In 2005, a ground-breaking study found that patients with chronic lower back pain who participated in a 12-week series of Yoga classes had less pain and more improved functioning than those in the study’s other groups. One group took conventional exercise classes (a combination of strength training, cardio, and stretching based on physical therapy techniques). The other group cared for themselves at home using a provided back-pain handbook.
What’s more, the benefits of Yoga extended well beyond the scope of the classes. When researchers followed up with the participants after 26 weeks, they found continued improvement in functioning and pain relief. The patients also used less medication.
These classes are designed for people with back problems. The classes involve slow stretching, which releases tension form the muscles, with an emphasis on breathing and feeling the sensations of the body. This is balanced with strengthening and toning Yoga postures. Whilst these classes focus on back care, Yoga integrates and works on the entire body. The classes are small to allow students to receive individual attention.
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