I’ve been asked several times this week about the best kind of yoga specifically for persistent back pain. The short answer is - it depends. We'd need to find out a bit more about you before we confidently recommend something.
If someone asked "What kind of foods should I eat for my tummy pain?" you would probably ask a few questions to understand the problem. Do they know what the cause is? How long has the tummy pain been there? What have they already tried?
It's the same with yoga.
Briefly, yoga helps people with persistent pain by calming the nervous system through breathing techniques and mindful concentration. This signals to your brain that things are OK, which allows you to be more comfortable with movement. Presuming you have ruled out anything you're worried about, the kind of yoga to do depends on a number of factors.
John was experiencing pain in a number of postures in his Bikram Yoga class and wanted to know what was and wasn’t suitable for an ongoing problem in his back. He had been seeing a musculoskeletal physiotherapist for persistent back pain that he attributed to twenty years of high-level sport and physical work. John’s physiotherapist considered that John could benefit from an outside perspective on his yoga practice so that he could practice safely and in the most beneficial way for his body.