Many of us suffer through the nightmare that is back pain. One wrong move can send us into spasm and we’re terrified of over exerting ourselves in case we throw it out again.

But did you know one of the main reasons that Yoga is practised across the world is because of it’s excellent ability to strengthen core muscles – preventing muscle spasm and easing recurring pain?

If you suffer from back pain then you should definitely speak with your doctor about practising Yoga. If he’s happy that your particular condition is OK to practice yoga, then the following 5 poses could change your life and forget about the days you were terrified of causing damage to your back by a sudden move in the wrong direction.

Cat Pose – Marjaryasana

Description: Start on your hands and knees, hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keep your fingers facing forward and hands, shoulder width apart. While exhaling, round your spine upwards towards the ceiling and drop your head, tightening your abdominals in towards your spine. Inhale and uncurl your spine, remaining on your hands and knees.

Benefits: Stretches out your abdominals, spine, neck and chest.Cow-pose cat pose

Common postural errors: Arching the lower back.  Tips: Draw your shoulders away from your neck to keep the curve at the centre/top of your back.

Cow Pose – Bitilasana

Description: After exiting Cat Pose, on your next inhalation arch your spine, lifting your chest and sit bones towards the ceiling , keeping your head straight and gazing forward. Exhale and return to a neutral position.

Repeat the Cat into Cow poses 10-20 times.

Benefits: Stretches out your abdominals, spine, neck and chest.

Common postural errors: Jutting your rib cage out.  Tips: Focus on raising hi bones and keep your gaze forward, neck lengthened.

Cobra Pose – BhujangasanaThe Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Description: From a prone position, place your palms under your shoulders and legs flat to the floor. On inhalation slowly raise your chest up, bending backwards as much as possible and hold for 10-15 seconds. On exhalation bring your body back down to the prone position. Repeat 5 times, taking a 15 second break between each hold.

Benefits: Strengthen the spine, stretches the chest, shoulders, and abdomen, firms the buttocks, and relieves stress and fatigue.

Common postural errors:  Overarching the neck and lower back. Tips: Keep your gaze directed down at the floor and focus on bringing movement into the area between the shoulder blades.

Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

Description: From Upward Facing Dog, kneel on your hands and knees with your knees directly below your hips. Stretch your hands out slighAdo-muka-shvanasanatly in front of your shoulders with your fingertips facing forward and hands should-width apart. Exhale and press against the floor keeping your elbows straight. Lift your sit bones up toward the ceiling and your knees away from the floor, lengthening your hips away from your ribs and elongating your spine. Press your heels against the floor, contract your thighs and try straightening your knees. Turn your thighs slightly inward and broaden your chest and shoulders. You should position your head in between your arms. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Benefits: The Downward Facing Dog Pose strengthens your arms and legs, while stretching shoulders, calves and hamstrings.

Common postural errors: Sinking shoulders down into spine.  Tips: Focus on contracting your thighs and lengthening spine to stop shoulders from sinking.

Parivrtta-Trikonasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelExtended Triangle Pose – Parivrtta Trikonasana

Description: From the Mountain pose, move your feet until they are roughly three feet apart, with your pelvis, chest and head aligned. Inhale and raise both arms straight out to the side, until they’re parallel with the floor, palms facing down. Exhale, and keeping your legs straight, pivot on your heels to turn your left foot all the way to the right and keeping your heels in line with each other.

Lower your torso to the right, as far as is comfortable and keep your arms parallel to the floor. Once your torso is fully extended, drop your arm so that your left hand rests on your ankle and extend your right arm to the ceiling. Extend your arms as far as you can in opposite directions and turn your head to focus on your left thumb. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat instructions with opposite leg.

Benefits: It stretches the spine, back, shoulders, ankles, hips, groin, hamstrings and calves. It also alleviate backaches.

Common postural errors: Twisting your hips. Tips: Keep your leading knee centred over your foot and if you feel unbalanced, you can practice with keeping your back heel against a wall.

Image Sources

Cat Pose  |  Cow Pose  |  Cobra Pose  |  Downward Facing Dog  |  Extended Triangle Pose

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