3 ways to alleviate back pain with yoga.


Your spine is a complex structure of bones, joints, ligaments, discs and muscles, all of which can become irritated by improper posture (slumping at your desk for 8 hours?), imbalanced muscular strength, tight tissues and unsuspecting daily activities (all I did was tie my shoes!). And because of this complexity, it’s easy to get hurt. In fact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimate that 80% of Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their adult lives.

When it comes to treatment, there’s no one-stop shop; but increasingly, doctors, physical therapists and healthcare professionals are recommending yoga as initial treatment for back pain. In fact, in 2017 the American College of Physicians endorsed a new guideline outlining initial treatment for low back pain which includes exercise, mindfulness based stress reduction approaches and yoga over pharmacological interventions. Which means you can alleviate and even prevent back pain symptoms from the comfort of your own yoga mat; healing may be in your hands.  


Why Yoga? 

Yoga uses a double hitter approach to alleviate back pain: Breathing practices calm the nervous system and soothe your brain’s perception of pain; gentle stretches increase blood flow and hydration to injured tissues and strengthening poses help weak postural muscles do their job well again. “Yoga is a gentle way to explore different postures that help ease back pain. Simply moving your back in all different directions can help release tension and rebuild the protective muscles [around the spine] ” explains Erica Yeary, Yoga Medicine Therapeutic Specialist and Exercise Physiologist.

“Furthermore, the benefits of yoga go beyond the muscles to address the emotional aspect of pain. The connection to breath, slow movements, and gaining body awareness help alleviate stress related to back pain.”

Be mindful of the level of sensation you experience when using yoga to help alleviate pain. A little stretch is ok; pain that is sharp or shooting isn’t. You may need to stop, rest, and try something less intense.

And of course, breathe. Yoga Therapists recommend a yogic breathing exercise, called “3 Part Breathing to alleviate pain. (Practice with Lisa below)


Here is a complimentary Breathing Technique that promotes healing and 2 Suggested Yoga Classes, available “On Demand,” so you can practice at your own leisure and convenience.


Breathing Exercise: 3 Part Breathing  

Three part breathing or “Complete Breath” helps tissues heal by  releasing excess physical tension and reducing pain by calming brain pain receptors. Lay down on a blanket or pillow to prop up your back so you can access your diaphragm more easily. Visualize your breath being directed into 3 parts of your torso: your belly, chest and shoulders. In your inhale, consciously fill your body from bottom to top: belly, chest and shoulders. On your exhale, consciously empty your body from top to bottom, like you are pouring out a pitcher, completely releasing your attachment to pain and tension. Take 10 rounds total and end with this meditation intention:  “I am open to full and complete healing. My tissues are safe and so am I.”

Visualize discomfort leaving your body with every exhale, stretch and strengthen with mindful awareness a few times a week, and these head-to -toe therapeutic yoga poses may keep your back healthy for the next few decades.

“3 Part Breathing” Exercise with Lisa

Release Low Back Tension (Yoga Therapeutics Class)

This is a 50 minute Yoga Therapeutics Class with Lisa Ash Drackert that relieves tension in your lower back by focusing on postural support. Class includes a short lecture on the Quadratus Lumborum muscle which supports and stabilizes the spine, myofascial release, and therapeutic stretches targeting your hips and low back.


Addressing Anterior Shoulder Carriage (Yoga Therapeutics)

This is a 50 minute Yoga Therapeutics Class with Lisa Ash Drackert addressing habitual anterior shoulder carriage. This is the perfect antidote to hours spent working at a computer, sitting or driving.

This class teaches Sama-Vritti Breathing technique which helps to calm the mind and induce the Relaxation Response consistent with a healthy parasympathetic nervous system tone.


Looking for additional “On Demand” Classes? These classes are perfect for your schedule and are purposeful for your body. See all your options on the Westport Yoga KC Website.

love your liver with yoga.

Your liver is an integral part of our ongoing health and wellness. It represents our body’s innate ability to adapt and heal because it regenerates after damage, it filters blood, neutralizes excess hormones and helps support elimination of wastes.

3 Ways to Love Your Liver 

Yoga Breathing:

Your Liver lives just below the ribcage on the right side of your body and is attached to the bottom side of your diaphragm. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing actually massages the liver and can help downgrade your nervous system so that your internal organs are working their best.

Try this yoga breathing exercise called “Anuloma Pranayama:”


Yoga Relaxation:

Conscious relaxation techniques promote restful sleep; this is imperative for the liver cells to regenerate after damage. Learning to relax and get restful sleep also partner to help you maintain a healthy metabolism, which is another key job of your liver.

When you’re feeling jittery, try this Systematic Relaxation Technique called “Body Scan”


Yoga Poses:

Compression and gentle twists stimulate circulation locally around the liver. Increased circulation helps the liver process excess hormones and filter metabolic byproducts to help remove toxins efficiently.


Ready to learn more?

Join me for a special “Internal Detox Yoga Class” on Thursday 2/11 at 12 pm (CST) in the Westport Yoga KC Online Classroom.

This 60 minute class will help you love your liver specifically and focus on global movements that support your overall metabolism and your immune system.

Yoga Therapeutics Classes with Lisa take place each Thursday at 12 pm (CST) in the Westport Yoga KC Online Classroom.


New to Online Yoga? Check out Lisa’s Teaching Schedule and find the best class for you:

winter recovery workshop.

“Winter Recovery Yoga” Workshop

Thursday January 28, 2021

6- 7:15 pm with Lisa Ash Drackert

in the Westport Yoga KC Online Classroom

Winter weather can take its toll on your mobility; but winter can also be the perfect time to invest in your store of inner vital energy.

Join Lisa Ash Drackert for her signature class style: Myofascial Release, intelligent breath-based flow and deeply healing Yin Yoga followed by Meditation blended to support winter recovery.

Learn wisdom from Traditional Chinese Medicine to support your kidney and bladder meridian lines and help your body store up vital essence for continued optimal health through the end of winter.

This class will be delivered in the Westport Yoga KC Online Classroom Central Standard Time (CST). After class concludes, you’ll receive a link to the recorded class, which means even if you can’t join Lisa live on Thursday January 28 you can still enroll and learn.

working from home? need a little yoga? these classes are for you.

Have you noticed that you feel stiff after sitting at your desk for a few hours?

Have you noticed that you feel frazzled or stressed at the end of the work day?

These classes with Lisa Ash Yoga are carefully curated to feature the best that yoga has to offer: reduced stress, increased range of motion, enhanced nervous system function and connected mind-body-spirit.

Exactly what you need when you are working from home.


Recommended “On Demand” Yoga Classes:

Gentle Flow: Desk-bound Flow for Presence

This is a 70 minute Gentle Flow Yoga Class with Lisa Ash Drackert designed to relieve physical tension accumulated from sitting at a desk. This flow will open up the front body, stretch the torso and encourage emotional presence.

Gentle Flow Yoga integrates movement and breath to restore optimal range of motion, hydration and health to the joints and connective tissues.


Downgrade your Nervous System: Restorative Flow

This is a 60 minute Therapeutic Flow Yoga class that supports the plasticity of your nervous system by taking nerves through their full range of motion. Delve into Svadyaya (self-study and inquiry) by refining your awareness of your immunonervous system and supporting mental stillness.

This practice teaches Viloma or ‘ladder breathing’ pranayama technique to help relax the nervous system, reduce anxiety and increase lung capacity.


3 Easy Steps to Invest in Your “On Demand” Yoga Class:

  1. Choose a class that’s perfect for you. Classes are organized by level of intensity: Therapeutic Flow, Gentle Flow, Vigorous Flow and Strength Flow.
  2. Click through to Purchase.
  3. Check your email for your link and take your pre-recorded Yoga Therapeutics Class with Lisa. Your class is available for 30 days; you can take it as many times as you need!

Use Promo Code at check out for $5 off your first class: “LABLOG”

As a Yoga Medicine® Registered Therapeutic Specialist, Lisa is trained in anatomy, postural alignment and specialized yoga for healing.


2 new “On Demand” classes: reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.

Just in time for the holidays. 2 New Yoga Therapeutics Classes are yours, On Demand with Lisa Ash Yoga.


Healing Flow: Reducing Inflammation Yin Yoga Class

This is a 50 minute myofascial release and Yin style yoga class with the primary aim of reducing inflammation. You’ll utilize long-held and low-intensity yoga postures to help support your body’s natural healing abilities. This is a the perfect practice for relieving exhaustion and fatigue.


Strength Flow: “Come Home to Your Body” Vinyasa Yoga Class

This is a 75 minute Vinyasa style yoga class with Lisa Ash Drackert focusing on inhabiting the strength of your physical body. This practice features sukha or sweet breathing technique to optimize breathing, lower blood pressure, and restore a healthy state of being.


3 Easy Steps:

  1. Choose a class that’s perfect for you. Classes are organized by level of intensity: Therapeutic Flow, Gentle Flow, Vigorous Flow and Strength Flow.
  2. Click through to Purchase. Use LABlog at check out for $5 off!
  3. Check your email for your link and take your pre-recorded Yoga Therapeutics Class with Lisa.

These classes with Lisa Ash Yoga are carefully curated to feature the best that yoga has to offer: reduced stress, increased range of motion, enhanced nervous system function and connected mind-body-spirit.

As a Yoga Medicine® Registered Therapeutic Specialist, Lisa is trained in anatomy, postural alignment and specialized yoga for healing.

Lisa’s signature class styles of myofascial release, breath-based flow, fascial healing and meditation are yours: One Purchase, One Class. Exactly what you need, when you need it.

3 ways meditation helps you maintain a healthy weight

As a meditation and yoga teacher, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible impacts that a daily, sustained meditation practice has on my clients’ health and wellness journeys. One healthy benefit of meditation is that it can help you maintain a healthy weight by reducing stress, learning mindfulness, and enhancing a positive self-image.

Here’s why:

1. Reduce Stress

It’s no secret that stress wreaks havoc on your eating habits and digestive system. When you’re stressed, your neurological system kicks into “fight or flight or freeze mode:” it’s survival time.

Cortisol, adrenaline and other stress hormone levels surge in your bloodstream to help meet the demand of the moment. Chronic elevated cortisol in the bloodstream increases the chance your body will store sugar and fat as potential future energy, instead of metabolizing it as it is digested. This can lead to the increased belly bloating, elevated blood sugar levels and eventually weight gain.  

Meditation practices that reduce overall daily stress can make a big difference in healthy eating habits.

Start small: even just thirteen minutes a day of meditation is shown to reduce stress according to a study published in Behavioral Brain Research in 2019.

Practice this Stress Reducing Meditation with Lisa: “Body Scan Guided Meditation”


2. Learn Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to identify and examine the individual thoughts that pass through your consciousness. It’s integral to the practice of meditation, where the goal is not to stop or judge your thoughts, but to notice them enough to choose healthy thoughts over unhealthy thoughts.

“Mind-body connection is essential for long term permanent weight and health changes. From research we know that the small changes we can commit to over time are much more impactful on our long-term health; the mindfulness we bring to our daily habits can be life changing,” Tiffany Cruikshank, author of Meditate Your Weight, explains.

Practice this Mindfulness Meditation with Lisa: “Letting Go of Thought Meditation”


3. Enhance Positive Self-Image

One often overlooked connection between meditation and weight loss is that meditation enhances positive self-image. During meditation, the goal is to observe thoughts, not to judge them. Judgmental thoughts like, “I ALWAYS blow my diet on the first day, I’ll never be able to stick to anything. I’m have no will-power whatsoever” lead to more self-doubt, self-shame and self-sabotaging behaviors.

Alternatively, meditation teaches to notice your thoughts, like clouds floating across the sky; see them, notice them, and let them go right on by. Eventually, you can use positive mantras during meditation to strengthen your image of yourself as healthy, fit and motivated.

Practice using a mantra in this meditation with Lisa: “Be Still and Know Meditation”


Use your favorite technique daily during the holiday season to help you reduce stress, learn mindfulness, and enhance your mind-body connection.

Happy Staying Healthy,

-lisa

why the details matter.

No one sees the “behind the scenes” set up in my Online Classroom, but I decorate it anyway. Because the details matter. How I organize my “teacher station” is how I organize my mental landscape when I come to teach; how I organize my outside is how I organize my inside.

In yoga practice, we remember that the details matter when we pay attention to the exact placement of our front foot in crescent lunge, and to the alignment of our kneecap in Warrior 2 and to the quiet quality of our breath in meditation.

We remember that how we do one thing is how we do everything.

Removing distracting clutter and purposefully adding touches of beauty to our day cues in purpose and meaning.

In yoga philosophy teaching, this teaching is connected to a concept called aparigraha. Aparigraha is typically defined as “letting go” or “non-hoarding.”

When I think about aparigraha, I remember that the details of my day– even as benign as what I see in the background while I’m teaching yoga online– actually matter.

When I purposefully organize my life around meaning or let go of accumulated mental and physical clutter, I can attune to the depth and the details of the moment. I can cue in to a mental and emotional resonance of meaning and stillness, which is the true definition of yoga.


What detail of your day can you change today? What detail can add meaning to your moment? What detail will matter most today?


Read more about yoga philosophy from Lisa: Key Yoga Learnings

yoga classes “On Demand” with Lisa.

These classes with Lisa Ash Yoga are carefully curated to feature the best that yoga has to offer: reduced stress, increased range of motion, enhanced nervous system function and connected mind-body-spirit.

Lisa’s signature class styles of myofascial release, breath-based flow, fascial healing and meditation are yours: One Purchase, One Class. Exactly what you need, when you need it.


3 Easy Steps:

  1. Choose a class that’s perfect for you. Classes are organized by level of intensity: Therapeutic Flow, Gentle Flow, Vigorous Flow and Strength Flow.
  2. Click through to Purchase.
  3. Check your email for your link and take your pre-recorded Yoga Therapeutics Class with Lisa.

As a Yoga Medicine® Registered Therapeutic Specialist, Lisa is trained in anatomy, postural alignment and specialized yoga for healing.

Use this Promo Code at check out for $5 off your first class: “LABLOG”


Recommended Classes:

Gentle Flow: Desk-bound Flow for Presence

This is a 70 minute Gentle Flow Yoga Class with Lisa Ash Drackert designed to relieve physical tension accumulated from sitting at a desk. This flow will open up the front body, stretch the torso and encourage emotional presence.

This class teaches Viloma Breathing technique to encourage the full capacity of your breath and a meditation technique called “Body Scan.”

Gentle Flow Yoga integrates movement and breath to restore optimal range of motion, hydration and health to the joints and connective tissues.