Yoga is continuing to gain popularity as a solution to all manner of health troubles, with lower back pain being among them. Yoga represents a non-intrusive, inexpensive, and easily accessible method of dealing with some of the various aches and pains (mental and physical) that are part and parcel of living in today’s world.
Yoga, which focuses on steadiness and balance, is a great way to build up your body’s defences against the causes of lower back pain, which are usually weak pelvic and abdominal muscles. A lack of hip flexibility is also a causative factor here. With yoga, you can strengthen these muscles, thus improving your body posture so that the load on your back is reduced. The stretching involved increases blood flow to tightened muscles, increasing your flexibility while simultaneously helping relieve the symptoms of stress. So, in case you are suffering from lower back pain or are in search of an effective way to relieve stress and maintain your fitness levels, then the following yoga poses are just the thing for you.
Let’s get right into it.
While this pose might look like a needlessly elaborate way to take a nap, it is an active stretching exercise that effectively elongates the back muscles. You could use it as a highly effective de-stressor before heading to bed or after a long day.
How it works: Begin by getting down to your hands and knees with both of your arms stretched out in front of you. From this position, sit right back so that you are almost, but not quite, touching your heels with your glutei maximi (butt muscles). Maintain this position as you take from five to ten deep and measured breaths, and repeat the process as many times as you wish for a nice, soothing stretching session.
This is a classic yoga pose that’s famous for its simplicity and overall effectiveness. It is a great full-body stretch that especially gives the extensors of your back a good stretch. These are the muscles that constitute your lower back, help you stand, lift objects, and generally give support to your spine.
How it works: Begin by getting down to your hands and knees, keeping your hands just a little bit further up-front relative to your shoulders. Push against the ground for support as you go on to raise your knees off the floor. Your tailbone will rise up towards the ceiling or sky. To add the stretching effect further and include your hamstrings, gently lower your heels towards the ground. Maintain the pose for a steady five to ten breaths, and repeat the pose from between five to seven times.
The Pigeon Pose
This is a couple of steps beyond the Child’s Pose and Downward-Facing Dog when it comes to complexity, but it is an excellent way to eliminate lower back pain. It is a pose that targets the flexors and rotators of the hips. While these may not seem like the most obvious areas of focus for lower back pain, it has been shown that hip tightness is among its contributing factors.
How it works: Get into Downward-Facing Dog while keeping your feet together. Go on to bring your left knee forward and then turn it outwards to the left so that the leg will be bent and nearly perpendicular to your right leg. Go on to lower both the legs to the ground. You may keep your right leg extended straight out behind you, but seasoned yoga practitioners may go for an added hamstring stretch by bringing their back foot off the ground towards their backs. Maintain the pose for five to ten breaths, then switch to the other side and repeat the process.
Upward Forward Bend
This pose, sometimes referred to as the Forward Fold, is effective in stretching the muscles of the lower back and the hamstrings while simultaneously relieving tense, tight shoulders.
How it works: Take a standing position with both feet positioned shoulder-width apart with the knees loose, not locked. As you exhale, bend your body forward at the waist, so that you reach down towards the ground.
Do not be discouraged should you find yourself unable to reach the ground initially. Simply pause as far forward as your hamstrings allow you to comfortably stretch. Everybody starts from somewhere. Go into this pose from around five to seven times, and hold the pose for five to ten steady breaths on the last one.
This is another simple pose that should be readily accessible o beginners or those who more complex might be untenable for them due to age or physical constraints. Upward-Facing Dog effectively targets your chest, engages your back, and stretches out your abdominal muscles.
How it works: Begin by laying down flat on the ground, face downwards. Place your palms facedown by the sides of your ribs. Bring your legs together and press the top sides of your feet down on the ground. Using the strength of your back, rather than your arms, lift your chest up off the ground. At first, leave your legs extended behind you. Maintain the position for between five to ten steady breaths and repeat the process as often as you need for maximum effect.
Before You Get onto the Mat
The benefits of the poses mentioned above go much further beyond the pain relief that might have brought you here. Lowered blood pressure, improved sleep quality, and lowered heart rates as well a reduction in the symptoms of anxiety and depression are to be enjoyed by yoga practitioners, young and old alike.
It is always advisable to seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before beginning any exercise or medical routine. This is especially true for those who are prone to pain. The utmost care should be taken to avoid anything that might worsen your condition. Once you have your doctor’s blessing, the yoga poses we’ve mentioned here should be the beginning of your journey to pain-free living.