Back pain can be quite debilitating for many people who are suffering from it for a period of time.Here, we have shared 5 yoga poses or asanas that can help ease your back pain.
Lower back pain can be caused due to sitting or standing for extended hours. Sometimes lifting something heavy without a proper technique or a strain due to an awkward movement can lead to back pain.
People who spend a lot of time on computers or laptops for work may be sitting with a hunched back and not stretching their spine as often as they should. This can result in back pain over time.
Back pain can affect people from any age group due to various reasons and as we get older the chances of having lower back pain increases due to degenerative issues like arthritis.
The key to prevent back pain is to strengthen your spine and release tension in the muscles of your upper and lower back.
Can yoga help back pain?
Yoga can be hugely beneficial in lengthening your spine and stretching and strengthening the muscles in your back. When these back muscles are strengthened, your body posture is improved which eases the pressure off the back. Thus, overall can help reducing the lower back pain.
Regular stretching can increase the flexibility of spine by increase in the blood flow to these tight muscles. Yoga poses can ease the back pain and helps in strengthening and calming the mind.
What are the best yoga poses for lower back pain?
We have created a sequence of 5 best yoga poses to relieve your lower back pain. These back pain yoga poses can have a tremendous benefit to your back pain.
1. Marjariasana or Cat pose - 1 to 3 minutes
Marjariasana is a very gentle way to massage your lower back and strengthen the back muscles. It also makes the lower back flexible. Marjariasan is a good way to warm the back muscles up before moving on to other asanas.It is the best beginner yoga poses to relieve low back pain fast.
How to do it
- Come to table-top position with your knees and palms on the mat. Place your knees hip-width apart and palms shoulder-width apart. Place your palms perpendicular to the floor with shoulders stacked over your palms.
- Spread your toes and place your weight evenly on your feet. Firm your thigh muscles while rotating them inwards. Relax your shoulders and roll them back and down.
- Now slowly raise your chin up and push your stomach towards the floor while inhaling deeply. Hold the pose here and take a few deep breaths.
- Then slowly bring your chin down towards the chest and pushing the stomach and spine up making a curve. Do this with a deep exhalation.
- Repeat this sequence with a deep inhalation and a deep exhalation for a few minutes. Try to breathe consciously for better results.
2. Makarasana or Crocodile pose - 1 to 3 minutes
Makarasana is an effective way to release the pain that is caused to compressed nerves. Anyone who is experiencing pain due to sciatica or slipped disc can stay in this asana for a few minutes to relieve the lower back pain. It creates a natural curve of the lower back. It also engages your abs a little, which is helpful for supporting the lower back.
How to do it
- Lie down on your stomach with your arms stretched out closer to your head.
- Now inhale and slowly lift your chin and chest up looking straight ahead.
- Keep your shoulder relaxed and away from the neck and stay here for 1-3 minutes
- Breathe slowly and deeply and feel this gentle stretch to your lower back.
3. Bhujangasana or Cobra pose - 1 to 3 minutes
Bhujangasana reduces the stiffness in your lower back. This yoga pose relieves back pain immediately. It not only strengthens your spine but makes your shoulders stronger and opens up your chest. It also increases the blood circulation throughout the body and strengthens the digestive system. It helps relieving the stress and fatigue associated with the back pain.
How to do it
- Lie on your stomach and put your arms by the side of your chest.
- Inhale and raise your head and chest off the mat keeping the hips down. Keep your elbows bent and tucked closer to your lower ribs.
- You can keep the neck straight or look up for intense stretch.
- Exhale and come down on the mat.
4. Salabhasana or Locust pose - 1 to 3 minutes
Salabhasana prepares one for deeper back bending. It strengthens the back, buttocks, legs and arms. It also helps improving your posture and relieves stress. It activates your abdominal organs too.
How to do it
- Lie on your stomach with your arms next to your torso and your palms facing up.
- Slowly lift your legs off the mat, halfway, or all the way up.
- To deepen the pose, lift your head, chest, and arms.
- Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute and release the pose with exhalation.
5. Setubandhasana or Bridge pose - 1 to 3 minutes
It is an inverted back bending asana. It strengthens the back, buttocks and hamstring muscles. It also stimulates lungs, thyroid gland and abdominal organs. It calms the mind and improves the blood circulation. It stretches the back entirely and eases the pressure off the lower back.
How to do it
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels drawn closer to your hips. Rest your arms alongside your body.
- Press your feet and arms into the floor as you lift your hips up. Continue lifting until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Support your back by putting your palms on the waist or by interlocking your palms together on the mat.
- Release by slowly placing your spine back down to the floor, vertebra by vertebra.
Should I do yoga if I have lower back pain?
Yoga improves overall posture of a person which is important for a healthy back. Stretching and strengthening your muscles with yoga can increase your spine flexibility and core stability. Yoga helps to treat not only the back pain but also alleviates the stress and frustration that accompanies with the pain.
With the right yoga poses, you can calm your mind and relax your body. Therefore, it is important to breathe slowly and consciously as you move through these poses. Practising these yoga poses for back pain mindfully will bring balance and alignment in your body.
Make sure that you do not over stretch your back. Take it slow and gentle initially. You can use blocks and props to start with to reduce any discomfort. As you become stronger and have more strength in your back and core you can deepen your practise.
Avoid any practise that involves intense back bending. We advise that you consult your doctor before starting any of these yogasanas if you have major back pain issues, pain due to slipped disc or sciatica, or any major surgery in your abdomen.