Back pain is one of the most common ailments of our modern society. Most of us spend the better part of our days sitting, hunched over a desk. And even when we walk, we look down on our phones or tense up our shoulders when we’re cold. So, an entire season long.
One of the beautiful things about yoga is, that it offers us so many postures that help first of all to alleviate acute back pain, but, what’s at least as important, to prevent back pain in the long run. How? By building up strength in the muscles around your spine, that is supporting a healthy posture and basically keeping our whole skeleton together. Anyway, here are 10 yoga poses for back pain that might help you.
10 Yoga Poses for Back Pain
So let’s dig right into it to! Yoga for back pain might actually help so why wait!
Cat - Cow
Let’s start off with one of the most delicious movements when experiencing back pain. The flexion and extension of the spine really loosen up the tension in the lower back. Go slow and combine the movement with long deep breaths, as pain often keeps us from engaging in anything more than shallow inhales and exhales. Really exaggerate the Cat and Cow poses and feel free to add in any additional movements and twists, for example looking back over the sides, chasing your imaginary tail.
Read More: 10 Yoga Poses for Flexibility
In Locust Pose we have the chance to build up our lower back and upper back muscles, with the long term goal in mind: Getting rid of the regular back pain. Lift your torso and legs gently off the mat and feel the belly pressing into the mat on every inhale you take. As the belly cannot expand as much as it wants to due to the resistance, also your lower back fills up with air, which can help release built up the tension.
It’s perfect to move into Baby Cobra right after Locust, as you’ve already activated your lower back muscles. In Baby Cobra you can support the lift of your torso with the strength of your arms and shoulders. It’s easier now, isn’t it? Still, try to lift most of your weight with your back muscles, and keep the shoulders away from your ears, so you don’t build up new tension in the upper back.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog is one of the few poses in yoga in which your spine is supposed to be completely straight without the natural curve in the lumbar and thoracic spine. Keep your knees bent to focus on the elongation of the spine, paddle your feet, move your hips from side to side, twist. Anything is possible in this pose, that helps you feel better. You can lower your knees onto the mat for a pause, and come back up when you’re ready.
Read More: 15 Amazing Yoga Poses for Flat Stomach
Standing Forward Fold - With Arms over Your Head
In Mountain Pose keep soft knees, roll your shoulders back and interlace your fingers behind your back. While folding forward with bent knees, lift your arms up over your head. Make sure to keep your shoulders away from your ears. This forward fold really opens up the shoulders, stretches out the upper back, releasing any tension.
When we think about the lower back pain we should also think about the Psoas muscle, our main hip flexor. The Psoas connects the lower back with our legs. It’s much talked about in the yoga world and all experts agree that it plays a major role in the health of our spine and is of great importance for our posture. Low Lunge is a great way to lengthen the Psoas in a gentle way. Plus when lifting your arms in this position, you build up strength in your shoulders and upper back.
Seated Forward Fold
No matter if you extend your legs or if you bring the soles of your feet together in Supta Badha Konasana, you can fold forward and round your spine gently without using any effort. Feel your breath streaming down all the way from your neck to your tailbone and up again. Forward folding also helps us to turn our senses inwards. If you want to, go ahead and even go deeper by closing your eyes.
Read More: 20 Beginners Yoga Poses
Twisting, flexing and extending our spine is what we do in yoga, to keep our spine supple and flexible. It’s so important for our overall physical health and these moves are not really part of our everyday life. A flexible, healthy spine doesn’t only ease back pain when experiencing it, but also in the long run.
If your back enjoyed Seated Twists, it will cry of joy in Reclined Twists as you can even lie down for it and just let go. Lying down postures have a very grounding quality to them, reassuring us that we’re always supported by the earth.
Read More: 15 Yoga Poses to Burn Fat Easier
Legs up the Wall
Ok, after the above yoga postures have demanded some physical work, Legs up the Wall is just so enjoyable. You can let go of all the effort in your muscles, and the mind. If you put a strap around your legs, keeping them about hip-distance apart, you can even stop thinking about that part and doze off. You might be happy to hear that Legs up the Wall is also improving your sleep. And obviously, you can do this without any mat, even right on your bed.
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