Short, Restorative Daily Yoga Practice?
September 13, 2008 7:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a short-ish (20-30 min) yoga practice that I can follow along with each morning, with the goal of injury prevention in mind. There seem to be many video routines available for fat-burning, cardio, even hypertrophy focused yoga, but my need is simply something to keep my joints healthy and maintain (or improve) my flexibility.

I'm young (24, currently), but I've been plagued by back problems. After visiting several chiropractors and physical therapists, the culprit was narrowed down to a seized muscle on one side of my spine, and I was told that to prevent the pain from returning, I should focus on my posterior chain strength and flexibility. (Especially flexibility in my hips, groin, and hamstrings.)

Couple this with a bone spur on my left shoulder that causes inflammation without regular joint work to keep my rotator cuff strong, and I have a strong motivation to add injury prevention to my routine beyond the usual stretching.

I've tried Sun Salutations, but after a month noticed no difference, as it didn't seem to focus on the parts of my body giving me issue. What I'd like to find is a relatively short routine I can do in the morning before work, every day, to keep my body loosened up. I don't care to add more work to either my muscle-building or cardio routines, as they both are already challenging without completely wiping me out.

I'd looked at Yoga for Regular Guys, and thusfar it seems the best candidate since it seems to have a decent focus on restorative work... but it still adds hypertrophy motions, and I really don't need any more pushups-for-the-sake-of-chest-strength in my routine.

Video is preferred, since I find it's easier to pace myself and grade my form that way.
posted by ggypsy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I really like Rodney Yee's AM Yoga session (it is 20 minutes and very gentle).

It may seem too easy, but I find it is just the thing that I need to warm my muscles up after sleep.

There is also a PM Yoga sequence, I tried it once, but it was a lot more challenging than I'd prefer before bed.

I hope you feel better =)
posted by ginagina at 8:22 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

Try Yoga Without Tree Hugging. Original site is closed, but the PDF is still available (just an e-book, no video).
posted by mi at 8:28 AM on September 13, 2008

I picked up Rodney Yee's Back care Yoga for Beginners a few weeks ago, and I think it's exactly what you're looking for. It's about 25 minutes long, very gentle, and does a good job of loosening up the back, hips, and hamstrings.
posted by tdismukes at 10:14 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding Rodney Yee in general and the Back Care DVD in particular.
posted by cocoagirl at 10:27 AM on September 13, 2008

I'll second the AM Yoga, ginagina's advice is spot on.
Netflix has a selection of yoga videos if you'd like to try before you buy.
You might have luck with Yoga Zone: Stretching for Flexibility, which is pretty low impact for beginners.
You didn't mention if you've ever gone to a yoga class in person before. If you're starting out, it is helpful to have an expert check out your technique. If you're doing yoga on dvd every day, it may be worth your while to go to a class every few weeks to keep your form in check. Doing a pose wrong can do more harm than help.
Did your PT specifically recommend yoga?
posted by enfa at 10:27 AM on September 13, 2008

Priscilla Patrick's show is syndicated on PBS. She has some very good workouts for strictly maintaining flexibility and joint/muscle health.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:56 PM on September 13, 2008

(my first post!)

I'm not trying to talk you out of anything, but just fyi:

It's more or less commonly accepted that the spine is more mechanically stiff in the morning as compared to later in the day because of fluid accumulation in the discs. Some believe, for this reason, that morning stretching can cause injury. (though I couldn't find the studies showing this, I distinctly recalling having read some)

I'll leave it up to you to decide whether this is true, and if it is true, whether it will dissuade you from doing morning yoga.
posted by oostevo at 7:56 PM on September 13, 2008

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