My husband has had back problems for several years now. In the past few years, he has experienced numbness in one of his legs. For the past few years, he has given up almost all physical activity because of this which has led him to gain weight and lose a lot of strength. Every time he tried to start an exercise program, he felt his back and numbness getting worse. It turns out he has a pinched nerve (finally! A diagnosis!) but for years, he didn’t know what was wrong and simply didn’t exercise, do house or garden work, or lift anything.
Many students and other people I know with back pain treat their bodies with fragility. That’s why I like this DVD. It is extremely gentle. Each practice is 45 minutes long. The first practice is focused on the neck and upper back and shoulders. The second practice is focused on the lower back. The practices have similar poses but each is very gentle without being meaningless. The movements are done slowly. A beautiful flute is playing in the background. Annie Carpenter emphasizes breath with the movement.
The lower back sequence starts with lying on the back with a hamstring stretch sequence. Cat-cow is next to enhance spine flexibility. A slow vinayasa sequence with a lunge twist next. A prasarita padonttanasna sequence comes after this. A parsvottanasana sequence is next followed by a bridge sequence holding the block between the inner thighs. A lower back sequence ends the practice before savasana.
The upper back sequence starts with a shoulder movement sequence seated, on the back and then with a block. Aslow vinayasa sequence follows with Virabhadrasana 2, Utthita Parsvakonasana, and a chaturaunga sequence. Shalabasana grabbing the hands behind you is next with a sequence of these backbend poses ending in child’s pose. A garudasana sequence is next and Annie gives many modifications throughout the practice. A delicious relaxation ends the practice.
I recommend this DVD to beginners or someone coming off a back injury. It is a relaxing practice for anytime you want a short practice to stretch out the back.
Disclosure: I received this DVD from Yoga Journal for free to review.