Yoga Circuit Training

Related to Lower Back Pain Relief by Fred Busch



Often times yoga is practiced in a linear sequence which can sometimes be intimidating because the linear sequencing can in many cases encompass many poses perhaps upwards of fifty or even sixty poses can be sometimes seen in a yoga class or in a sequence of linear poses. That often times creates an environment, or it’s very difficult to teach a student to practice at home because they’re intimidated by a long list of poses that they think they have to memorize.

The purpose of the yoga circuit training approach to self practice and to healing lower back pain and to healing other pain as well. So self practice is the center piece to the ability to heal yourself.

Rather than do it in a linear way, we’re going to do it in a circular way. Imagine that you’re at a gym and the gym has that circuit training room where every machine is in a circuit and that the idea is that you travel around the circuit. You’re going from one exercise to another, and from the other one you go into the circuit in order. You can do the circuit one time, if you have a specific amount of time but if you even have more time than that, you could possibly do the circuit even the second time or you can even circuit it three times. You just go around and around in circles considering your time factor for the day. If you have more time then you do more circuits, more times around the circle and less time if you have less.

The circuit training in yoga approach to healing and self practice relates to using the same kind of approach as the circuit training you find in the gym. – use the same name of circuit training for yoga. The advantage of this is that instead of having to memorize a litany of poses, instead of memorizing twenty, thirty, forty poses in a sequence and have to imagine that the actual linear sequence is required, instead of that, we break down the set into family groups, into five or six families of poses that then get circuited around. In other words, family number one is downward dog, push ups, upward dog, cobra pose, downward dog, push ups, upward dog and cobra pose, and that’s all essentially family number one including in that is all the variations of the downward dog and the take the leg off the ground, and if you’re not in a very severe case-if you’re in a very severe case they’ll include in this might be some warrior one poses as a warm up in a dynamic way where you would inhale into the warrior one and exhale into the downward dog. But that’s really difficult for certain extreme cases of back pain. In that case, the family one becomes simply downward dog and its variations, top of the push up, push ups and upward dog, family number one.

Family number two are standing poses, warrior one, warrior two and warrior three. Warrior one, warrior two, warrior three that is considered essentially family number two and it can also be expanded-the families can be expanded, the more yoga you learn. So as you learn other standing poses you add that into family number two. As you do other variations of push up kind of thing you put that in the family one, so there’s all kinds of ways of expanding families but the key is that the families, the number of families is very short so that it’s easy to understand that there’s a circuiting around some very basic families and actions and that way you never have to think about what comes next, you never have to concern yourself with the memorization of a linear yoga sequence that they got to be long because you’re simply moving around the circuits of five basic families of poses and it makes sense to you that you simply will be practicing for as long as you have that day if you have twenty minutes, fine, if you have forty, it’s fine too and you just do it twice.

Family number three involves crunches, abdominal exercises; family number three is all things related to the strengthening of your abdominal area. Group number three involves abdominal poses like twisting – crunches, those are tolerable, boat pose if boat pose can be done without any reflection on the lower back; basically there’s many ways of approaching the strengthening of your abdominal core, we just need to slide any number of poses and if you can do more than one abdominal strengthening pose, that would also be fine. This is a whole family of abdominal pose that are designed to work core strength and the surrounding abdominal musculature that is not so much the core muscles but that are significant to be developing for the strength of the front of the body and its relationship to healing back pain and when the front of the body can take responsibility for itself.

Family number four is poses that involve lying on your back and so that is going to be lying on your back pulling on your straight leg, lying on the back opening the leg out to the right, lying on the back doing hip opening number four position. Family number four are all poses that relate to lying on the back. In addition to poses that relate to lying on the back, family four also includes poses that lie on your belly. So family four is lying on your back and lying on your belly. Poses that are lying on your belly would be superman pose or the legs are extended and the arms are out in front, it can also be interlacing your fingers behind your back and working very important exercises called Sacroiliac therapy where you inhale your legs wide apart and you exhale your legs together once you are in locust position with your fingers interlaced behind your back. So superman, locust, sacroiliac therapy, locust, in addition to lying on your back and pulling on your straight leg and opening up your hips with number four position and doing all the hip opening stuff.

Family five is everything else, so if you’re not a beginner and you are going to do head stand, you’re not a beginner and you’re going to do shoulder stand, you’re not a beginner and you’re going to do any number of variations of back bends, as we said back bends are completely fine, so family number five is all are what are called finishing poses, the closing sequencing and there can be lots of poses there. In addition, there would be any number of poses that you just have experienced within your life and you know that they’re useful in your life, like peacock or somebody’s harder poses, forearm stand, if you’re against the wall, all of these poses are very safe for you and if you like to do them they can – at this junction of family five so you can get complete practice and you’re satisfied and if you’re warmed up in order to begin to do those advance poses. Family five is closes poses, family four is lying on your belly, lying on your back, family three is abdominal poses, family two is standing poses, family one is all the downward dog and upward dog.

The circuit is generally done by one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three, as many times as you want between families one ‘til three and then at the very end you do families four and five and then you rest in shivastana with a pillow or bolster underneath your knees. Most important part of the sequence is the shivastana part, the lying on your back part where you must always have something underneath your knees for the curing of back pain and the healing of back pain.