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Yoga for Back Pain
Did you know? 8 out of every 10 people suffer from back pain. It is one of most common ailments around the world and almost everyone suffers from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is more common among people in 35 and above age groups, especially among women. Can back pain be cured completely? Well, there is no definite Yes or No answer for this question. However, there are few yoga postures when practiced on a regular basis can reduce your back pain by up to 90%.
But, before we start off with the yoga postures for relieving back pain, let’s first understand why we get back pain in the first place. There are multiple factors that causes back ache, I have listed here a few of the major contributors.
Often wrong postures are the culprits of causing back pain. Watch out if you are sitting for long hours before the computer screen, or you have slumped shoulder, these could cause back pain. Maintaining proper postures, whether you sit, stand or sleep, is important to ward off back pain.
Living a sedentary lifestyle can add up your weight and trigger back pain. Doing cardiovascular exercises regularly and leading an active lifestyle can help you keep back pain at bay. Exercises are important to maintain your weight and strengthen muscles around your back.
Stress is another major reason of getting back ache. As per a survey report, people who are more stressed are 4 times at higher risk of suffering from back pain. Most of the time, stressed are caused due to prolong unsolved issues facing at work or home front. Key point here is to face and tackle the problems at hand.
Long Sitting Hours
Sitting in one posture for long hours causes back pain. When you are at work or home working on your computer, make it a point to take short breaks in between. Being in one position for long hours put pressure on your back and spine causing back pain.
Your foot carries your entire body weight and when you slip in shoes that does not comfortably accommodate you to walk, run and meet errands of day-to-day life, then it can cause back ache. Choose a proper footwear that can support your weight, heel and leg muscles well. Plus, avoid wearing high heels (for ladies) and flip flops (as they are too flat).
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Posture)
This classic yoga asana can be practiced even by a beginner and is excellent for lower back health and spinal traction. Great for your entire body, adho mukha svanasana stretches your lower back muscles, support your spine and strengthen your muscles around your hip and waist. Regular practice of this yoga asana can reduce your back ache drastically in a matter of weeks.
Steps to do Adho Mukha Svanasana:
- Spread a yoga mat and stand with your feet hip distance apart
- Bend to come on your fours (legs and hands), like forming a table with your tailbone taking an inverted V-shape
- Distribute your entire pressure on your hands & feet and balance well
- Inhale & exhale and focus on your breathing and hold on the yoga pose for 60 – 120 seconds
- Slowly return to your table top posture and relax
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Balasana is a simple relaxation yoga pose that helps relieve stress by stretching the back muscles. Practicing this yoga pose can help you strengthen the thigh muscles, ankles and hips, to help you relax and reduce back pain.
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Steps to do Balasana:
- Kneel on a yoga mat and slowly rest your hips on your feet
- Bend your upper body and lean towards the floor
- Place your chest in between your thighs and rest your forehead on the ground
- Relax your hands and let it lay on the floor freely
- Breathe gently and continue the process for 2 to 3 minutes at one sitting
Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)
It is a great yoga asana to relieve your body from day-to-day life’s anxieties and alleviates you from back pain. Practicing the Supta Matsyendrasana on a daily basis can help reduce back pain by stretching the spine, and thigh muscles. It also increases mobility in your spine. This classic yoga pose can be practiced both by beginners and experts.
Steps to do Supta Matsyendrasana:
- Lie your back on a yoga mat and rest your head on a pillow or a cushion
- Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor
- Let your arms spread on both the sides
- Let your left leg be on the floor and bring right leg near to your chest, spread your right arm at shoulder-height and place your palm facing the ground
- Hold this posture for 1 to 2 min and release slowly
- Now bring your left leg near to your chest and let the right leg rest on the ground
- Spread your left arm at shoulder-height and place your palm facing the floor
- Inhale whenever you bring left or right leg near your chest
- Exhale slowly whenever you change the shift the leg
- Continue each sequence for 2 minute each
Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon pose)
Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘raja’ which means ‘king’, ‘kapota’ meaning ‘pigeon’ and ‘asana’ means ‘posture’. The Rajakapotasana may be a little difficult for beginners but can be of great relief to your aching back by strengthening the thigh muscles.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
The Trikonasana is most beneficial for strengthening the legs, ankles, waistline and hips muscles which when practice at least 4 times a week can prevent and reduce back ache. Unlike other yoga positions, the triangle pose needs to have an open eye to maintain balance of the body. Practicing this yoga benefit mostly the lower body part.
Steps to Trikonasana:
- Stand on your yoga mat and spread your legs keeping a distance of 3 to 4 ft.
- Ensure that you are keeping a right balance
- Shift your right foot at 90 degree angle and left foot about 15 degree
- Spread your arms at your shoulder height
- Slowly bend your right arm to touch the right feet and stretch your left arm out facing the sky
- Don’t forget to inhale slowly and deeply while you are bending to touch your feet
- Repeat this process for both the sides and hold for 2 to 3 minutes for each side
Steps to do Rajakapotasana:
- Kneel on the yoga mat
- Stretch out your right leg and bend your left knee
- Place your hands on the floor for maintaining balance
- Bend your back leg so that your foot is facing the ceiling
- Now draw both the hands to hold the toes of the right leg and your face almost touches your right foot
- Slowly inhale & exhale and stay in the position for 2 or more minutes
- Repeat the position in sequence for both the sides
The multiple benefits of yoga can be reaped only when you practice the poses perfectly and breathe in the right way. Yoga can aggravate pain if practiced in an incorrect manner. So it is suggested to practice yoga postures under an expert yoga trainer, at least in the beginning phase.
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