Styles of Yoga that Can Help with Spondylitis

According to Ayurveda, which is a system of medicine derived from yogic philosophy, spondylitis is a “Vata” disease. This means spondylitis is aggravated by cold and dry environments. Styles of yoga that build heat, such as “Vinyasa Flow,” or yoga practiced in heated rooms, like “Hot Yoga,” can help to diminish the discomfort of the disease, while increasing the strength and flexibility of the spine.Avoid deep back bends. When you practice poses that force you to bend backwards, they should be shallow and practiced only briefly. Your practice should build heat, but should not be too rigorous; you should come only to a mild sweat. Yoga poses that would have you fold forward will be particularly beneficial and may relieve pain associated with spondylitis. Poses you should consider include: the Surya Namaskar Series, Utkatasana, Trikonasana, Parsvattanasana, Child’s Pose, Marichyasana, Janu Sirsasana, Ardha Matseyendrasana, Pavanamuktasana, and Savasana.

Breathing exercises, also called “pranayama,” are an integral part of a yoga practice. According to the yogic philosophy, there is a vital force called “prana” in all living things, and the first manifestation of this energy in your body is in your breath. Thus breathing exercises were constructed in an effort to control the prana in our bodies, and stimulate healing. Among these exercises are three techniques that stimulate and heat the body that you can use to reduce Vata conditions, such as spondylitis, they are: Bhastrika, Surya-Bheda, and Kapalabhati. Be patient when using pranayama to ease discomfort from spondylitis, it may take up to 45 consecutive days of practice before any noticeable progress is made.

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