Yoga Block Sequence – is the primary method for lumbar spinal decompression. Performed as a part of a specifically designed daily back exercise routine, it will create the space in between the spinal vertebrae and relieve the pressure on inter-vertebral spinal discs. Especially effective for sciatica, and stiff spinal segment conditions that result in acute pain.
The correct way to use the Yoga Block:
- Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent.
- Lift your bottom and slide the Yoga Block sideways on its flattest side under the sacrum, the broad flat bone at the base of the spine between the two dimples of either buttock.
- Slowly straighten one leg then the other by sliding the heel out away from you along the floor.
- With both legs straight, relax completely and let the weight of your legs pull the spine out. Attempt to keep your heels close together although he toes can roll out. There is frequently a local discomfort at the base of the spine and higher up if another level is jammed there. You should be able to sense the spine pulling apart longitudinally. It is usually an agreeable discomfort, but it should feel as if it means business. Do not be alarmed by the pain. Go with it.
TIP: As you become more confident and comfortable with using the Yoga Block – start stretching your arms up above your head, giving it even better stretch in the opposite from your toes direction – that will give your spine even better decompression!
- If you feel absolutely nothing with the BackBlock on its flattest side, then immediately progress to its middle side with the thin edge transversely across the sacrum.
- You can experiment with sliding the Yoga Block up and down under the sacrum to feel where it is fractionally more comfortable. Where it feels best is where it should be. It must never be under spine itself, where it will be very uncomfortable. Surprisingly some back pain sufferers forget and put it here.
- With the Yoga Block at the right height, remain in position for one minute, completely relaxed as the legs inevitably drop down.
- After a minute, slowly bend one knee and slide the foot up towards the buttock, then the other.
- Lift your bottom off the Yoga Block. This may be painful but is no cause for alarm. Move slowly and keep the tummy braced as you slide the block out to one side.
- Lower your bottom to the floor and then do the rocking knees to the chest exercise. Initially this may feel uncomfortable, with sense of tightness across the base, but as you continue you will feel the back rounding and lower interspaces starting to gap open. Persevere until this discomfort across the lower back has eased. This may be immediate or can take up to 2 minutes of gentle rocking.
- When your low back feels suppler, it is time for strengthening the lower abdominal muscles. This is done with the reverse curl ups.
- Do the reverse abdominal crunches in strict accordance with the instructions already given for this exercise separately.
- Repeat the one minute on the Yoga Block, the rocking and reverse abdominal crunches another two times. This routine is best carried out at the end of the day when the spine is most compressed. Three to four repetitions of the three steps takes between 10 and 15 minutes.
- Although the ideal time to use the Yoga Block is in the evening, some people have a better day if they do it first thing in the morning.
- It is sometimes kinder to do the first round with the BackBlock on the flattest side and then progress to its middle height for the second and third round. It takes several months before most impacted spines are ready to progress to using the Yoga Block on end.
- Intensive use of the Yoga Block must be entered into slowly. At all times, the period over the Yoga Block must be matched with equal time doing reverse abdominal crunches. If you use the Block without these afterwards your back will be cast and stiff after getting up, and everything will be much more sore and achy.
Your own physical condition and diagnosis may require specific modifications or precautions. Before undertaking any course of self-treatment you should consult a doctor or a physiotherapist.