According to BackPainCenters.com, “Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed days at work, doctor’s visits and is a leading cause of disability. The pain can range from mild to severe and can be brought on quickly and intensify over time.” Sound familiar?
Need quick relief before starting your day or to help you wind down before bed? Yoga could be the key. Developed thousands of years ago in India, Yoga has – in the last decade – soared in popularity. The benefits are numerous, say experts. Along with increased flexibility and better balance, it has also been shown to improve quality of life. So what does this miracle exercise do for lower back pain? A lot.
Yoga poses help to strengthen one’s core set of muscles and other muscle groups that support the back and spine. Additionally, stretching reduces tension in one’s muscles and helps one relax. Which can alleviate tension and pain.
Want to find out which yoga poses work best for lower back pain? Read on!
1-The Sphinx pose.
This pose strengthens your sacral lumbar arch. How does that help? For those who sit for long stretches, the natural curve of our back tends to flatten out. This pose helps tone muscles to keep that curve in place, thus preventing related pain.
Lie face down on a mat, with your elbows close to your sides and your hands resting near your shoulders. Slowly, push your upper body off the ground. Visualize a Sphinx in your mind for the body formation you wish to copy.
2-Cat and cow pose.
Feel stiff and want to shake it off? Maybe you’ve just come off a marathon at work. Try this one for immediate relief along the entire length of your spine.
Get down on all fours. Hands should be aligned under your shoulders and knees under hips. First, on an inhale, arch your back as high as it will go, letting your head droop. Hold for a count of 8 seconds. Next, move toward the inverse of the previous position, letting your back come out of its arch position. Drop your belly as low as it will go without destabilizing your hands or knees. Do this as many times as you wish.
3-Downward facing dog pose.
This pose is a helpful tool to decompress stress along the spine. From the cat/cow position move on to your toes and allow your body to form a triangular shape. (Your hands and feet would form the opposite ends of the base of the triangle. And your butt would be the apex.) Move around in this stretch. Try lowering your chest gently closer to the ground without bending your knees. Alternate between applying your weight from one foot to the other to feel a stretch along the backs of your legs.
4-The supine twist pose.
Twisting your back provides a great stretch to your spine that is hard to achieve by other poses.
Lie on your mat, facing upwards. Stretch your arms out, forming a T shape. Bring your knees together and to the right. As much as possible, keep your shoulders resting on the ground and allow the twist of your body to happen mid-back. Your hips and legs should be stacked on top of each other. Stay there for a count of 5 and then switch sides.
5-The child’s pose.
Finish off the sequence of yoga poses with the child’s pose. The balasana, which is the pose’s original Sanskrit name, will help relax your muscles, emotions, and your mind, too!
Start off by kneeling on your mat, with your knees placed slightly wider than your hips. Lower yourself to sit on your heels. Next, gently allow your upper body to fold on top of your thighs. If you can, rest your head on the mat in front of your knees, keeping your butt on your heels. Stretch your arms out onto the mat in front of you, resting your palms on the floor. Breathe deeply and rest here for 30 to 60 seconds, or longer if you desire.