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September 2012 - Anna Semlyen

"Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs" with Anna Semlyen, 15th September 2012

Anna began the day by explaining how she had been involved in sponsored research for this subject, and how successful the results of the research had been. This was not only in terms of improving the health and quality of life of the participants, but also from a financial aspect as many working days are lost to "back pain" which has become the most common complaint with which people approach their GP for help.

We were informed that the day would consist of just a small "taster" session of what is essentially a four day course for teachers, as it would be impossible, in the time we had, to teach us the whole course. For anyone interested in doing the course Anna gave us details of how we could access this, and although there was not presently a course running in the Manchester area this could possibly be arranged if at least fifteen people were interested in signing up for this.

We continued the morning by being shown and practising "What to do if you get a sign of a painful back episode" and we were given a handout sheet to support this information. We were shown how to use tables and chairs as props to facilitate some of the positions as well as working on mats on the floor. As we worked Anna advised us that it was not necessary nor indeed wise to attempt to diagnose the reasons for peoples' back pain and that the programme had been designed to be safe for everyone, regardless of the cause of their back problems.

In the afternoon session we moved on to what is known as "Core Practice 'A'" (for which we were also given a handout). This is a progression from the work we did in the morning and is the first part of the programme designed to help people to reduce their back pain and to begin to increase their mobility. We also worked with some standing postures from some of the other core practices of the programme.

As relaxation is an essential part of the programme, each of the morning and afternoon sessions ended with a relaxation which Anna played to us from a CD which had been recorded especially for the participants of the research programme but which was also available on the day for anyone to purchase.

Although mostly aimed at teachers, this day also proved to be very informative for anyone experiencing problems with back pain and who were interested in research proven solutions.