Before Starting

The classes should not be done during periods of acute crisis where movement might induce an inflammatory response. Before starting, please follow these guidelines:

Contraindications

  • If you have a medically diagnosed or chronic condition or if your condition is currently limiting your normal functioning, consult your physician before starting.
  • If you have additional muscular-skeletal problems (neck, knee, shoulder, etc.) or other health issues that might be adversely affected by a particular practice, skip that practice.
  • The abdominal strengthening practices may be contraindicated if you are pregnant. Seek your obstetrician's advice.
  • People with low blood pressure may feel light-headed while rising to their feet too quickly after the lying practices. Transition slowly by staying in a kneeling or sitting position for a few moments.
  • Some practices have easier or stronger versions. Choose a level where you make an effort but don’t struggle. A stronger practice does not equate to a better outcome. It might make an already tense body more tense and be deleterious.
  • Additional contraindications are listed in a text box below each practice (in portrait view for tablet and mobile devices).
  • Read our disclaimer.

Four criteria for optimal performance

  • Do these practices as mindful movement, not as exercise.
  • Each practice works on a mechanical level to reduce pressure on the lower back. However, keep in mind 4 subjective criteria which are more important:
    1. duration: do not continue a practice for its full duration if it becomes a struggle; take breaks or stop and just relax!
    2. rhythm: moving faster or slower has different effects; settle on a rhythm that draws your focus deeply within;
    3. range-of-motion: move within a comfortable range-of-motion that produces the most positive feeling;
    4. quality of feeling: stop or skip any practice that brings discomfort. Forcing may worsen the condition.

What you need

For the "crisis management" class, you only need floor space.

For the "on-the-go" class, you only need floor space and access to a wall on which you can prop your legs.

For the "maintenance program" and all modified "full back" classes, you will need:

  • A yoga or exercise mat is preferred but optional.
  • An elastic band or cloth belt (for the one practice shown on the homepage).
  • Wall space. A few practices require placing the legs up against the wall.

For the "full back" class, you will need all of the above plus a cushion for one practice.


Silence over music

No music is played so as not to influence your own natural rhythm of doing each practice and so that you may focus more deeply within. After the oral instructions, there are often large gaps of silence. During that silence, continue practicing consciously, connecting the physical sensations to the movement and concentrating deeply within.


Naming the practices

All practices are variations of traditional hatha yoga postures. Many involve movement rather than steady postures as the focus is to improve the functioning of the physical body rather than to manipulate prana, nadi channels, or chakras. For purposes of reference, names were invented to describe the basic mechanics of the practices.