is there an alternative to rolling up
from a standing forward fold?
The cue of rolling up from a
Standing Forward Fold “vertebra by
vertebra” is likely to have come from
the dance world. Biomechanically
and functionally, this transition has
more risks than benefits. For many,
it feels good and improves
coordination. However, rolling up
could lead to or exacerbate a
herniated disk or a spinal fracture
for those with osteoporosis. This
transition also doesn’t prepare you
properly for real-world activities,
such as picking things up safely.
To avoid potential injury, and to
build the muscle memory of
safe movement patterns, try coming
out of a Standing Forward Fold in
the following way:
Create a wider base of support
with your toes turned out slightly.
This reduces the pressure on
Bring your hands to your hips
or the front of your thighs.
Keeping a neutral spine,
engage your core and push
up to standing, as with a hip hinge.
This can particularly recruit your
transversus abdominis, which may
help alleviate lower back pain.
yoga is safe
I have back problems, so I can’t do yoga.
Research suggests that yoga is safe and effective for relieving chronic
back pain. However, you may need to make adjustments to certain asanas or
avoid some poses completely if you are managing a specific back condition
(see pp.202–205). For many people, for example, touching the floor in Standing
Forward Fold is not possible or comfortable, particularly for the lower back
(the lumbar spine). However, you can still get the main benefits of the pose
by bringing the floor closer to you, for example, by resting your hands
on a block or on the base of a chair.
Did you know?
Back pain is one of the most common
disabling ailments and is a leading
cause of lost productivity.
Research shows yoga not only
reduces back pain by clinically
significant levels, but also reduces
the number of sick days taken.
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