Back pain is one of the top reasons why people begin to practice yoga. This is because yoga not only stretches out the back, but also strengthens it and improves the circulation to the spine. A strong and healthy back leads to a strong and healthy life. Here are some yoga poses for back pain relief.
Spinal twists are some of the best back relief poses. There are several poses that involve twisting the spine in order to achieve pain relief. One of the basic spinal twist poses is Marichyasana C:
- Start in a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Bend your right leg while keeping your left leg straight.
- Your right leg should be bent enough so that the foot is flat on the ground.
- Place your right hand behind you on the floor for support.
- Twist your body while looking over your right shoulder and bringing your bent left elbow to the outside of your right knee.
- Take a few deep breaths and then release.
- Repeat with the left leg bent to evenly stretch out both sides of the spine.
This stretch is perfect for stretching out the tight muscles that run along the spinal cord.
If twisting is not an option, don’t worry! There are several other poses that relieve back pain without twisting the body.
Cat/Cow is a basic, yet effective pose that beautifully stretches and relieves pain from upper and lower back.
- Start in a tabletop position with your hand directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Inhale to press the belly towards the ground and arch the back.
- Look up towards the sky.
- Exhale to round the back while looking down between your hands.
- Keep going back and forth between arching and rounding your back for a few breaths until the spine feels limber and long.
This pose massages the spine while also stretching out the back. It’s a great pose to warm up the spine for practice.
A more advanced pose that strengthens both the back and bottom is the Locust Pose.
- Lay down on your stomach with your arms beside you and palms facing up.
- Place your forehead flat on the floor.
- Slowly lift your head, torso, arms, and legs away from the floor.
- Your thighs should begin to rotate slightly inwards as your legs become farther away from the floor.
- Clasp your hands behind your back and elongate the body from head to toe. Hold this for 30 seconds. Slowly release.
Repeat Locust Pose as many times as needed. A strong and toned back leads to less pain and less chance of getting future back injuries.
No one likes to be in pain, even if it’s just mild. Marichyasana C, Cat/Cow, and Locust Pose are just a few poses that do a fantastic job of strengthening and stretching out the back. Stretching is responsible for pain relief, but strengthening helps to prevent future pain and injuries. The back is the center support of the body so it’s important to keep it strong and happy!