There are hundreds of reasons for back pain, and some emotional component is increasingly accepted as contributing factor. People with chronic back pain usually develop unhealthy movement patterns and consume pain killers to guard themselves against pain. They may not even be aware of them, but those are really ruining their health one way or other.
Though severe cases need medical attention, if your pain is occasional and not severe, yoga is the right medicine to cure it by strengthening your back, stretching it and providing more blood circulation to the spines and nerves. The important thing in handling lower back pain is mindfulness of breaths, stretch and strengthening. Back pain can be a result of different conditions like incorrect standing, sitting, and sleeping postures and should be treated according to the specific condition. It is important not only to deal with the symptoms of back pain but with the causes as well. It is highly recommended to work with a trained Yoga Instructor. Here are my recommended 8 yoga poses to cure back pain.
- Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose helps to stretch your hamstrings, chest and lengthen the spine. It provides blood flow to the head.
- Sit on your heels, stretch your arms forward on the mat and lower your head.
- Pushing your hands and strengthening your legs, slowly raise your hips.
- Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other.
- It will look like an inverted V-shape.
- Upward facing dog Pose (Urdha Mukha Svanasana)
This pose increases flexibility, elongates the cervical spine, strengthens the core, hamstrings, and lower back.
- Lie on your stomach with your feet together and toes flat. Place your hands downwards below your shoulders on the mat, while inhaling, lift your waist and raise your head.
- Pull your torso back with the support of your hands. By putting equal pressure on both palms, keep your elbows straight.
- Move your head back and ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears. Lift your thighs off from your mat.
- Exhale while coming back to the ground. Relax and then repeat the procedure 3-4 times.
- Sitting half spinal Twist (Ardhamatsyendrasana)
This pose stretches shoulders, hips, and back. It also helps to calm the nervous system and tones abdomen.
- Sit up with the legs stretched out, keeping the feet together and the spine erect.
- Take the right leg over the left knee and place the left hand on the right knee. Keep the right hand behind you.
- Twist your waist, shoulders and neck towards right look over the right shoulder.
- While keeping your spine straight, continue long inhale and exhale.
- While exhaling, release the right hand first, then release the chest and waist. Release your neck and sit relaxed. Repeat on the other side.
- Childs Pose (Balasana)
This posture is helpful to rest and relax the muscles of your body.
- Practice this pose with closed eyes, listening to the sound of your breath.
- Sit in Vajrasana pose (bend your knees and sit on your heels). Keep your hips on your heels. Lower your head on the mat and bring your hands forward by your side.
- Press your thighs against your chest and breathe lightly. Touch your head to the ground.
- Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
It promotes deep breathing, stretches legs and muscles around the knee. Stimulates function of abdominal organs.
- Start Standing with your feet wide (one leg) apart.
- Open and stretch your arms to the sides at shoulder height.
- Move your right foot out 90 degrees and your left toes in about 45 degrees.
- Keep your feet pressed against the ground and inhale. While exhaling, bend your right arm and make it touch the ground while your left arm goes up.
- Keep your waist straight and your body is bent sideways. Take deep breaths.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
This pose helps to bring flexibility to the spine. It also stretches torso and neck and keeps balance throughout the body.
- Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Spread your fingertips on the top of your mat. Place your knees and shins hip-width apart. Centre your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward.
- First, move into Cow Pose- Inhale and drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and look up toward the ceiling.
- Extend your shoulder blades and keep your shoulders away from your ears.
- Then, move into Cat Pose- Exhale and bring your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling.
- Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
- Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat Pose.
- Repeat this for 10-15 times, and then rest by sitting back on your heels.
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
It Strengthens the whole back body and abdominal muscles, opens up the chest, neck and shoulders. Those who suffer from excessive problems of spinal cord and disc should not perform this pose.
- Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by the side of your body.
- Fold your knees, take your hands backwards and hold your ankles.
- Inhale and lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back.
- Look forward and stay there while paying attention to your breath. Now, your body looks like a curve.
- Continue to take long deep breaths and bend as far as your body permits and don’t force your body unnecessarily.
- After few seconds, as you exhale, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground. Release the ankles and relax. Repeat the procedure for 4-5 times.
- Standing Forward Fold with Clasped Hands
This pose relieves stress in the shoulder, back and neck muscles. It also improves blood circulation, metabolism and stretches the muscles of the back and the spine.
- From a standing position, fold your body over at the crease of the hip with the spine long.
- Relax neck and keep your crown of the head towards the mat as shown.
- The toes are actively lifted. The spine is straight. The ribcage is lifted. The chest and the thighs are connected.
- The sacrum lifts up toward the sky in dog tilt. The fingers are interlaced behind the body and the palms are together.
- The arms and elbows are straight. The shoulder blades rotate towards each other as the hands move forward (away from the lower back).
- The gaze is down and inward.
You can practise the above yoga poses comfortably at your home every day. These exercises will help you to relieve your back pain and prevent you from all kind of spinal disorders. Moreover, these yoga poses will also help to improve your body posture. They will strengthen the abdominal and back muscles and relieves the back from stiffness and tension. You just need 10-15 minutes from your daily busy schedule to be fit and healthy.