Rita guides you through a most loving and sacred yoga practice. Her gentle nature and lightness allow for the most wonderful unfolding to take place in her class. As a fellow student and teacher I am always appreciative of her gifts and radiant smile she shares with others. ... Aarti Ganesh           Read more...

Back to being fit and healthy

Dealing with backache isn’t rocket science. But ask scientists and they’ll confess having dealt with a sore back at some point in their life. The reasons are many and the treatment, varied. If you suffer from chronic backache, we suggest medical attention. For some, guided by doctors, yoga comes as a support system.
If you are faced with a sore back after rigorous workouts or after spending long hours at work and commuting, a few asanas can work wonders. I walk into Rita Khanna’s Yogashaastra studio at Marredpally just in time for the morning session. Her batch comprises a vibrant team of young women, with some battling lower back pains. Rita guides us through a series of asanas for an hour, some simple ones and some strenuous.
We begin with the Makarasana, a relaxation posture. Lie face down on your abdomen on the yoga mat with legs about two feet apart and heels facing each other. Cross your arms, place your right hand on the left shoulder, left hand on the right shoulder, head and face tilted to one side. The asana follows the yogic principle of relaxed breathing with your mind focussed on your breath. The relaxing posture helps those with pain in the waist, neck and lower back, Rita tells us.
We move on to the Bhujangasana or the cobra posture. Lying face down on the floor, with your palms under your chest, inhale and raise your chest up and hold the posture for a few breaths. Do this in stages by coming up from the floor a wee bit and then raise to cobra posture if you suffer from backache. Stay with just your shoulders up in case of chronic backache. Exhale and move back to starting position. Seems simple so far. We try a few more repetitions.
Baddha-Naukasana follows next as we lie with face down on the mat. This one’s a bit tricky. Try taking both your arms behind your back, lying down. Hold your left wrist with the right hand, make a fist of the left hand with thumb inside. Inhale and raise your head, shoulder and chest from the waist level. Simultaneously, raise your thighs without bending the knees. Your body resembles the reverse of a boat, Rita says. She reminds us that asanas are meant to work according to our body and you must refrain from exerting too much if the posture causes pain.
A few asanas later, she demonstrates the Ushtrasana, which can be done easily in normal conditions and requires a partner if your back hurts. Stand on your knees, keeping the knees and feet slightly apart, toes pointing back and resting on the floor. Place your hands on the back, arch and bend your back slowly and try to touch your heels with your palms. Get a partner to hold your waist gently as you arch your back to do this one step at a time. Hold the posture for a few moments and return to the starting position exhaling.
We finish with pranayama and the relaxation posture, Shavasana. The omkar and makar of pranayama routine not just relaxes you mentally, but is good for your back.
Bottomline:Don’t jump into asanas without knowing the reason for your backache. Yoga helps cure the pain, under supervision and is suitable for any age group. Did the asanas work for me? It did and I was game for more.
(Rita Khanna can be contacted at 65173344/9849772485)

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