MDC & YOGA THERAPY - & Yoga Therapy
Ask A Yoga Therapist
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Advisory: The views contained in the Questions and Answers section are those of the author and the site readers. The author is NOT a doctor.  Her views are only based upon her own experience.The author and this website accept NO RESPONSIBILITY for any usage of the information on this section, this site or in any email. The author does not intend to use this Questions and Answers resource to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Any medical condition should be referred to your Doctor.
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Dear Ms. Denise,
I recently hurt my low back. My doctor has presribed anti-inflammatory medications for me, but with only limited success.I would like to know if you know any yoga exercises that might strengthen and stretch my core and lower back so that, hopefully, I can discontinue those medicines.Thank you in advance,
Hi Kevin,
1st of all you should always listen to your body, avoid any poses that cause pain. Proper alignment is very important take it slow. Here are some suggested poses. Cat/cow, child pose, bridge, reclining leg foot and toe stretch, cobra pose,supine rotator stretch, locust pose, downward facing dog, savasana. I also would recommend some body work myofascial release. Hope this helps
I have just really gotten into yoga in the last 6 months – practicing with teachers 2x per week and then dvds/podcats/etc at home. I love it and would really like to take my practice to the next level – but I’m not sure how…
Taking more classes is an obvious option but I want to get more out of them – learn the proper names, really understand the poses, anatomy of it…
Are the 200 hour teacher training classes just for people interested in teaching yoga? I’m not at that point and I wonder if I would be blown away by the skill level in those programs anyway.
Any advice?— EP
Hi EP,
From my personal experience I think a beginner should take a 200hour yoga class it prevents them from learning bad habits from the get go whether they choose to go into the field or not. The best school on Cape Cod is "Kind Yoga School" in Centerville, MA.
Dear Teacher,
To be a good yoga praticioner,how many hours in meditation is necessary?
Meditation is important in Yoga?
How many hours you recomend in meditation practice?
Is the purpose of Yoga train the body to reach
the mind or the body is the body and the mind
is the mind?
Hi Celio,
I believe yoga is meditation and meditation is yoga. You cannot have one without the other. as you progress in your practice and you can learn to be present in the moment by quieting the mind, you are actually meditating.
Dear Denise,
My blood pressure used to be very high, now I take lisinopril, which helps. Is there any particular yoga I can do to control my blood pressure better?Thanks,Andy
Hi Andy, I am assuming that your high BP is under control with the medication. Please consult with doctor before starting any exercise program.
It is advisable to learn these poses and tecqniques from an expert.
Nadi shodhana- also called alternate n
ostril breathing.
Here are some poses that would be beneficial.Easy Pose, Shoulder Stretches, Double Leg Raises, Camel pose,
Knees squeeze, Cat/Cow Pose, Half Spinal Twist , Legs Up the Wall Pose ,Crocodile Pose, Fish Pose, Diamond Pose, Wind Relieving Pose,
Plow Pose, Bridge Pose and Corpse Pose.
Hello Ms. Denise,
Is yoga appropriate (especially in terms of risk of injury) for someone like me, who has hemiparesis (a type of cerebral palsy)?Thanks!
Dear Lydia,
Yoga is very appropriate for any nuerological conditions. yoga improves both high and low muscle tone problems, characteristic in CP. Pranayama and yoga asanas significantly reduces high muscle tone. Holding an asana gives the mus...cles and tendons a relaxing stretch, releasing overall stress and tightness throughout the musculature and around the joints. In addition, yoga addresses the low muscle tone areas of the body as well, with asanas that provide just enough resistance to strengthen muscles that have low tonicity.
Dear Ms. Denise,
I have chronic back pain since as I have ankylosing spondylitis. What yoga exercises do you recommend?thanks.— AP
Dear AP,
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis which affects the spinal cord and sacroiliac joints. The goal of yoga for ankylosing spondylitis is to relieve pain, manage the symptoms and to prevent further progress of the disease. Yoga can provide a relief from pain and stiffness caused by ankylosing spondylitis and also helps to improve the range of mobility.
Various asanas (positions in Yoga) such as Vajra Asana, Dhanura Asana, Makara Asana, Bhujanga Asana, Ardha Matsyendrasana and Neti kriya help to remove rigidity and improve flexibility of joints and also correct bad posture.... Pranayama is helpful for muscle relaxation as well as to improve the movements of ribs and changes in pressure within abdomen and chest. Good luck.
I have only just started doing yoga, about four months now, and am starting to feel discouraged because I cannot do some of the movements at all such as throwing one leg back during sun salutation and balancing on one foot in tree pose (those are the main two that bother me). Is there anything you recommend as a way to become more able to do these and others, since I do enjoy the practice and don’t want to stop out of frustration? Thank you very much.— Amanda
Hi Amanda,
I do need more information to answer this post. Do you have any prior medical conditions? How often are you practicing your yoga? I can try to help with a basic answer. Try practicing your pose holding on to a wall or chair, work ...on proper alignment first, then slowly start to let go of wall or chair working your way up to no support. I would practice on a daily basis. Remember we are perfect as we are. Yoga should be gentle and kind, honoring your body for what it is. Namaste!
Please describe an excercise that that takes energy through the third eye and ejects it from the navel. Or is it vice versa?
I saw this once on TV and while trying it my cat ran up and became extremely interested in my forehead.— Devo
Hi Devo,
I put the question out on facebook (Ask A Yoga Therapist) hopefully, someone will give an answer and I will post it here. Namaste!
I am an avid runner who hurt my lower back and have a strained hip. I started doing Yoga and now I am much better, but not quite back to running strength.. I am wondering what are specificially the best poses to gain strenghth in the lower back. Thank you.
Have you tried CHI RUNNING? Check it out, it may get you back to running sooner. In regards to poses for lower back pain. Here are some poses that can strengthen your low back. All poses must be done with proper alignment to avoid further injury, Please contact a qualified professional. Here are some poses to increase lower back strength.*Tadasana* Bridge Pose* Chair Pose * Dolphine Plank Pose * Downward Facing Dog* *Cobra * Cat/Cow * Child Pose* Locust Pose * Best of luck!
Dear Denise:
Since last few years I am suffering from Acute sciatica pain due to pinching of the nerve in lower back. I tried some yoga exercises as recommended by Baba Ramdev, but did not get any relief. The pain only comes back when I walk, otherwise I am fine. I would appreciate any advice you could please give me to get some relief. With kind regards.

Hello Gurnek, Often, the cause of back pain is poor fitness -- specifically, weak abdominal muscles. At the pelvis, the weight of the upper body is transferred to the lower limbs. The pelvis, or pelvic girdle, is balanced on the rounded heads of the thig...hbones. It is held in place by numerous muscles, including the abdominals, the hamstrings, the gluteals, and the hip flexors. An imbalance or weakness in these muscles can lead to pelvic misalignment, which usually causes the pelvis to tilt forward or backward.
If the abdominal muscles are weak, the top of the pelvis will drop and tilt forward.
Find a good yoga therapist that can do an assessment to see what muscles may be week and to also check the SI joint. You may have a SI joint dysfunction and may need specific yoga poses to stabilize the SI joint. This is more common than not. Have you had xrays or a MRI? Good luck!
Dear Denise,
I am an office working male who sits in a chair for about 9 hours a day. As a result of the prolonged sitting (and my gender), I tend to have very tight hips and hamstrings which make a lot of advanced poses more difficult for me. What are some good beginners poses I can use to help open these areas for the more advanced postures? jms
Dear JMS,
The hip flexing muscles too often become tight and short because of prolonged sitting. The lumbar spine tends to stiffen and get compressed.While at work: Get up every30 minutes and do mountain pose with hands over head going into trunk extension (backwards lean). To open your hips try these basic poses: child pose, cobblers pose, extended side angle pose, garland pose, happy baby pose, seated wide legged straddle, standing forward bend, triangle pose, warrior 1 and 2. Use props if needed, hold poses for 3 breaths repeat 3-4 times. I hope this helps. Good Luck!
I’m a 51-year-old male college instructor. My other job is writing and recording music. Both are sedentary activities. In the last 10 years, I’ve gotten fat and my energy level has plummeted. Someone suggested yoga, but with so many different kinds of yoga, scores of different DVD courses, it’s hard to know where and how to begin. Can you help?— Jesse
I would start at a beginners Gentle Hatha Yoga Class. Tips to remember: There is no need to worry about being what you consider perfect in a pose ( Everyone is suppose to look different, our bodies are made different). Learn to go at your ...own pace in all your poses, you are in charge as to how hard the class is by listening to your body and remembering not to judge yourself, just breath because your perfect as you are.
I am a newbie to yoga and am looking for the correct yoga to practice. Im looking for a yoga that would help with flexibility. I tore my teres minor and went through months of rehab to alleviate the pain but I now need to improve my overall flexibility to limit injuries down the road.Any help would be great…..
Would you please recommend a series of endorphin releasing postures.
— Daniel
I am still learning about yoga. I recently tried two different yoga studios on Cape Cod. At one of the studios the instructor warned of holding certain positions with too much weight forward because it can cause damage to the rotator cuff. What are some of the common mistakes beginners make that can lead to injury?— Jack
I’ve recently increased the frequency of my practice to prepare for a 200-hour teacher training I will begin at the end of February. Some of my joints have been aching as a result (right knee and wrist, primarily) and I’ve been getting mixed advice on whether I should “back off and modify my asanas” or push through and “let the yoga do its work.” What advice do you usually give students who are working through similar pain?
Hi Denise.
I am wondering if there are any yoga exercises that can help me with hip issues. I have moderate arthritis in my right hip. I have chronically tight IT band issues and hip flexors, etc are also a problem.
Thank you.— john
Dear Denise,
 Years of running have given me very tight hips and hamstrings. Even though I’ve been practicing yoga for years, I have never been able to progress beyond beginner level classes and can still scarcely touch my toes when seated with my legs out in front of me, and even when I do it causes my entire leg to shake. Can you recommend some postures for opening up the hips and thighs?
— Meredith
I’ve wanted to do more yoga for years now, but an old sports injury in my shoulder always prevents me from sticking with it. Are there types of yoga one can do that will minimize impact to an injury while still giving you a fulfilling workout? And are there certain yoga techniques (similar to sports therapy) that could potentially strengthen an old injury?— kmurphy