Back pain is a common ailment that affects people of all ages and lifestyles. It can range from mild discomfort to debilitating agony, impacting your daily life and overall well-being.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) low back pain affected 619 million people worldwide in 2020. The number of cases could rise to 843 million people by the year 2050.
While various approaches to managing and preventing back pain exist, yoga offers a holistic and effective way to alleviate discomfort, strengthen the back, and improve flexibility. There are certain yoga poses designed to help relive back problems and promote a healthier, pain-free spine.
Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Inhale, arch your back, and lift your head and tailbone (Cow Pose).
- Exhale, round your spine, and tuck your chin (Cat Pose).
- Repeat this fluid movement for several breaths. It helps to increase spinal flexibility and reduce tension in the lower back.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
- Begin in a kneeling position with your big toes touching and knees apart.
- Sit back onto your heels and stretch your arms forward, lowering your chest toward the floor.
- This resting pose stretches and relaxes the lower back, relieving tension.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Start on your hands and knees, then lift your hips upward, forming an inverted “V” shape with your body.
- Press your palms into the ground and extend your spine.
- Downward Dog stretches the entire back and strengthens the muscles supporting the spine.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Lie face down with your palms on the floor near your chest.
- Inhale as you gently lift your upper body off the ground, keeping your hips and lower body grounded.
- Cobra Pose strengthens the back muscles and helps alleviate pain caused by poor posture.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart.
- Lift your hips off the ground while keeping your feet and shoulders grounded.
- Bridge Pose strengthens the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, providing support for the spine.
Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground.
- Bring your knees to your chest, then lower them to one side while keeping your shoulders grounded.
- This twist helps relieve tension in the lower back and improves spinal mobility.
Child’s Pose with Side Stretch
- From Child’s Pose, walk your hands to one side to create a lateral stretch.
- This variation of Child’s Pose stretches the sides of the torso and provides relief to the lower back.
Regularly practising these yoga poses can be a valuable tool in managing and preventing back pain. However, it’s essential to approach yoga with mindfulness and consult a healthcare professional or a certified yoga instructor if you have chronic or severe back issues.
Once mastering some poses, you may even study to become a yoga trainer, allowing you to help others with their back issues.
Yoga can be a gentle and effective way to strengthen your back, increase flexibility, and find relief from back pain, contributing to your overall physical and mental well-being.