Back pain is a common and sometimes debilitating problem that affects many people at some point in their lives. Yoga can be an effective tool for helping to manage and even alleviate this pain. There are a number of different poses that can be done to help with lower back pain. Here we take a look at some of the best yoga poses to help with lower back pain.
The Cat-Cow Pose works to stretch and strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles, both of which are often tight when suffering from lower back pain. To start the pose, get on all fours on your mat, with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. On an inhale, arch your back like a cow and look up. As you exhale, round your spine up into a ‘cat’ position, pushing your belly towards the ground and looking towards your belly button. Repeat this movement 10 times, feeling your lower belly and lower back muscles stretch and work with each movement.
The Downward Dog is a classic yoga pose that stretches the entire body and helps to relax the lower back and ease tension. Begin on all fours and walk your hands out in front of you, keeping your hands flat on the floor and your arms straight. As you exhale, push your hips up and back, pressing your heels into the ground. Feel the soles of your feet spread wide and start to straighten your legs. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and feel your spine and lower back lengthen. Hold this position for four slow breaths before returning to both fours.
Upward Facing Dog
Like the Downward Dog, Upward Facing Dog can help ease lower back pain by releasing the tension and tightness in the muscles. Begin by lying on your stomach, with your hands flat on the ground underneath your shoulders, palms facing down and your fingertips pointing behind you. As you inhale, press into your hands and lift your upper body away from the ground, drawing your shoulders back and down. Activate your legs by pressing the tops of your feet down into the ground and feel a stretch through your abdomen and back of your thighs.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Allowing for a full range of motion around the spine, the Triangle Pose is an excellent pose for lower back pain. Start in standing position with your legs approximately three to four feet apart, then rotate one of your feet to point 90 degrees away from the center. Bend sideways from the hip, reaching your hand down towards your feet while the other hand extends up towards the ceiling. Your feet should still be firmly rooted to the ground, while your torso remains facing straight ahead. Turn your head to look up towards your top hand, stretching away from the hip and shoulder muscles. Take four slow breaths and repeat on the other side.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
The cobra pose or Bhujangasana can help to improve the elasticity of the spine while also providing some relief from lower back pain. Lie on your stomach, then curl your toes under and place your hands flat on the floor next to your chest. As you inhale, press into your hands and draw your chest forward, raising your head and upper body away from the ground. Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body, and keep pressing your tailbone towards the ground. You should feel your vertebrae lengthening and your chest opening. Hold this pose for four breaths before lowering your chest and head back down to the ground.