Many of us lead a sedentary lifestyle in which there is more of sitting or being in a fixed position for long hours. This kind of lifestyle is likely to cause harm especially to our back and Spine without which we would not be able to manage our daily tasks and activities. We often fail to pay heed to our back health until we experience chronic back and spine related problems. Poor back and spine health not only limit the body’s mobility but also highly affects the quality of life.
Those who have suffered from back pain, be it major or minor issues will only know the trouble it gives to the mind, body and spirit. The pain sometimes becomes unbearable for many restricting them to perform several regular body movements. So, it is inevitable that we value our back and spine health to stay active, fit and happy in life.
Factors contributing to poor back health
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excess weight
- Poor quality sleep and many others.
Some of these factors can be easily managed by taking to a healthy lifestyle that combines the right diet, exercise and therapy. And one of the best approaches to healthy living is through the ancient practice of yoga. Although yoga may seem like a mere physical exercise it is a complete mind-body practice that benefits the body- physically, mentally and spiritually. Many studies have also shown that yoga helps reduce back pain and other chronic illness.
The practice of yoga incorporates asanas (poses), meditation and breathing techniques that are designed to heal the complete body. These methods help take care of different parts of the body improving strength, agility, flexibility, immune system, body alignment as well as calm the mind, nerves and senses. There are certain types of yoga poses that focus on healing different parts of the body including many beginners yoga poses that help with back pain.
Here are 7 best yoga poses for back pain relief
- Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Child’s pose (Balasana)
- Cat/Cow Pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
- Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
- Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Now let’s start to know what yoga sequence for back pain are and practice it by given instruction:
1. Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This is one of the most common yoga poses known for its several benefits for the body. This pose helps with back pain and sciatica. Practicing the pose regularly, will help rejuvenate and calm the entire body. It also helps create balance within the body as well as strengthen the hamstrings, core and lower back.
How to do:
- Get on all fours.
- Tuck your toes and raise your hips placing your body in an upside down V position.
- Bend your knees and press your tailbone and spine up toward the ceiling.
- Press your hands firmly into the ground, straighten your legs and bring your heels closer to the ground.
- Stay in this position for one to three minutes.
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2. Child’s pose (Balasana)
This is a simple pose yet highly beneficial for the body. This pose stretches the entire back and hips. It also aids digestion and calms the mind.
How to do:
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Inhale deeply and as you exhale, lower your hips to your heels.
- Spread your knees apart, place your entire body on your thighs and slowly bring your forehead toward the ground with your arms extended in front of you.
- Take deep breaths and hold for one to three minutes.
3. Cat/Cow Pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
The cow/cat pose is an effective pose to help with back pain and maintain a healthy spine. During this pose, the spine is moved from a rounded position to an arched one. It helps relieve lower back pain and sciatica. This pose also helps stretch the shoulders, neck, spine, hips, abdomen and back. The movement during this pose strengthens and stimulates kidneys and adrenal glands. It improves body and spine alignment and helps relieve back pain. The coordination of the movement with your breathing helps relieve stress as well as calms the mind.
How to do:
- Start on all fours.
- Ensure your wrists are underneath your shoulders and your knees are underneath your hips. Begin in a neutral spine position wherein you imagine your neck, mid back (thoracic spine) and low back (low back) aligned in a straight line.
- Make sure your back is flat.
- Take a deep breath.
- As you exhale, draw your belly into the spine, round your back getting into the cat pose with your chin tucked into your chest.
- And as you inhale, arch your back, lift your head and tailbone toward the ceiling getting into the cow pose.
- Continue moving back and forth from Cat Pose to Cow Pose.
- Coordinate your movement with your breath. Repeat for 5-10 breaths moving the entire spine.
4. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
Sphinx pose is a simple pose that could be performed easily even by beginners. This pose helps strengthen the spine and open the chest, lungs and shoulders. It stimulates the digestive system and abdominal organs and boosts blood circulation to rejuvenate and energize the back. It is also a foundation pose to perform other complicated back bending poses.
How to do:
- Begin by lying on your stomach with the tops of your toes on the mat and your forehead down on the floor.
- Bring your forearms forward pressing down into the floor and slowly lift your chest and head off the ground.
- Stretch your body a little more and feel your back and chest open up.
- Stay in this position for three breaths.
5. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
Locust Pose is helpful for the body in many ways. The pose helps strengthen the back, hips, shoulders, arms, thighs, legs and calf muscles. It also stimulates the entire organ system as well as improves blood circulation. It also boosts metabolism helping you lose weight faster. The asana also relieves stress and tension.
How to do:
- Lie on your belly and bring your hand at the sides.
- Take a deep breath and slowly lift your legs, chest, head and arms off the floor.
- With your inner thighs try raising the legs higher without bending your knee.
- Your abdomen and lower ribs should take your body weight.
- Hold for a minute and release.
6. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Bow Pose is a great asana for strengthening the back and abdominal muscles. The pose helps open up the chest, neck and shoulders. It also stimulates the reproductive organs. The pose also helps relieve stress as well as menstrual discomfort. If practiced regularly, it helps tone your legs and arm muscles.
How to do:
- Lie on your belly.
- As you exhale, bend your knees and hold your ankles with your hands.
- And while breathing in, raise your thighs, chest and head as high as you can.
- Place your body weight on your lower abdomen and look upward and breath in a normal way.
- Hold this pose for 15-20 seconds and then exhale and release it.
7. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Seated Forward Fold is a classic pose that is highly helpful to the body. The pose helps strengthen the shoulders, spine, lower back and hamstrings. It also helps stimulates the internal organs including liver, kidney, intestines, uterus and ovaries. It also helps relieve stress, tension as well as menstrual discomfort.
How to do:
- Sit on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Make sure your spine is straight and upright.
- Slowly lift your hands overhead and lengthen your spine.
- As you exhale, bend your forward making sure your heels and buttock are glued to the ground.
- Stretch your arms as much as you can reaching for your feet.
- Lengthen your spine and breath fully as you try to hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Related Article: How To Avoid Back Pain Problems From Sitting Too Long
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