When most people hear yoga, the first thing that is likely to come to your mind are those poses that seem practically impossible for you to attempt or someone in a garden, maybe under a tree going – hummm.
According to latest research yoga is not only effective for relaxation, it also relieves back pain. That is not all, regular practice can protect and strengthen your back.
According to a study Published in Archives of Internal Medicine it was discovered that among the 313 people who had low back pain, a weekly yoga class improved mobility and reduced pain more than standard medical care for back pain.
Another study found that the practice of yoga can reduce pain and increase functional ability in patients with spinal pain.
You may be surprised to learn that you are already practicing some yoga pose and not knowing you are doing yoga.
Most of the stretches you are doing right now may be a yoga pose
The benefits of regularly practicing yoga are:
- Posture correction
Bad posture is one of the main causes of back pain.When practicing yoga, proper posture is not compromised for more number of reps. It is a gentle movement that requires concentration so you can achieve balance. This helps in learning, correcting and maintaining good posture which will help to relieve back pain and strengthen your back
Yoga poses require a lot of muscle stretching. This helps in keeping the body especially the back supple and relaxed and flexible.
Yoga not only helps in relieving pain, it gets your body and mind involved in what you are doing and makes you more mindful of your body. This helps to quiet things down and help you to relax.
The benefits we are looking at today are the benefits that are related to back pain relief. There are several yoga poses that benefits the back, but these 5 yoga pose beats them all for relieving back pain and strengthening your back.
# 1 Cat and cow pose
The cat and cow pose is an effective pose that soothes back pain.
How to do it
Assume a tabletop position by going down on your hands and knees
Make sure that your knees are directly below your hip
Your wrists and elbows should be below your shoulder
Engage your abs; keep a flat back and neutral spine.
With eyes looking at the floor inhale
As you exhale round your spine towards the ceiling by imagining that you are pulling your belly button up towards your spine
Tuck your chin towards your neck and relax your neck
That is the cat pose
Now, as you inhale, arch your back
Point your chest towards the ceiling
Your head should look forward while your buttocks should point up towards the sky
Let your belly relax and sink towards the floor
That is the cow pose
Go on with the cat and cow pose for 10 reps
Remember to exhale when you do cat pose and exhale for the cow pose.
Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth as if you are blowing out a candle.
# 2 Bridge pose
The bridge pose targets your hamstring, your back, calf and buttocks. The pose helps to protect you from back pain
How to do the bridge pose
Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground
Keep your feet hip-width apart and parallel
Y our pelvis should be neutral
Inhale and push your feet into the floor, firm your buttocks and slowly lift them up towards the ceiling
Keep your thigh parallel to floor
Hold for some seconds
Exhale and release your buttocks, gently lower your hips back to the ground
# 3 Two knee twist
This pose helps the lower and upper back. It increases mobility and alleviates pain
How to do it
Lay on your back on a mat with knees bent.
Spread your arms out beside your head
Lift both knees to 90 degrees
Exhale and lower your knees slightly to the ground on your right as far as is comfortable for you
Inhale and return to starting position
Repeat on the right side
# 4 Seated spinal twist
This is one of my favorite yoga pose. It gives a stretch that benefits your back, chest and shoulder. It also increases flexibility of the back.
How to do it
Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you.
Bend your left knee and bring your left ankle outside your right knee
Keep your left hand on the floor for support and bring your right arm outside of your left knee
Keeping pressing into your left knee with your right arm
Look behind you and over your left shoulder
Hold for 5 seconds, slowly release your leg and repeat on the right side
# 5 Childs pose
The child’s pose is a calming and soothing pose. It gently stretches your back and relieves back pain
How to do it
Start in a kneeling position
Keep your knees wide apart.
Your big toes should be in constant touch
Relax, as your buttocks drops back to rest on your heels, stretch the rest of your body forward
Your chest and stomach should rest gently on your thigh
Let your arms relax gently on the floor
Let your forehead rest on the floor
Close your eyes and relax for 10 seconds
Modifications or the child’s pose
If keeping your head on the floor gives your back an uncomfortable stretch, you can place a stack of towels or a pillow to rest your head
Hold the pose for some seconds, inhaling and exhaling gently
Use your hands to help you back to sit back on your heels
# 6 The cobra pose
This is one of the best pose to relieve back pain and strengthen you spine.
An added bonus for doing this pose is that it firms up your buttocks, stomach and shoulder
How to do it
Lay face down on the floor with your feet hip width apart
The top of your feet should rest on the floor not tucked in
Place your hands beneath your shoulder and bring your elbows close to your body
Press down your body on the floor
Inhale and gently lift your head and chest off the floor, drawing your shoulders back
Keep your gaze towards the floor
Gently straighten your arms as far as is comfortable for you
Hold for 10 seconds and exhale and slowly lower your chest o the mat. Turn your head to the left or right and rest it on the mat
# 7 Lying pelvic tilt pose
This just like the standing pelvic tilt is good for the back. It brings immediate relief to aching back
How to do it
Lay on your back with your knees bent
Keep your feet flat on the floor
You should be able to slip your finger into the space between the floor and your back
Inhale, tilt your pelvis and tighten your abdominal muscle so that your back comes in full contact with the floor.
Your buttocks will lift slightly upwards and give your back and pelvis a soothing stretch.
Hold for five counts, exhale and slowly relax back to the starting position
Make these 7 pose part of your daily exercise routine and get the benefit of a healthy back free of pain.
Bellisima Fitness holds yoga class every Friday at 9 am at Bellisima gym.