbar compression from any spinal injuries which may or may not be there?
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 08:30:38 +0000 #4
That's a very good question.

There are two direct answers.

The first is the student's body awareness. It "tells" you "oopsy. please don't do that". This is usually a message too late for beginers as their body awareness has yet to be heightened and therefore this message comes long after injury rather than before.

The second is assessment. When a qualified yoga teacher is able to examine your body, see your movemments, and use asana to see strengths, weaknesses, and imbalance then the teacher knows and modifies the student's practice.

Lumbar compression would be considered a precursor to what you reference as "spinal injury". That is to say that compressing the lumbar spine consistently over time is not healthy for the spine. Spinal injuries have a variety of telling symptoms which may be best diagnosed by your health care provider. I am not a doctor so I am providing a look from a yogic perspective only. Remember that the spinal column is the hub for the nervous system. So when the spine is unhapppy so is the nervous system.

Generally speaking, when the student has a lower back issue - the lumbar spine or the sacrum - it is advised (by those "styles" of yoga that truly advocate safety) to not do forward bends. This would include Paschimotanasana, and Janu Sirsasana. Additionally the student's execution of Uttanasana and perhaps Adho Mukha Svanasana would be altered. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana is also avoided.
pradeepkumar2010-07-05 08:44:25 +0000 #5
WHat i meant was distingushing

1) Lumbar compression from actions like sitting and exercise

2) Spinal injuires from falls, blows, accidents.

My lumbar compression comes from No 1. So what asanas who release this compression ? without compressing thoracic region and tightening hips.
Hubert2010-07-05 10:14:15 +0000 #6
Savasana, before and after any other. Why ? Because the stretch-contraction-stretch routine, what increases bloodflow, and helps healing.

Try to have the spine as close to the ground as possible, in savasana. Than relax. Spend a few minutes. Than do another posture. Than rest again.

Because of your issue, whatever posture you do, you will have to focus on this weakness.

I do a modified Uttanasana. I am describing it now, perhaps others will have a few mentions or corrections too.

Stand in Tadasana. Having the knees bent, bend forward with your back/spine "straight", until you touch the thighs with your chest. To do this, bend the knees as much as needed to avoid any tension in the legs at this moment. The lower back must be "straight", or flat, the chest touching the thighs. Awarness is on not bending the lower spine, but extending it, and slightly stretching it out. Now hug your calves with your forearms, grasp the back of your ankles with your hands while maintaining contact of the thighs and chest, and gently try to extend the knees. You must work with your abdominals so the chest does not detach from the thighs, because when this happens, it will generate compression in the lumbar spine. I repeat, the spine is not bent. The bending is from the hips, so the only tension you feel is in the hamstrings. Try to touch the legs with your forehead, also, but focus is on the contact of thighs and chest. A person with tight hamstrings will not be able to extend the knees, not even close. But this is not important. Just feel the extension of the spine, and the tension in the hamstrings.

When you get up, release slowly, do not arch the back, just get up with a flat back. Tension is in the buttox, and hamstrings, all the time.

Because the knees are bent, this modified posture requires strong thighs. Because of the abdominal contraction, it requires strong abdominals and hip flexors. The abdominals are contracted during the posture, not relaxed. In fact, this pose strenghtens the hip flexors also, but this is not that bad as it sounds. The hip flexors will be stretched by other postures.

I use this as a hamstring stretcher, and an inversion what extends the lower back (but not just, it has an overall extending effect on the spine.) It also works on the thoracic area, and alleviates a hunched back. I would advise this to anyone who has tight hamstrings and back problems.

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