Yoga for Back Pain
Chandra Yoga InternationalOne of the most common physical complaints, especially from those living in the western world, is lower back pain. It commonly stems from a sedentary lifestyle, as many people work a 9-5 job sitting down, and spend a lot of time in the car commuting as well. Then after a long day of work, many people come home and sit on the sofa to relax. If we look at the anatomy of this habit, we see that the hamstrings and iliopsoas muscles actual become shorter, which in turn pulls on the lumbar spine.
Below is a few of yoga postures that will help to relieve lower back pain. These poses should be practiced about 2 hours after eating or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. We have chosen a few poses that are accessible for a wide range of people and have very little contraindications, however we ask that those with a slipped disc in the lower back or sciatica, please be aware of their injuries and come out of any pose that causes them pain.
Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana): Begin by lying on your stomach with your forehead on that floor or mat. As you inhale, raise your head and chest, bringing your forearms to the mat to prop up your upper body. Keep the wrists in line with the elbows, and elbows directly under the shoulders so that your arms are parallel. Press through your palms and tops of your feet to increase the stretch. Press your pubic bone into the mat. Focus on slow, deep breathing. Imagine your lower back being flooded with fresh oxygen and healing. Hold for as long as comfortable, up to 3 minutes. Exhale as you lower.
Supine hamstring stretch: Lying on your back, pull the right knee into your chest. Wrap a towel or yoga strap around the sole of the foot and extend the foot to the sky, flexing the heel. Keep the leg as straight as possible. Gently pull the foot towards the head with every exhale. Hold for 3 minutes and then repeat on the left side.
Supine two knee twist (Jathara Parivartanasana A): Lying on your back, pull both knees into your chest. Place your arms extended out to the sides, shoulder level into a T position. Take a deep inhale in the center, then exhale as you slowly drop your knees to the right side. Try to keep both shoulders on the ground. Turn your head and gaze to the left side for a whole body twist. Hold for 2 minutes. Inhale as you raise your legs back to center, then exhale and lower your legs to the left side, looking to the right when you are in the final position.
It is recommended to practice these three poses at least 4 times per week. If you are able to establish a regular yoga practice, you will see a significant reduction of lower back pain, as the yoga pose are all designed to strengthen and increase the flexibility of the spine and hips. If you are interested in learning more about yoga, please visit www.sushilyoga.com for a full list of course dates.