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Good News For Yoga, And For Your Back Pain

Yoga, as well as intense, regular stretching eases back pain, researchers report

I’ve done some kind of exercise all my life: running, dancing, tennis, aerobics, swimming.

But yoga is different. After about 8 years doing “hot” yoga in Cambridge, I no longer consider it exercise. It’s more like a total-body-mental-health-anti-aging-pain-elimination practice that I suspect I’ll do for the rest of my life. It’s not as cheap as jogging, true, but unlike other forms of exercise, I don’t really have to be “up” for yoga: I can do it when I’m tired, annoyed or feeling chubby.

So I always get a zing of pleasure when mainstream medicine acknowledges the benefits of yoga. Here’s the latest, from The New York Times: a study found that weekly 75-minute yoga classes, or a regular practice of intense stretching (sounds kind of like yoga, no?) can help relieve chronic low-back pain:

The study is the largest and most thorough to date to look at whether yoga has an effect on chronic low back pain, a problem that affects millions and has no surefire long-term remedy. Continue reading