Experiencing ‘back pain’ during anytime of the day is awful. Here are a few Yoga moves that you can do to help alleviate many spinal discomforts. There are many forms and symptoms of back pain. Unfortunately, there are too many causes to list. Most of the time, back pain is linked to stress or strain associated with the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine.
Back pain can affect anybody, anywhere at anytime. From well trained athletes, to sedentary folk, there are always a few tight areas that can trigger a feeling of burning, buzzing or radiating discomfort. Regular Yoga practice can offer amazing relief for many types of back issues. However, if pain persists or becomes unbearable it is important to seek professional help.
As stated before, there are many different types of back issues. Yoga and other exercise programs have the potential to aggravate some health conditions. Before starting any exercise program to relieve pain, including Yoga, be sure to discuss the practice with a doctor first.
How To Avoid Pain
Before embarking on a complicated Yoga journey to relieve back pain, it is a good idea to take preventative measures. Stopping back pain at the source is the most effective way to obtain relief.
Does your day-to-day routine include sitting or standing for long periods of time?
Avoid long periods of sitting or standing at all costs. Standing and sitting for hours on end can lead to weak knees, sore neck and a plethora of spinal issues. Be sure to buy the most ‘supportive’ shoes which will be a great start at preventing back pain, as well as knee pain.
Do you have an ‘ergonomic’ office chair?
Click here to check out these cool ‘kneeling office chairs’. The chairs are designed to relieve lower back pain and improve posture. They may look silly, but if you constantly experience back pain more often than not, it may be a worthy investment.
Yoga is a great tool to build strength. However, including a regular weight lifting regimen into your workout routine will greatly reduce the chances of experiencing back pain. Be sure to focus on core strength such as plank position, sit-ups and other abdominal/oblique building exercises. Also include several back strengthening exercises for best results (Superman Exercise how to video).
Back Pain Yoga Sequence
For best results, practice the following sequence upon waking up, before bed, or after exercising. Try this sequence several times a week to help relieve the most stubborn back pain.
Cat & Cow
Although the Cat and Cow yoga sequence is super simple it is also super effective at lengthening the muscles in the back and chest.
- Start in ‘table top’ pose with hands shoulder width apart and knees hip width apart.
- On the first inhale drop the belly to the ground and roll your shoulders away from the ears.
- When ready to exhale move the spine upwards towards the ceiling.
- Curve your spine like a cat into a upwards hump, stretching out all the muscles of the back.
- Repeat each pose after each breath.
- Inhale into Cow pose then exhale into Cat pose.
- Breath into the areas that are causing you discomfort.
Move into Childs Pose and rest for 5 breaths.
- From Childs Pose grab your heels and start to raise your hips upwards.
- Lift your hips upwards until the very top of your head is lightly touching the ground. Do not move your head past the ‘very top of your head’ position.
- Take a deep breath in and widen your chest muscles.
- During the exhale concentrate on creating space between the vertebrae in your spine. Although it does not actually ‘create space’ between the bones; utilizing imagination can assist the release of any tension that may be around the spine.
- Begin this pose by lying on your belly with legs straight out with toes pointed behind you.
- At first place your hands beside your shoulders and widen your feet slightly more than hip width apart.
- Start to raise your chest off the ground and gaze forward.
- When your chest is a few inches off the ground move your hands forward and place your elbows directly under your shoulders.
- Chest is wide and shoulders are dropped away from the ears.
- Tighten the abdominal muscles to protect the lower back.
- Take several breaths in this position before slowly lowering back down into the ground and moving back to childs pose.
Thread The Needle
- Lie on your back, bend your right leg and place the right foot flat onto the ground. * Bring the left foot off the ground and rest it just below the right knee.
- Grab behind the right thigh and gently lift your right leg off the floor towards your chest.
- Breath into the lower back area as the back of your legs lengthen. Concentrate on releasing any tension that may be in your lower back.
- Hold this pose for a few breaths then release and relax before repeating the same move on the left leg.
Move into Childs Pose and rest for 5 breaths.
The last pose in this sequence is an active Downward Dog.
To ensure that you are practicing the right form of Downward Dog take a look at this video:
- Once you have mastered a ‘stationary’ Downward Dog start to lift your heels of the ground.
- Lift the right heel up first and lower the left heel down. You should feel a nice stretch in the back of your left leg.
- Now switch legs.
- Lift the left heel up off the ground and lower your right heel to the ground, lengthening the back of the right leg.
- Repeat this move several times and don’t forget to breath.
- Also make sure to keep your shoulders and abdominal muscles strong in order to avoid tensing the upper back muscles.
To conclude, it is always possible to lengthen and loosen pain by practicing Yoga. Remember to align your spine most of the time for optimal health and avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.