The Mayo Clinic claims that most people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Poor posture, a weak back, or weak abdominal muscles are a few of the most obvious contributors. Back pain of any sort can limit much of what we do in our daily lives: walking, sleeping, working, and loving (of any physical nature).
And don’t think that you’ve done something terribly wrong to acquire back pain – it can come on when you least expect it. Though its affects can be sudden, it’s usually a build-up process that comes from living a mostly sedentary lifestyle (which includes sitting in front of a computer screen most of the day). With that said, Athletes and highly mobile people also suffer from this common ailment, and can greatly benefit from a few simple yoga poses done well.
Today, we’re going to share 5 yoga poses to help you stretch, loosen, and get rid of that nagging pain in the back. Because some of your back pain can be associated with tightness in your hips and hamstrings as well, we’re going to provide you with a basic set to also help with these potential origins of some back pains.
Balasana (Child’s Pose) – One of the most calming and restorative of yoga poses, Balasana, also known as child’s pose, can help encourage a sense of physical, mental, and emotional calm. Balasana is helpful for reducing pains in the lower back by stretching and lengthening the spine; stretching the hips, thighs, and ankles; and by helping normalize circulation throughout the body.
Bitilasana & Marjaryasana (Cow Pose & Cat Pose) – This is a two-in-one set of poses, which are great for bringing movement gently into the entire spine and the hips, helping stretch the back, torso and neck.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) – This pose helps stretch the hamstrings. It works more effectively when the back stays as straight as possible, even if it means you have to bend the knees (which is helpful if you have lower back pain).
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) – I like using this pose to lengthen the lower back and side body, helping improve posture, encouraging deeper breathing, and decreasing wear and tear on your hips. Tip: By using a block for the bottom hand to rest on, this brings the floor closer to you, allowing you better focus on rotation and opening of the torso.
Janu Sirsasana / Seated Head to Knee Pose (Twist) – This pose targets the hips, hamstrings, lower back, and side body. By bending the knee of the straight leg and using props can aid in avoiding strain, making it easier to concentrate on the lengthening and twisting required to open up the lower back. And, remember: “Janu Sirsasana isn’t about reaching your toes. It is about the actions you take to get there.”Yoga at Maiden Lane Studios