According to USA Today, in an article dated September 6, “Sales of the iconic blues fell 6% during the past year after decades of almost steady growth.” Most of the sales drop seems to be driven by the women population, although it was said that even men are not buying jeans as they used too a few years back. Whats taking the place of American’s jeans? How about this, Yoga pants, sweatpants and other athletic wear. This change may be due to the increased natural health wave as well as the growing trend of skinnier but healthier people is a better look and feel. Some see this as a good thing, there are some pretty strong facts that can go along with this growing trend.
For instance what about the health benefits of doing Yoga? Those that have found their better health in Yoga, won’t disagree. Many people in today’s world will go through life and never be able to say they never had lower back pain. In fact most of us will at some time in our lives experience lower back pain and there are some that will experience constant lower back pain or what the medical professionals would call chronic pain. Fact: Most back pain is the result of today’s lazy way of life. Used to, back in the good ole days, people would work out on their homestead or farm and people would do things manually that today we have machines to do for us.
We have computers today, as a result more and more people are becoming lazy and weak compared to our ancestors and our family members that were alive in grandmother’s days. An increasing number of people are sitting rather than standing for long periods of time and when they are standing for those long periods of time they are still doing lazy work compared to times past. Machines, as just one in a long list, have made us fat, lazy and weak and our backs are not happy with us.
Lower back pain is the result of weakened muscles that are not being worked like they are supposed to, therefore they become weak.
Then when it is time to use them for something like standing, walking running or similar actions we suffer in pain. Thankfully there are a few exercises that we can do to fix that at home and without a doctor’s prescription or the huge bill that comes with it. It has been in use for centuries by the Asian people and as we can see, traditional Asian cultures to not suffer from certain things us here in lazy America do. That fix is called Hatha Yoga, and there are two specific exercises that we can do to strengthen our backs.
One is called the Cat Pose and one is called the Cow Pose. Paired together they form a flowing exercise that when done every day has the ability to strengthen the lower back specifically. To do the cat pose follow this sequence:
Start on all fours, which are your hands and knees. Hold your back level to the floor and your head looking straight ahead. Inhale a deep breath and exhale as you arch your back up like a cat when it is scared or angry. Your back will round out, allow your head to drop slowly but do not force your chin to your chest or it will create tension on your neck. Hold this for a moment and then inhale another deep breath and exhale as you relax your back. Bring your head and back back to where they started.
To do the Cow Pose you go the opposite way, inhale deeply and exhale as you arch your back down creating a saddle in your back. Allow your head to remain looking straight ahead and your sitting bones to arch towards the sky. Hold this pose for a moment and then release those muscles to again come back to the way you started. Now that you have learned the cat and cow poses you can do them together from this one position and they will become your new Hatha Yoga lower back strengthening exercises.
Do the poses for a repetition of 10-20 times once or twice a day and in a week or so you will begin to see noticeable results. In a few days you will see that you are actually feeling better inside, maybe you will notice more of a resistance to stress and illness and that you are feeling better in the mornings when you get out of bed. That is because practicing Yoga has a lasting effect on your health over all as well. This is why the breathing that is associated with the exercises is very important.