Category Archives: The BackMitra and Yoga

Here you can find articles and other resources on the BackMitra in relation to Yoga.

If you are a yoga practitioner you can learn about how the BackMitra can help you to improve your yoga practice. If you have a stiff upper back and shoulder area,  asanas like downward dog, sarvangasana, pincha mayurasana, hand stand and sirsasana can be quite challenging. The BackMitra will help you opening up this difficult to reach area and improve your asanas.

If you are a yoga teachers you will find articles and resources on how to introduce the BackMitra into your classes. Your students will quickly notice a change in their body making their yoga practice more fun and they’ll start coming back for more.

The classes have started small, maybe 3 in a class, and have increased to sometimes 14. I have had great feedback from many people, including one man with back issues, who said he thought it was better than any chiropractor he had visited and has not missed a class since starting and has brought friends.
I have always had positive feedback from my classes, and many students have purchased a BackMitra to work on at home.

Here you can read the rest of the inspiring article of a UK teacher who after introducing the BackMitra saw her classes filling up.

– The BackMitra in relation to Yoga –

The BackMitra Pillow for a tight and rounded upper back

improve rounded and stiff upper back - BackMitra pillow
The pillow is designed to be mounted on top of the BackMitra® and suits the needs of those with tight and rounded upper backs. With the help of the pillow the neck can be stretched to a fuller extent, facilitating a more effective BackMitra® experience.

support for forward neck position - BackMitra Pillow
fig. 1

Place the pillow with the logo turned upwards onto the BackMitra in such a way that it supports the back of the head. This prevents the chin from lifting up during the exercises, helping to relieve the restricted feeling in the neck.

 

According to the needs of your back and neck you can choose between 2 heights by turning the pillow a quarter.

kyphosis treatment - BackMitra Pillow
fig. 2

Start using the pillow in the lower position (fig. 1).

If you still feel your chin is pointing upward you better use the high position (fig. 2). This position is recommended initially in cases of kyphosis or forward neck posture.

 

How to Become a More Successful Yoga Teacher

Yes, but how do you become a more successful teacher?

In this time where you can find a yoga studio on virtually every corner it is becoming a challenge to fill classes, especially for starting teachers.
What can you do? Here’s a short story…

I started restorative alignment in Mexico with Brigitte Longueville in 2009. Although I found it extremely challenging, I felt amazing after every intensive. Brigitte persuaded me to enroll in the Teachers Training in 2010, which I thoroughly enjoyed, although it was the most difficult course I have done in a long time. I had no intention of actually teaching, I was just interested in learning how my own body worked and responded to the BackMitra.
become successful yoga teacherI started taking part in an Anusara yoga class in my local town in the UK. The teacher asked if I would cover for her whilst she was away and I introduced the BackMitra, with amazing feedback, including a 70 year old woman who was in so much pain with her shoulders that she couldn’t hold a phone to her ear. After just attending 2 sessions, she informed me that she was pain free, which I was thrilled about. This lead to other classes being set up for me by people who had heard about it, with many more success stories from different age groups of both sexes. Many of the students have done other forms of yoga in the past but have been completely converted to using the BackMitra, and have even described it as being like magic!

I have based my classes on different muscle groups and always start using the BackMitra on both the upper and lower back for about 45 minutes, then do gentle exercises based on the part of the body I have decided to concentrate on, followed by a yoga sequence with attention to alignment in each pose.

The classes have started small, maybe 3 in a class, and have increased to sometimes 14. I have had great feedback from many people, including one man with back issues, who said he thought it was better than any chiropractor he had visited and has not missed a class since starting and has brought friends.
I have always had positive feedback from my classes, and many students have purchased a BackMitra to work on at home.

Sue Martineau
Yoga Teacher, UK

Brigitte Longueville teaching restorative BackMitra workshop

10th National Yoga Conference 2013

A short video on Brigitte Longueville presenting restorative yoga with the BackMitra at the 10th National Yoga Conference 2013 in Mexico City.

How to Avoid Back Pain

To many of us it happens, with a sudden movement, after an intense workout, while lifting a load, or bending down to pick something up: back pain! All of a sudden we can’t do anymore what we used to do…

How to avoid back pain?
With only 5 to 10 minutes daily BackMitra exercises you can prevent tensions which cause back problems from building up.

How does this work?
The BackMitra creates space and relaxation through pressure.
By exerting pressure on the spine, the surrounding muscles relax and create space between the vertebrae. In this process the spine will return to its natural curvature and your posture will improve.
Read more…

BackMitra Exercises for Shoulders, Back and Neck

To start with

BackMitra - Correct placementYour head, neck and upper back are supposed to lie on the BackMitra, in such a way that the upper part of the spinal column is being supported. One end of the BackMitra is located below the shoulder blades (see photo on the right for correct positioning on the back).

Lying down

Put the BackMitra at the top middle of your mat with the logo facing sideways. Sit down with your back towards the BackMitra, knees pulled up.
Lean backwards onto your elbows, and continue downwards until you feel the BackMitra touching your back. Shift your body so one end of the BackMitra is touching the spine below the shoulder blades, in the spot directly below the lowest part of your breastbone.
Slowly lie down on the BackMitra.

BackMitra - Checking correct placementCheck the correct placement by drawing a line with your finger from the lowest point of your breastbone towards the floor, continue this line until reaching your spine. This is the point that rests on the end of the BackMitra. If you are not sure of your position use a mirror or ask someone else to help.

The knees are pulled up, feet and knees about hip-width apart, feet flat on the floor, heels turned slightly outward.
BackMitra - Starting PositionWith both hands lift up your head a few centimeters, move the chin towards the chest by looking at your knees. Put your head down slowly.
Check with your hand if there is free space between your lower back and the floor. If your lower back is flat on the floor, tilt your pelvis a little backwards in such a way that your hand fits underneath your lower back.
Place your arms next to your body and relax (if at this point you can’t see the tops of your knees without adjusting the position of your head you may consider using a BackMitra Pillow. This will allow the back of your neck to stretch to a fuller extend).

Exercise 1

BackMitra - Arms Shoulders Neck - Exercise 1Interlock your thumbs and exercise a light pull that you will maintain throughout the exercise.
Lift up your arms towards the ceiling. The arms don’t need to be fully stretched.
Lift up your arms as high as possible, in such a way that the shoulders lift off the floor. Now let your shoulders sink back to the floor, the arms stay stretched towards the ceiling.
Slowly move your arms over your head towards the floor. Feel the point of pressure shift on the BackMitra. BackMitra - Stretch Arms Overhead - Exercise 1Keep your attention on this moving point.
It is possible that you encounter resistance during this movement. Briefly halt there, breathe a couple of times in and out and slowly continue with your arms towards the floor.
Let go of your thumbs and slowly move your arms in a big circle, your hands barely touching the floor. Also in this movement you can encounter spots of resistance. Pause again, breathe and slowly continue until your arms are beside your body.
Again interlock your thumbs.
Repeat the exercise 2 times.

Continue with Exercise 2.

Important!
 If you are using a BackMitra Pillow, remove it now.

Exercise 2

BackMitra - Pelvis Lift - Exercise 2Arms slightly spread apart next to the body, hands on the floor or on the belly.
Press the ball of the feet into the floor, and with this pressure push the pelvis up. Continue until the pelvis is about 10 to 20 cm off the floor. The goal is not to lift up the pelvis as high as possible, but to slide the back of the head slightly upward so the back of the neck can stretch. If the knees have the tendency to move outward you can place a yoga block or something similar between the knees and keep a light pressure during exercise. Try not to get the force from your buttock muscles, but from the legs. The buttocks stay as relaxed as possible.
By lifting up the pelvis and the pressure from the feet the head shifts a little upwards, the back of the neck stretches and comes in contact with the BackMitra.

Important!
 If, while pushing the pelvis up, the chin wants to point towards the ceiling, lift up your head with both hands and move the chin towards the chest.

Breathe in and out 3 times.
Slowly come down, lightly toning your abdominal muscles, until your pelvis is on the floor.
Repeat this exercise 2 times.

Finishing

BackMitra - relax after the exercisesRoll to your right side and put the BackMitra next to the mat.
Roll onto your back, stretch your legs and relax.

Important!
 To get up: Roll to your right side and come up using the strength of your arms.

Here you can find videos with more BackMitra exercises.

9th National Yoga Conference 2012

A short video on Brigitte Longueville presenting the BackMitra at the 9th National Yoga Conference 2012 in Mexico City.

9th Yoga Conference – Restorative BackMitra Session with Brigitte Longueville.

Therapeutic Yoga with the BackMitra

Hello! I am Jose Luis, I am 20 years old, and I want to tell you about what happened to me.

Therapeutic and Restorative Yoga with the BackMitra
Jose Luis Espinosa Gomez

A little more than two years ago I went on a trip with my friends to Zihuatanejo, and I had an accident. At the hotel where we were staying I took a dive into the pool with terrible results; I hit my head on the bottom and I broke my neck. Although I was fully aware, I could not move my arms and legs, and I was drowning. Someone pulled me out of the water and I was taken to the hospital where I had an emergency operation to reconstruct the damaged 5th cervical vertebra; they had to use a bone from my hip to hold my spine with titanium plates and elastic bands. I had postoperative complications and suffered a cardiac arrest for 10 minutes. I was declared brain dead, and was subsequently induced into a coma to prevent more neurological damage. 10 days after that, my lungs collapsed because of an infection contracted from the water which entered my lungs when I was drowning.

Luckily the initial diagnose proved to be wrong: I woke up from the coma! I wasn’t brain dead after all! I found myself in a hospital bed immobile from the neck down and needing an artificial respirator. During the time in the hospital I started recovering little by little; I started breathing by myself, and after 4½ months I could sit up.

Therapeutic and Restorative Yoga with the BackMitra - cure severe back injuries
Working with the BackMitra

Since I got home I started an intense rehab program. I have worked with the BackMitra in sessions of therapeutic and restorative yoga. When I lie on the BackMitra I relax, improving my posture and my breathing, and my muscle spasticity (which is one of the consequences of spinal cord injury) is subsiding slowly. The BackMitra has helped me to sit more upright and to move my arms and legs with greater ease.

I’m sure that for people with injuries like mine, the BackMitra and therapeutic yoga are really helpful. I fully recommend it!