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Contrary to popular and mistaken belief, yoga is not simply a form of exercise or something that is only focused on striking certain poses. Instead, yoga is primarily focused on teaching devotees to adopt a total balanced approach to life, taking in both physical exercise and mental adaptability and adroitness.
Most importantly for any back pain sufferer, yoga lays great emphasis on body alignment, and it is often the fact that peoples bodies are forced into positions where it is not correctly aligned that causes back pain in the first place.
For example, if you spend many hours everyday sitting at your desk working on a computer, or behind the wheel of your car driving, you are putting your body into a position which is almost inevitably going to cause stress to develop in your back. Consequently, even though there is no one single event or situation that causes you to suffer back pain, the daily misalignment of your body is inevitably going to cause back problems eventually.
There are many reasons why yoga is likely to be far more effective as a form of exercise for alleviating or reducing your back when compared to other forms of exercise.
In the first place, because yoga places a great deal of emphasis on the spiritual side of practicing, the controlled breathing or pranayama techniques that you learn when studying yoga are an essential part of the practice. Deep, slow breathing naturally relaxes your muscles, which will obviously reduce the chances of suffering a muscle strain or sprain in the first place, and alleviate the pain if you have already caused a strain.
On top of this, yogic asanas or poses are all about stretching all the muscles in your body, and this also makes it far less likely that you will suffer strains or muscle damage in the future.
As a result, yoga has two functions as far as back pain is concerned. In the first place, it can reduce the pain that you may already be suffering by making you more flexible and supple, while it can also prevent back problems developing if you are not already a back pain sufferer.
The fact is, if you do not already take regular exercise, whether that is jogging, swimming, cycling or even walking, your spine will have become more rigid and less flexible. It is far more likely that you will suffer back damage the next time you make any significant demands on your back.