If you’re dealing with back pain, yoga may be just what the doctor ordered. Yoga is a mind-body therapy that’s often recommended to treat not only back pain but the stress that accompanies it.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for people to miss work and can be from mild to severe pain. Statistics show that most people will experience some form of lower back pain in their life. And if you have this debilitating affliction, you know how limiting it can be! The good news is, along with improving heart health, helping you lose weight and increasing brainwave function and recall, a regular yoga practice can actually help reduce lower back pain.
But there are a few yoga poses and positions that do a better job at this than others. Practice the following yoga poses in your routine every week, and you may experience less low back pain as a result.
One pair of yoga poses that works so well together for reducing back pain is the Cat/Cow combo.
By moving back and forth between these two postures, you begin to warm up as well as stretch your back muscles. These include the muscles in your lower back. Look to your experienced yoga teacher for proper form and function.
One of the yoga positions well known for strengthening your lower back muscles is Chair Pose. If you are currently experiencing pain, take it easy with this pose, and don’t hold for more than a few seconds at a time until your back muscles begin to get stronger. At that point, you can progress to holding this pose for 10 deep breaths.
This pose is great for conditioning the lower back, and not only can it help to treat existing lower back pain, but regular practice will also help reduce the risk of future back injuries.
The pose Downward Dog is excellent for strengthening and supporting all of your back muscles. This wonderful position also helps improve your overall body posture, and even engages your abdominal muscles. The longer you are able to hold this pose in a comfortable manner the better and more beneficial it is for your lower back.
Spinal Twist, also known as Half Lord of the Fishes, is a great pose for overworked back muscles. Beginners are recommended to take this pose slowly, as over-twisting can aggravate and accelerate back pain.
With the Spinal Twist pose, you are looking to stretch gently. If you begin to feel the pain of any kind, back off and move to a more comfortable position.
The Standing Forward Bend is a beneficial exercise in many ways. It also effectively uses gravity to more gently and comfortably stretch your lower back after positions like the Chair pose.
With your arms raised above your head, swan dive forward on your next inhale and bend at your waist. Gently allow your arms to dangle towards the floor as you relax into this pose. You can bend your knees slightly if you need to. If you have tight muscles, you may not be able to touch the floor at first, and that’s fine – don’t push it! With repeated practice, you will become more flexible, and over time, this stretch may help lengthen and release tight and painful back muscles.