Try these beginner yoga poses to relieve your back pain
Back pain is often caused by injury, bad posture, a poor mattress or a medical condition, but yoga can help relieve the agony of back pain, improve your posture and boost your mood.
Yoga doesn’t cure back pain but there are certain yoga poses you can try to help manage the pain and discomfort. In this blog, we’re going to be looking at the benefits of yoga for back pain and explain some beginner poses to relieve your back pain. For more information about the different types of yoga, we’ve written a little guide to help you decide which style is right for you. Check it out right.
What are the benefits of yoga for back pain?
Yoga improves your posture and helps to strengthen and lengthen the muscles that support the spine. Improving your strength will put less strain on your back, reducing back pain. Another benefit is the physical and mental relaxation you feel when practising restorative yoga in particular. Calming your mind and body kick starts the body’s nervous system and promotes natural healing.
The side plank primarily strengthens the oblique muscles which are located either side of the abdomen, providing a great core workout. A strong core will help balance your abdomen and support your lower back, protecting your spine and easing back pain.
1. Begin by lying on your right side with your left leg stacked onto of your right.
2. Place your right hand on the floor away from you and slowly lift your hips towards the ceiling.
3. Raise your left arm towards the ceiling forming a T with your arms. You should form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
4. Repeat with the opposite side.
The downward-facing dog is a powerful pose for beginners, offering a number of benefits. This pose strengthens and lengthens every one of your muscles leaving you feeling energised, plus it’s great for the back! Practising the downward dog stretches the length of the spine which not only feels fantastic, it brings more oxygen into the body.
1. Start on your hands and knees with your back straight, hands shoulder-width apart, knees under hips and toes tucked.
2. Press into your palms and lift your knees off the ground and straighten your legs as best as you can, keeping your feet flat and pressed into the ground.
3. Your shoulders should extend beyond your ears and upper arms down towards the ground.
The bridge pose is commonly used to stretch and strengthen the back and abdominal muscles while opening the lungs and chest. This pose can help alleviate lower back pain and improve your posture.
1. Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Ensure your arms are beside you with your palms flat on the ground.
2. Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor and slowly lift your hips towards the ceiling.
3. Draw your tailbone towards your pubic bone and keep yourself off the floor.
4. Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body while clasping your hands and extend your arms along the floor, pressing them into your mat.
The Upward-Facing Dog pose provides a deep stretch targeting the entire spine and front torso. Strengthening the upper body promotes a healthy spine and improves posture and flexibility of the back reducing lower back pain.
1. Start by lying face-down on your mat with your legs extended and feet resting on the mat but don’t tuck your toes.
2. Place your palms on the floor alongside your body next to your lower ribs.
3. Breathe in as you press through your hands and arms, lifting your torso and legs a few inches off the floor.
4. Hold the pose for 30 seconds as you press through the tops of your feet.
Child’s Pose is a restorative yoga pose which allows you to stretch out the back of the body helping to relieve back pain. This pose is beneficial for people who spend the majority of their day sitting or standing in one position.
1. Start by kneeling on your mat with your knees hip-width apart and your feet together behind you.
2. Breathe in and exhale as you lay your torso over your thighs and extend your arms in front of you, resting your palms on the floor.
3. Gently rest your forehead on the ground and hold the pose for as long as you’d like while focusing on your breathing.
Seated Spinal Twist Pose
Another example of a restorative pose is the seated spinal twist. This pose promotes good digestion and encourages spinal mobility which can help relieve lower back pain. This pose is often performed towards the end of a sequence.
1. Start by sitting upright on your mat with both legs out straight.
2. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot over your left leg as close to your thigh as you can.
3. Bring your left arm through your right leg and hold with your right hand round your back while sitting up straight and twist to the right.
4. Extend your spine and concentrate on your breathing while you hold the pose for around a minute.
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