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Keep the knees super-bent in downward dog to take all stress out of the lower back and let the pelvis tilt forward.
by Kara-Leah Grant, author of Forty Days of Yoga
This week’s Home Yoga Practice questions comes from Catherine in India. She writes:
I have practiced yoga for many years and for the last 6 months have been doing a regular home practice. However last month I had an MRI scan due to persistent backache and discovered that I have a slipped disc. My doctor has asked me to stop yoga – forward bends are a definite no – and his opinion is that I should walk and swim as exercise (which I have been doing).
My back pain has gone after rest. I still practice pranayama and meditation but I miss asanas whilst also being incredibly wary of making my back worse. Are you aware of any sequences I can do that avoids forward bends, strong backbends, and generally keeps my spine straight?
Thank you so much
PS I currently live in India and visited both Western and Ayurvedic doctors – they both advised to stop asanas.
Is it possible to practice yoga with a herniated disc? Yes, it is. And practiced mindfully and with caution, yoga can help the condition heal.
However if you’re still in acute pain and any movement aggravates the sciatica, wait until the acute symptoms have abated before starting any kind of practice. And never, ever, ever practice through or into pain.
Pain is your body’s signal to back off!