Wednesday, 15 July 2015

HEALING FOR BACK PAIN


One of the reasons so many of us suffer from back pain is poor posture. 
Sitting with a hunched back and drooping shoulders can make the muscles in the lower back weak. Also the way we stand, walk and even sleep can cause back pain. Hence we need to make a conscious effort to improve our posture by avoiding sitting slumped in chairs and reminding ourselves to walk with a straight back.
If you have an office or sedentary job make sure you sit on a chair that supports your back and lets you sit with your feet touching the ground. Get up once every hour or two and take a walk. This will help release tension in the back, stretch the muscles in the legs and relax your eyes. Practice some chair yoga during your working day to help alleviate back pain and let you work comfortably. Take time out for brief meditation and focusing on deep breathing  to calm your mind, stay focused and enhance your productivity.
Aside from being more aware of our posture, yoga and stretching, swimming and regular walking also help in relieving the back pain. Swimming strengthens the entire back, especially when practicing backstroke and front crawl.
Walking is also one  of the best exercises to strengthen our lower backs but remember to focus on walking with a straight posture.
Another major contribution to the increasing problems our society is having with back pain is obesity. Being over weight increases the pressure on the lower back and leads to a higher risk of lower back injury. 
Eating a healthy diet eating In addition, adopting a less sedentary lifestyle along with regular practice of yoga can help alleviate  lower back pain.
While these yoga postures are highly beneficial, people 
suffering from any back injury or slip disc, are advised to consult their physician before practicing any of these yoga poses or other physical exercises.
Elisa's timetable for her West London yoga classes can be found here  public-yoga-classes

Note: While these yoga postures are highly beneficial, people suffering from any back injury or slip disc, are advised to consult their doctor before practicing any of these yoga poses or other physical exercises.












Friday, 3 July 2015

THE THING ABOUT HANDSTANDS

Kick legs in the air like you just don't care!
Doing a handstand as an adult is not, in fact, impossible or just for yogis on Instagram.



Being willing to fall down is an important part of yoga. It means you really went for something, You decided to be daring, courageous and step outside of your comfort zone. Yoga is as much mental as it is physical, and there's a constant element of play.


I was always petrified to kick up into handstand as a child , a teenager and well into my adult life. I would consider all of the potential bad things that could happen ranging from breaking my neck, my wrist, hurting myself in any number of ways. In yoga classes I felt self conscious of making a fool of myself if I constantly tried and failed. I never considered the possibility that I could press up into the pose and actually stay there. 


However eventually something happens that helped me to shift my perspective and give myself permission to fall, 

tremble and shake. I was in my forties when I managed my first ever handstand and from then on my entire practice seemed to shift with it. 

Falling out of a pose in yoga, is not failing. It's learning. Once I had embodied this I have been happy to turn my world on its head in all sorts of other ways without being gripped by fear.

Go on be courageous kick your legs into the air!


Elisa Williams teaches yoga in West London and occasionally on holidays overseas. See www.elisawilliamsyoga.comwww.elisawilliamsyoga.com