If you experience back pain – have tried medications, acupuncture or chiropractic, resting, ice, and anything else you can get your hands on – and have not tried yoga, you may be in for a treat. Yoga can have the potential to gradually ease away your pain for good. For others, the maximum benefit may be as simple as a moment of stress relief. For most, it is somewhere in between. Will it work for you? You’ll never know until you try!
A Word to the Wise.
The key to yoga is in your breathing. When performing any of the following stretches, take deep, slow, belly breaths, and make your motions fluid. Always ask your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
Start with your feet flat on the floor, shoulders relaxed, hands at your sides. Slowly shift your weight to your left foot and bend down until you can touch your right ankle. Guide your right foot up your left inner leg until it is just above or below your left knee.
Center your pelvis over your left foot, and align your hips. Find your center, and then slowly unbend until you are standing tall. Gazing at a fixed point in front of you, place your hands on your chest or bring them together over your head.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Keeping your heels aligned, stand with your feet spread far apart. Turn your right foot so that the toes are facing the front of the mat, and keep your right leg unbent. Turn your left foot so that the toes are facing ahead of you.
Arch your feet, keeping them on the floor. Stretch your arms out at shoulder height, so that your right hand is over your right foot, and your left hand is over your left foot. They should be parallel to the floor. Reach with your right hand and angle your left hip back, so that your right hand rests on your right ankle. Keep your torso on the same plane as your legs.
Virabhadrasan I (Warrior Pose)
Stand with your feet spread apart, with your right foot in front of you and your left foot behind. Raise your arms above your head, bringing your shoulders down. Turn your left foot 45 degrees to the right and your right foot 90 degrees to the right. Turn your hips so that they are as parallel as possible with your right foot. Bend your right knee so your lower leg is perpendicular to your mat.
Halasana (Plow Pose)
While lying on your back, angle your hips and reach with your legs until your toes touch the floor in front of your head. Keeping your toes on the floor, stretch your thighs toward the sky, and your groin toward your pelvis.
Lengthen your neck by keeping your head away from your chest. Stretch your hands out on the floor behind you, and use them to support yourself by pressing them down.
Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
This one is probably as simple as it gets in yoga (besides corpse pose – which is basically just lying on your back). Yet, as simple as it is, it can (as with the above poses) help tremendously with chronic back pain.
Sit with your shins crossed, and each foot under the opposite knee. Pull your shins toward you. Keep your spine straight, and lay your hands on your knees. Keeping your shoulders down, take deep breaths! ◾
Did we miss a pose that can help with back pain? Let us know in the comments below!
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