The best thing about yoga is I always feel better after class than I did going in. The chances of getting hurt in yoga are pretty slim. The chances of healing yourself are almost guaranteed. While I come out of Flywheel invigorated, I also stand the chance of hurting myself. Outside of getting too excited about Wild Thing, I can honestly say I have never hurt myself in yoga.
Personally, I hold a lot of stress in my back. I consistently find myself in Child’s Pose in advance of class trying to stretch as much as I can in preparation. But it almost isn’t necessary. No class will ask you to immediately go in to an advanced pose. Every one starts slowly, builds and helps prepare you for the deeper poses to come.
If you are like me and have back pain, there are some poses that will be especially helpful to you. I LOVE Downward Facing Dog for the relief it offers during a vigorous vinyasa class. But it is also great on its own to help stretch you out gently.
If you are comfortable in down dog, you can try a Twisted Downward Facing Dog. Starting in down dog, grab the outside of your leg or ankle with the opposite-side hand. Keep the other arm straight out in front of you and your thighs pressing back, open up your ribcage. This one requires more balance so if it’s too much, no worries.
Revolved Head to Knee (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana) is great because it alleviates back pain and gives you a great stretch your extended leg. You can simply grab the extended foot with both hands, you can revolve your inside ribs out, you can extend the upper arm.
In every pose, breathe deeply slowly extending deeper in to the pose. Back pain gone!