Healthy Spine Yoga

This week I’m using my blog to post this announcement of the start of the YoMA study, Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain and its Mechanism of Action, at UCSF’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine! Over the next 12 weeks, I’m teaching yoga to research participants with chronic low back pain. The study replicates a protocol from two earlier, NIH-funded studies with results published in 2005 and 2011. The first two studies showed positive results for yoga and supported further research.

Some readers may remember that in September I traveled to Toronto to study with Robin Rothenberg, a Certified Yoga Therapist who designed the first research protocol (with Gary Kraftsow) and trained teachers in the second, larger scale trial. The practice form is Viniyoga. Over the past several months, I’ve often been heard exclaiming. After almost 15 years of study, practice, and teaching various forms of yoga it feels to me like coming home and starting over! In the best way, several pieces have clicked into place (and I don’t just mean my vertebrae!).

I’m excited and honored to be teaching this practice, especially in the context of research that may benefit the many people who suffer with back pain. For now, I’ll leave you with this question: Do you know where your muscles of respiration are?

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