Yoga is not only a great form of exercise to build strength and lose weight, but it also does wonders at relieve pain in the body. Different poses can help stretch, strengthen and relieve pain in certain muscles. If you suffer from an aching or painful back, think about trying these yoga positions to help relieve the pain. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness regime, especially if you have extreme back pain. In many cases though, yoga class can prove to be a better pain relief than usual medical care.
Downward Facing Dog
This classic yoga position is a whole body stretch that especially targets the back muscles, specifically the ones that help form your lower back, support your spine and help you lift and stand. Try it out by starting on your hands and knees with your hands in front of your shoulders. Press back, raising your knees and lifting your tailbone to the air. Hold the position for 10 breaths and repeat about five times. To stretch and extend your hamstrings push your heels towards the floor. If you’re a beginner you can start by bending your knees a little and slowly work towards straightening them.
You might look at this pose and think “this can’t really be yoga” but we promise, it is. Child’s pose is a great stretch that helps elongate the back. Start on all fours with your arms stretched out in front of you. Sit back so that you butt is almost touching your heels. Hold for ten breaths and repeat as many times as needed. This pose is a great de-stressor and reliever for back pain so try it before bed or after sitting for a long time.
Cat and Cow Pose
This position is great for a sore back as it stretches and loosens back muscles. Get on all fours and move into cat pose by slowly pressing your spine up, arching your back (like a cat stretching). Hold for a few seconds before moving to cow pose by scooping your back in, pressing your shoulders together and lifting your head. Move back and forth between the two poses slowly around ten times. This motion relaxes back muscles and eases tension.
Upward Forward Bend
The upward forward bend stretches hamstrings and back muscles while also relieving tense, tight shoulders. Stand straight with your feet a should-width apart and loose knees. As you exhale bend forward, reaching towards the floor. Extend as far as your hamstrings comfortably allow you to stretch. Hold for ten breaths and repeat five to seven times.
Upward Facing Dog
This pose stretches your back and stomach muscles as well as works to open up your chest. Lay flat on the floor with your palms face down in the middle of your rubs. With your legs together, press the tops of your feet into the floor and use your back to life your chest off the floor. Hold for ten breaths, releasing and repeating as needed.
This position can be a little challenging for beginners but it’s great for stretching your hips, which can be a hidden cause of lower back pain. Start in downward facing dog then draw on knee forward. Bend it perpendicular to your other leg and slowly lower both legs to the ground. Keep the unbent leg straight back. Hold for ten breaths and then switch sides. Repeat as needed.
This pose is great at strengthening the back and legs while also lengthening the muscles along your torso. Stand straight with your legs together. Next, lunge one foot back a few feet and turn that foot to a 45-degree angle. Turn your chest to the side and open up your arms. Which ever foot you put back, use the opposite arm and each down to the ground. Don’t worry about trying to touch the ground, just extend as far as you can. Be sure to keep your back straight. Hold for ten breaths before switching sides.
Back pain can be uncomfortable and sometimes rehabilitating. Yoga can be a wonderful stress and pain reliever. This practice has been known to work miracles on the body.
Try out these yoga poses if you suffer from back pain. If you like them, and find that they work, a full-blown yoga class at our Delray Beach yoga studio can also benefit you.