THE YOGA BACK BOOK BY STELLA WELLER
A Book Review
The sub-title to this book is “the natural solution to freedom from pain”. Since almost everyone has suffered from back pain at one time or another, not to mention those who suffer from daily, chronic back pain, this book could be a lifesaver, if used correctly. Ms. Weller’s background is as both a registered nurse and a yoga therapist, so her information comes from both a yogic and medical path.
The book is extremely informative. It not only describes the exercises, it includes photos of each one, plus its’ variation, if there is one. (Note: Making adjustments is very important when doing any type of exercise program, yoga included, as not every body can accomplish every movement.)
In and around the exercise section, Ms. Weller talks about warming up beforehand, and cooling down afterward.
She explains how each part of the back functions, along with the function of anything connected to keeping the back strong, i.e. leg muscles, abdominals, connective tissue, ligaments. If you are someone who enjoys learning about how your body works, then the anatomy portions of the book will please you. If, on the other hand, you just want to get straight to the exercises, you can do that as well.
She discusses the best way to sit, stand, lie down, bend, etc. for those with bad backs, as well as for those who just want to keep their backs in good working order.
She discusses the best diet for a healthy back including low-fat, low-protein, cutting down on caffeine and drinking plenty of water. While she suggests building your meals around fruits and vegetables, I was surprised to see that she does not recommend a vegetarian and/or vegan diet, as most yoga practitioners and teachers would.
I was very pleased to see that she has included a section on relaxation methods, including meditation and breathwork. In other areas of the book, she does recommend focusing on your breath while doing the exercises, key in most yoga exercises. This portion of the book includes advice on how to get the best night’s sleep and how to decrease stress, both of which can add to the pain in your back. She goes on to discuss other ways of alleviating your pain, such as medication, TENS units, and massage. There are several pages which include advice for before, during and after pregnancy.
As a long time yoga practitioner and teacher, as well as someone who has suffered chronic back pain for many, many years, I would recommend this book, with the understanding that there are many who will skip over the medical explanations and just begin the exercises.
Disclaimer: Please speak to your doctor before starting any exercise program, which would include those discussed in this book. The review and recommendation of this book is the author’s only; neither she nor Pagan Pages accepts any responsibility for any injury occurring while using this book.