Re: Back Problems
I'm not a big fan of stretching. I can say with confidence that a bunch of general stretches put together without diagnostic guidance will be of no use. It may be useful in a very focussed way, in a situation like Carol describes - namely a particular muscle or muscles are so tightened up that simply can't become long enough to assume their proper position in posture and movement. I think this is far less common than people assume, but even if it is the case, once the muscles have been stretched, that is only the beginning.
The joint still won't function properly without the patient learning new postural and movement patterns - bascially the motor-neural components of learning to hold the joint differently - then making it an unconscious habit. This latter process is what yoga is about - not stretching. The yoga provides the template for how to hold and use the joint, and gets you started on making everything strong enough to do its job. The rest is the hard work of correcting yourself a million times per day in your everyday life.