Yoga and Chiropractic go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Bold statement right? What do you think of when you hear someone talk about yoga?
Is it the insane pretzel moves that you would most definitely break something doing? Is it the hand stands? Do you see it as a hippie dippie way of working out?
All completely fair, but here’s how I look at it: it is a way of working your muscles in a slow controlled manner while simultaneously pairing breath movements to the exercise. Breathing pattern is something we educate on day 1 in our office. So the fact that there is a form of exercise that constantly cues what we are teaching you at Wurth Chiropractic is a win for me. Belly breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) is so important when it comes to back dysfunction, lung function, and overall stress management , but this is a chat for another Wurth Wednesday.
Two of the big movements in yoga are called “cat cow” and “cobra”. Both of these poses/movements are some of the best exercises I prescribe to my patients frequently. They give the spine so much more mobility when done. A certain level of flexibility can help back pain tremendously because of the increased range of motion. What do you do after a workout when you are sore? You stretch. Same principles can be applied after a chiropractic adjustment. Yoga can be a great tool to use before and after having an appointment with us to prevent soreness and improve mobility.
Yoga is a full body experience, meaning, all in one session you might have worked abs, shoulder, legs, and back while doing cardio and you didn't even realize it. I find myself in plank positions doing negative push ups more than I like sometimes. The slow movements aids in working intrinsic muscles (tiny tiny muscles that you don't even realize are there until they are sore). It also helps with muscle control. We make purposeful movements in yoga and that’s not only for exercise sake, but also for safety. Many harmful movements happen because they were not controlled. That all being said, yoga can also be sweet and gentle by doing slower easier movements, and meditating more. It can really be a silent moment just for yourself.
The M word: Meditation. Now, I was skeptical at first, too. Who meditates? What does it do? Then I changed ‘Meditation’ to another M word; Mindfulness. This changed the game for me. I looked at it from a standpoint of being present during my practice. Keeping my phone far away from me, working on guiding my wandering mind back to the task at hand. Let me tell you, I was and am still not very good at this skill, but I realized that I did not have to be. It’s called a practice for a reason. I have been able to take “mindfulness” into everything I do whether it’s patient care, or when I meet up with friends. Meditation is not so scary when I’m just working on being mindful and present.
I want to shout out the app Headspace as well since we are talking about meditation. If you’re new to it, I cannot recommend this app enough. It’s guided and it’s about five minutes of your day. I found it to be really helpful when I couldn't seem to do it by myself. As far as yoga classes go, I tend to come back to “Yoga with Adriene” on Youtube. She’s not too serious, but knows what she is talking about. It’s also convenient since it is on Youtube. If you need a class setting, there are so many amazing yoga studios here. Check them out and find your space that you feel most confident in.
Below, we have attached a video of "Yoga with Adriene" that is a quick 20 minute yoga flow to help you jumpstart your day!
Long story short, if you find yourself at Wurth Chiropractic, do not be surprised if I mention trying out yoga or at least giving you some movements/poses to do like I mentioned earlier. Always remember that it’s okay if you aren’t “good” at yoga or meditation. It comes with time, as does most things. In the words of Adriene from Yoga with Adriene “no worries, if you fall we’ll catch you”.
Disclaimer: I am only a recreational yogi and hold no certifications in yoga practice. These are my own thoughts and opinions based on the exercises I prescribe as a licensed chiropractic and the parallelism it has with yoga. Also not being paid or sponsored for any recommendations I make.