Best yoga poses to relieve back pain, Lifestyle News

With busy working lives and deskbound jobs, back pain has become a common health issue. What does that mean, exactly?

Well, it’s anything that makes you feel discomfort, pain, or aches in your back, be it your shoulder blades, upper back, mid back, or lower back.

There are many causes for back pain, including the aforementioned desk jobs that make you sit for long hours daily. On top of that, tight muscles, muscle imbalances, poor form, and bad posture can also add to back pain.

Here, a yoga teacher shares five of her favourite yoga poses that help to relieve back pain.

1. Modified child’s pose

What it is:

If you’ve done yoga before, you would be familiar with the child’s pose. It’s a relaxing pose that is used to relax your mind and body, either during a tiring flow or at the end of your practice.

While the normal child’s pose is done with your hands reaching forward to release tension from your entire body, this variation helps to deepen the stretch you feel in your back.

How to do it:

Start by kneeling down with your toes pointed. Keeping your hips as close to your heels as possible, lean forward and rest your chest on your thighs and your forehead on the floor (or as close as you can go).

Grab under your knees and hunch your back to bring your forehead closer to your knees. You can stay here and keep hunching, or interlock your hands behind your feet or hips to deepen the hunch. Stay for 30 seconds and repeat twice.

2. Moving cat-cow pose

What it is:

This is another go-to yoga pose for warming up and relaxing the body.

While the regular cat-cow pose focuses on hunching and arching to release any tension in the back, adding more movement to the pose helps to deepen the stretch and massage your spine.

How to do it:

Start on your hands and knees, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and hips stacked over your knees. Gripping the floor firmly with your hands, flex your feet and press the balls of your feet firmly into the ground.

Arch your back, push your chest forward, look in the direction your chest is facing, and stick your butt back. Keeping the arch, push your butt back to bring it as close to your heels as possible.

Then, tuck your chin into your chest and hunch your back as you move forward again. Repeat 10 times.

3. Spinal twist

What it is:

Spinal twists are another great way to stretch your spine, increase circulation, and reduce back pain.

How to do it:

Sit on the floor with both legs straightened in front of you. Place your feet hip- or mat-width apart. Sit up tall to lengthen your spine, then slowly turn to the left.

Place your left hand behind your right glute and your right hand behind your left glute.

Bend your elbows and try to bring your upper body closer to the floor. Keep breathing and make sure your hips are firmly planted on the floor. Stay for 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.

4. Side bend

What it is:

Side bends help to stretch the sides of your waist and the sides of your lower back.

This stretches areas that are often tight and overlooked, providing much-needed release and relaxation.

How to do it:

Sit on the floor with your feet about one metre apart. Sit up tall and turn your body to face your right foot. Raise your hands up, lengthen your spine, and reach your chest and hands towards your right foot.

Keep pulling yourself forward while keeping both hips on the floor. To deepen the stretch, reach the outer side of your left forearm to the outer edge of your right foot.

Push your forearm against your foot to twist your body and turn your chest to the right. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute and repeat on the left side.

5. Forward fold variations

What it is:

Forward folds help to release tension in the back by lengthening and relaxing your back muscles. This is especially helpful if you’ve been sitting or standing all day as a lot of pressure is placed on your lower back.

There are many ways to do a forward fold, so you can experiment to find one that feels the most comfortable for you.

How to do it:

Sit or stand with your feet together or hip-width apart. Lengthen your spine by pulling your chest forward. Reach your chest and arms towards your toes to stretch your back and hamstrings.

If you have tight hamstrings, bend your knees to give your lower back more space. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

If you’re dealing with severe or chronic back pain, it’s important to find the root of the problem for optimal, long-term pain management.

ALSO READ: Got a tight neck? Do these easy stretches

This article was first published in Her World Online.

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