We had the chance to interview our lovely Poh Teng about why back health is such a critical part of a balanced practice.
Yoga for Back Health is an offering dear to me. Over the years, I’ve hurt my back from falls, a car accident, moving heavy boxes and from habitual, asymmetrical ways of moving and being. Yoga was my main modality of healing. A little bit of self-care can go a long way, especially when you are hurt today but your doctor’s appointment is in two weeks. I’m thrilled to offer this special workshop again and I hope you’ll join me for a gentle afternoon of healing.
Q: What kinds of back injury have you experienced?
A: I’ve had scoliosis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction that lead to sciatica, neck and shoulder pain from falls and from a car accident, and facet joint inflammation.
Q: How is your back today?
A: My back is great! I am living with full mobility.
Q: How did yoga help you heal?
A: Yoga helped me address imbalances in the physical body, and in my life as a whole. It is a mindfulness practice that continues to teach me to be embodied, to drop in and tune in, rather than space out and tune out. It has helped me modify habitual ways of being which have brought me off-center (causing scoliosis). It has helped me nurture parts of my body that grip out of fear and of wanting to protect (from falling and whiplash). It has nurtured me so that I may relax and come back to a state of ease. It has also helped me strengthen parts of the body needed for spinal stability (to heal from sacroiliac joint dysfunction).
Q: Did you try other types of healing?
A: Yes – massage, chiropractic and acupuncture have also helped me heal in tremendous ways.
Q: Who would benefit from a workshop focused on back health?
A: This workshop is for anyone interested in a healthy back and in practicing self-care in a mindful and loving way. If you’re experiencing a new injury, acute pain or if you recently had surgery, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor and email me (breathe@PohmYoga.com) with questions.
Q: What can students expect to gain from this workshop?
A: Students will come away with soothing self-care practices to help them feel good in their bodies. Much of the yoga and self-massage practices that we will practice together can be practiced anywhere – at work, on a plane and at home. All it takes is a minute here and there, as you can spare, to gently nudge the body back to a state of ease. One doesn’t have to wait until the weekly 90-minute yoga class to work on all the contractions and aches that have accumulated in the body.
Q: Can people come to the workshop if they are not strong or flexible?
A: Yes! Yoga and self-care is for EVERY BODY. The goal is not to be strong/flexible, just as being strong/flexible is not a prerequisite for this or any yoga class.
Q: The workshop offers an afternoon of practice. How will I remember the practices after it’s over?
A: Every issue of my newsletter includes a Yoga Posture for Back Health. In this section, I include pictures and instructions of yoga postures that we practice during the workshop, and for back health in general. Visit this link to receive inspiration and instructions.