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6 yoga poses that relieve back pain

There’s more to yoga than just improving your spiritual well-being, you’re also able to use yoga to target specific problem areas in your body.

Australians are now spending over $1 billion on treatment for back pain each year – a lot of people turn to expensive therapy or medication when they could be turning to massage and yoga to eliminate their back pain.

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Yoga’s healing qualities are known for easing soreness and chronic back pain by lengthening the spine and strengthening the back muscles and core.

Yoga’s healing qualities are known for easing soreness and chronic back pain by lengthening the spine and strengthening the back muscles and core.

Yoga’s healing qualities are known for easing soreness and chronic back pain by lengthening the spine and strengthening the back muscles and core.

Yoga’s healing qualities are known for easing soreness and chronic back pain by lengthening the spine and strengthening the back muscles and core.

We have put together the top 6 yoga poses to help you manage your back pain.

1. Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This pose is a full body stretch that targets your back extensors. The large muscles in your back help support your spine and help you stand and lift objects. Equally supported by upper and lower extremities (limbs).

  1. Kneel on all fours (place feet slightly apart to open up hips and ease stiffness).
  2. Extend arms maintaining pressure in hands against floor – fingers equally spread apart.
  3. Curl your toes under and press against the balls of your feet.
  4. Lift your hips toward the ceiling until your body makes an upside down “V.”
  5. Press your chest toward your knees.  You should feel the stretch through pectoral muscles in your chest.
  6. Keep your eyes focused on your toes and keep your feet pressed flat on the floor.
  7. Hold the pose for 1 breath.
  8. Relax down to the floor and if everything is feeling good, repeat pose for 4 breathes.
  9. Walk your hands towards your feet, bending knees and stand.

Tips:

  • Lift heels slightly to take tension off calf muscles and to achieve more hip flexion.
  • Do not relax shoulders.

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2. Upward facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

This pose stretches the quadriceps and back muscles while producing a release for tight and tense abdominal muscles.

  1. Start lying flat on the floor with your palms facedown by the middle of your ribs, chin on floor, feet together and toes extended (or support on toes)
  2. Slowly lift your head, then your shoulders.
  3. Keep your legs together and engaged.
  4. Use your back muscles to reach your limit of lift, extend elbows slowly
  5. Use your arms, knees and top of feet and toes to support the pose (do not arch your back)
  6. Hold the pose for 1 breath.
  7. Relax down to the floor and if everything is feeling good, repeat pose for 4 breathes.

3. Cat and cow  (Cakravakasana)

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This pose massages the muscles in your back – improving your spinal flexibility and relieving lower back pain.

  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Keep your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips.
  3. Inhale and slowly extend your tailbone toward the ceiling.
  4. Exhale and reverse the pose by arching your back upwards.
  5. Tuck your chin into your chest and round the spine, tucking your tailbone downward.
  6. Hold the pose for 1 breath.
  7. Relax down and if everything is feeling good, repeat pose for 4 breathes.

4. Lizard (Godhapitham)

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This pose opens the lower body muscles including your hamstrings and inner hip muscles – all of these muscles can contribute to back pain. This a more advance pose, only try if you have no known knee or lower back issues or injuries.

  1. Kneel on the ground, or start lying down and then from downward dog pose bring right leg forward.
  2. Stretch your left leg out behind you.
  3. Bend your right knee so that your right foot is under and near your left pelvic bone.
  4. Lean forward so your chest is pushing outwards.
  5. Place your hands on the ground for balance.
  6. Hold the pose for 1 breath.
  7. Relax down to the floor and if everything is feeling good, repeat pose for 4 breathes.

5. Childs asana

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Child’s pose is an active stretch to help you elongate your back and relax your entire body.

  1. Start in the kneeling position.
  2. Slowly lower your buttocks toward your heels as your stretch the rest of your body forwards.
  3. Extend your arms in front of you.
  4. Rest your extended arms on the floor with your palms facing down.
  5. Hold the pose for 1 breath.
  6. Relax down to the floor and if everything is feeling good, repeat pose for 4 breathes.

6. Triangle (variation) (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

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This pose is great for strengthening your back and legs – it will also help lengthen your muscles along the sides of your torso. Do not force the squaring of the hips as this will add stress on the lower back.

  1. Start by standing straight with your feet together.
  2. Step your left foot back 40 – 50 inches.
  3. Point your left foot out at a 45 degree angle.
  4. Turn your chest to the side.
  5. Open up the pose by stretching your right arm towards the ground and your left arm towards the ceiling.
  6. Keep your legs straight.
  7. You might not be able to touch the ground with your right arm at first – that’s ok, practice makes perfect.  Stay truthful to what you can achieve and do not force the movement.
  8. Hold the pose for 1 breath.
  9. Relax down to the floor and if everything is feeling good, repeat pose for 4 breathes.

Always remember to listen to your body, if something doesn’t feel right then stop what you’re doing. All of these poses can also be done in sequence with the appropriate breath (inhale and exhale) for better body preparation for pranayama practice and meditation.

By incorporating these yoga techniques along with regular massage therapy sessions you’ll be steps closer to a back pain free zone!

You can seek advice and information about these yoga poses at your next corporate massage session – give Fresh Therapy Corporate Massage a call today to talk about your options.

Brenda Hill
Your Wellness Advocate
0410 353 913