If you have a spine, you have most likely experienced some form of back pain. Try these yoga poses to give your back some relief.
1) Legs-Up-the-Wall (Viparaita Karani): reverse the usual flow
To do this pose, sit with your side against the wall(left side if left-handed, right side if right-handed). Proceed to swing your legs up the wall. You will find this pose is very restorative.
In addition to back pain relief, expect to feel less tension in your legs and feet, too. The back of the neck and legs also enjoy a light stretch. An optional variation is to slide the legs apart for an added groin and inner thigh stretch.
2) Locust Pose (Salabhasana): strengthen
Back pain often results from poor posture and weak back muscles. Strengthen and lengthen in locust pose.
Begin by lying on your tummy with your arms pointing palms up behind you. Rotate the thighs inward by pointing the toes towards each other. Now, lift the upper body away from the floor. Be sure to actively reach while you hold the pose to reap the most benefits.
Locust pose will decrease your back pain by strengthening the spine, which in turn causes improved posture. This pose likewise relieves discomfort from fatigue, gas, indigestion and constipation.
3. Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana): reach for the Stars
Stand with your arms turned out, palms facing away from you. Then, sweep your arms in and place the palms together. If you notice any hunching in the shoulders, lower the arms some. However, you still want to keep them parallel to one another.
Furthermore, be aware of your ribs. Bring them down and in towards your spine to prevent them from jutting forward. Additional ailments that benefit from this pose include indigestion, asthma and fatigue. You can expect to feel this stretch in the shoulders, armpits and abdomen, too.
4. Staff Pose (Dandasana): perfect your Posture
Sit with your legs together pointing in front of you. If you have tight hamstrings, sit on a bolster or blanket to elevate your pelvis. Your weight should be towards the front of the sitting bones, and your thighs should be rotated towards each other.
The feet should be flexed. As for your arms, straighten them and place each hand on either side of you near the glutes. You want to pull up to lengthen the spine. Once in position, hold for one minute.
Staff pose appears to be a passive pose, but it actually strengthens the back muscles. There is an added stretch for the shoulders and chest as well. You will notice the stronger your back becomes, the less pain you will feel.
5. Wide-legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana I): relax and strengthen
Step out the feet further than hip distance apart. As you exhale, lean forward from the hips. Your hands should be directly under the shoulders, and you want to press the fingertips into the floor. If you are more flexible, actively press the palms into the floor. Keep your neck long and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
This pose helps to alleviate headaches, fatigue and mild depression along with back pain. Other benefits include toning of the abdominal organs and spinal stretching/strengthening.
Tabitha Salomonson created Mindeful Movements to help others through Yoga. Tabitha Salomonson is a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists and a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher.