If you've been having back difficulties recently, or if you just wake up with back discomfort from sleeping in improper positions, or if you have a history of back problems, or if you hurt your back while working out. Whatever the reason for your back issues, Yoga may be the cure you've been looking for.
Legs Up the Wall
Cat and Cow
Frequently Asked Questions:
With a plethora of asanas to choose from yoga will grantee to leave you relieved from pain, stress and tension. It has both dynamic and static movements that stretch and strengthen your back muscles, allowing you to alleviate yourself from pain and prevent future injuries. Here are some essentials for back pain to get you started on your yoga journey:
Pro Tip: Proper practise of asanas help you maintain a healthy spine.
This integral yoga position is rooted in the idea of inverting your body weight. It stretches the entire backside of your body (from your hamstring, and calves, to your lower and upper back). It releases any built-up tension and stress in your back, instantly relieving back pain.
To achieve this move start on one end of the mat with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Bend over and place your hands on the mat as well. Walk your hand out, until they are fully stretched out in front of your head. Ensure that your hands are shoulder-width apart, and your back remains straight throughout.
Pro Tip: If the position is too challenging try bending your knees or using some yoga blocks. This will also help keep your back straight and relieve any lingering pain.
This popular Balasana yoga is a kneeling pose that stretches the muscles in your lower back with the bonus of your inner thighs. It stabilizes the spine, and hence releases any unwanted weight or pressure that impacts the back (alleviating pain) deeply relaxing pose that is usually performed after any form of strenuous exercise.
To achieve this pose sit in a kneeling position on your mat. Slowly bend over and place your forehead on the mat. Then guide your hands ahead as they stretch out in front of you and lower them on the mat.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to take long and deep breaths whilst in this position to maximise its relaxing effects. This will allow relieving any built-up tension in the back that may have resulted from stress or bad posture.
The pigeon pose is a fantastic move to stretch your lower back, but it also opens up your hips and glutes. Weak glutes or tight hip flexors often lead to added stress on the back, which can cause serious back pain. If this is the case with you, this Assan is the best way to alleviate that pain.
To achieve this pose mimic a half split position on your yoga mat. One of your legs should be stretched back with the foot pressed firmly into the mat. The other leg should be in front of you, bent with the calf pressing into the ground.
Pro tip: Take this stretch to the next level (for the ultimate relief) by bending forward until your forehead meets your knee out front.
This backbend pose is a great way to open up not only your back but also your chest and heart. Essentially it is a way to stabilise your spine along with strengthening it and your hamstrings. This prevents any lower back pain or injury, making it a great move to target any localised lower back pains.
To achieve this posture lie down on your stomach on the mat. Bend your legs and move them towards you until you can grab your ankles from behind. Gently lift your upper body until your ribcage, chest, shoulders neck and head are above the ground. Slowly lift your things off the ground and you continue to hold onto your ankles. Only your upper thighs, hips and pelvis should remain on the ground.
Pro tip: Remember to breathe; you may find yourself holding your breath in this pose, but that will only tire you out. Remember this is meant to be a relaxing experience.
This asana is ideal to strengthen all parts of the back (particularly the lower part where the most tension builds up). It works to improve overall spinal flexibility and strength which allows for a stronger and pain-free back in the long run.
To achieve this pose stand on your mat with your feet more than hip distance apart. Bend over to one side and corresponding arms come down to your feet, whilst the other goes up. Look up at the arm as it reaches the ceiling. Remember to keep your knees straight.
Pro Tip: Try to place whichever palm of whatever arm is extended downwards on the ground to feel a deep stretch and release.
Legs Up the Wall
This is a great pose meant for relaxation and mild stretching. If you have minor to mild back pain this will be your go-to asana. The inversion of the body and the angle it creates in this pose lengthens the spine- stretching, strengthening and elongating the back muscles.
To achieve this pose one must be cautious and slow. Start by sitting on the mat with the body head facing a wall. Lower your head neck and shoulders onto the mat as your hands come by your side. Lift your legs and as they stretch up against the wall.
Pro Tip: Bring your hands under your hips and lift them for an added support and intense release for your back.
Cat and Cow
This dynamic move involves a gentle movement of the spine and upper body. It stretches everything from your neck and shoulder to the entirety of your back helping with the release of any lingering pain. If practised diligently it will improve your posture and balance over time, preventing long-term back pain as well.
To achieve this pose comes to an all-fours position on your mat. Slightly arch your back and drop your stomach to the ground as your head come up (this Is the cow position). Count up to five in this pose, and then slowly bring your head down as you tuck your chin in. round your back and now hold this ‘cat’ position.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to breathe: inhale as you arch your back and exhale as you round it. Switch between the two poses until you and your back feel more at ease.
This powerful strengthening pose is a reversal of the upward-facing dog mentioned before. It is a lengthening and strengthening posed often practised as part of a continuous yoga flow. It is a popular move as it not only helps with relief from upper back pain but also allows to strengthen those muscles if repeated consistently.
To practise this backbend pose lie down on your stomach, with your hands by your shoulders. Lift your upper body, as you shift your weight onto your hands. Your chest should be reaching forward through our soldiers as your back sinks into a deep bend.
Pro Tip: Remember to hold the pose for a minimum of 30 seconds to feel the stretch and release in your back.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Can Yoga Worsen Back Pain?
A. If it is practised correctly with caution and good form then yoga will not worsen any pre-existing back pain. However, overstretching or overdoing it can cause serious harm. If you’re not sure about a posture be sure to have someone observe your form. Make sure you don’t get ahead of yourself and do what your flexibility allows. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. However, if you have some undiagnosed or serious spinal problems then it's best to seek professional medical help.
Q. Can Yoga Cure Spinal Problems?
A. Yoga may temporarily relieve any added tension or back pain caused by the spinal problem. Some yoga asanas in particular can be a good way to strengthen the muscles in your back. It can also help stabilize and strengthen the spine. However, it is possible if you have a serious spinal injury or problem that the intense stretching may aggravate the pain. In any case, it is also best to do whatever your medical practitioner may advise. So before you decide to delve into any yoga make sure to get the go-ahead from your doctor first.
Q. Is Yoga Or Pilates Better For Back Pain?
A. Pilates can be great for both easing and preventing future back pain, as it is rooted in strengthening the muscles whilst stretching and lengthening the body (which can help with pre-existing pain. Yoga accomplishes the same purpose by combining stretching and strengthening asanas stationary and dynamic) in a flow. Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of personal choice. If you want a more spiritual experience that works on your breathing as well then yoga is the one for you!