Yoga for back pain

Yoga is the best remedy for the person suffering from back pain. Yoga for back pain helps a person get rid of pain by making spine strong and flexible. Back pain is categorized into 3 parts according to the area of spine:

  1. Upper back pain or Neck pain (cervical).
  2. Middle back pain.
  3. Lower back pain (lumbar).

types of back pain

Strong and flexible spine provides support as well as good posture to the body. Yoga asanas like boat pose, bridge pose, cat pose, and cow pose are easy yoga asanas which stretches the back muscles and make it stronger and provide relief from back pain.

The lumbar area (lower part of the back) is the most common area affected. Discomfort can radiate into the arms and hands as well as the legs or feet. A person suffering from back pain may also feel weakness in the legs and arms.

Back pain

Back pain is very common today. About 9 out of 10 adults experience it at some point in their life, and 5 out of 10 working adult person having it every year. This can occur because of several reasons like muscle strain, ruptured disks, Osteoporosis etc.

Yoga for back pain relief

  1. Yoga for cervical (upper back)
    1. Child's Pose
    2. Procedure:
      1. Position your hands and knees on the mat.
      2. Spread your knees and keep the top of your feet on the floor.
      3. Bend your body down relax your shoulders by keeping your arms stretched in front of you with palms on the ground.
      4. Maintain this position as long as you can. Refer below image for more clarity about the pose.
      child's pose

      Benefits of child's pose
      1. Helps to relieve back pain.
      2. Improve flexibility of spine.
      3. Improve neck, spine and shoulders strength.
      4. Calms the brain.
      5. Helps relieve stress and fatigue.

    3. Eagle stretch
    4. Procedure:
      1. Start this asana by standing on your left foot.
      2. Cross your right thigh over your left thigh and hook your right foot around left calf.
      3. Now bring your arms in front of you and cross the left arm over right arm.
      4. Hook left hand over right elbow.
      5. With arms hooked, draw your forearms together and wrap your right palm around your left palm, crossing at the wrists.
      6. Lift the elbows up to the height of your shoulders and keep your spine perpendicular to the floor.
      eagle yoga pose

      Benefits of Eagle stretch
      1. Make arms, legs, knees and ankles strong.
      2. Open shoulder joints and increase flexibility of the body.
      3. Eagle pose improves digestion and prevents problems like constipation.
      4. Improved balance.
      5. Strengthen the spine and cures back pain.

    5. Plow pose
    6. Procedure:
      1. Lie straight on the ground.
      2. Keep the palms along the body and put them straight on the ground.
      3. Slowly lift the lower part of body i.e. feet in a rhythm and touch the ground behind the head with the toes.
      4. Stay in this position for 10-15 seconds and then slowly come back to initial position.
      plow pose

      Benefits of plow pose
      1. Helpful in strengthening the neck muscles.
      2. Helpful in reducing weight and back pain.
      3. Strengthens the backbone.
      4. Improves the blood circulation.

    7. Crow pose
    8. Procedure:
      1. Bend your knees and place your palms on the ground in front of your feet.
      2. Spread your fingers wide.
      3. Line up your knees to your upper arms.
      4. Start bringing your weight onto your hands, lifting your head as you go.
      5. Come up onto your tiptoes, then lift your feet off the ground one after the other.
      6. Keep knees on the arms and use thighs for support.
      7. Avoid sinking into the pose, which can dump weight into the shoulders.
      8. To come out, exhale and bring your feet back to the floor.
      crow pose

      Benefits of Crow stretch
      1. It Tones the abdominal wall.
      2. Strengthens abdominal organs.
      3. It strengthens the arm.
      4. It stretches and strengthens the back.
      5. It Stretches and strengthens inner thighs.
      6. It builds endurance and focus.

    9. Dolphin pose
    10. Procedure:
      1. Begin from downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
      2. Kneel down and bring your elbows and forearms on the ground in front of your knees, shoulder-width apart.
      3. Place your palms on the ground and keep your shoulders over your elbows.
      4. Exhale and lift your hips.
      5. Take the thighs toward the back of the legs to open the hamstrings.
      6. Lift your hips away from the shoulders even more to stretch your spine.
      7. Hold for several breaths before coming back to normal position.
      dolphin pose

      Benefits of Dolphin pose
      1. It is good for upper (cervical) back pain.
      2. Strengthens the core muscles.
      3. It stretches the shoulders, arms, upper back, and legs.
      4. It stretches and strengthens the back.
      5. It builds endurance and focus.

  2. Yoga for middle back pain
    1. Cat Pose
    2. Procedure:
      1. Start from "tabletop" pose.
      2. Round your spine toward the ceiling, keeping your shoulders and knees in position.
      3. Release your head toward the floor, but don't force your chin to your chest.
      cat pose

      Benefits of Cat Pose
      1. Cat yoga pose that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine.
      2. It stretches the back and neck.
      3. Reduces back pain.
      4. Improves and strengthens the abdominal organs.
      5. It also opens the chest, which makes the breath to become slow and deep.
      6. It is very good for thoracic part of spine.

    3. Cow Pose
    4. Procedure:
      1. Start from "tabletop" pose.
      2. Round your spine toward the floor, keeping your shoulders and knees in position.
      3. Inhale and raise your head toward the ceiling.
      4. While exhaling come back to normal position (table top).
      cow pose

      Benefits of Cow Pose
      1. Cow yoga pose warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine.
      2. It stretches the back and neck.
      3. Strengthen the core muscles.
      4. Cures middle back pain.

    5. Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
    6. Procedure:
      1. Stand straight with your legs wide apart.
      2. Extend your arms at your shoulder level.
      3. Inhale breath and bend left side.
      4. Then, bend right side with exhaling and by keeping your body weight equally on both of the feet. Refer below image for more clarity.
      triangle pose

      Benefits of Triangle Pose
      1. Stretches legs, muscles around the knee, ankle joints, hips, groin muscles, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine.
      2. Strengthens the legs, the knees, the ankles, the abdominal, the obliques and the back.
      3. Improve the function of abdominal organs.
      4. Helps to relieve stress and mild depression.
      5. Good for lumbar and thoracic part of spine.

    7. Butterfly Pose
    8. Procedure:
      1. Sit on your yoga mat stretched with your legs in front of you.
      2. Keep your spine straight and bend your legs at the knees, such that the soles of your feet are facing each other.
      3. Then move your thighs up and down, just like the wings of a butterfly.
      butterfly pose

      Benefits of Butterfly Pose
      1. It is good for middle part (thoracic) of spine.
      2. Improves abdominal organs, ovaries, kidneys, and bladder.
      3. Improves general circulation of heart.
      4. Stretches the inner thighs, knees, and groins.
      5. Helps to relieve mild depression.
      6. Helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause.

  3. Yoga for lower back pain (lumbar spine)
    1. Bridge Pose
    2. Procedure:
      1. Lie on the floor on your back and keep your knees bent.
      2. Extend your arms along the floor and keep them flat.
      3. Press your feet and arms firmly onto the floor.
      4. Exhale your breath as you lift your hips up.
      5. Hold this position as long as you can.
      bridge pose

      Benefits of Bridge Pose
      1. Stretches chest, neck, spine.
      2. It strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings.
      3. This pose stretches hips.
      4. Improves circulation of blood.
      5. Reduce back pain.

    3. Cobra pose
    4. Procedure:
      1. To do this Asana lie down on the ground on your stomach.
      2. Keep the hands close to shoulders, raise the chest to such a level that arms gets straight this will be done while stretching the legs.
      3. Take the toes in and hang the head slowly behind.
      4. Slowly come in the initial position repeat this 3-5 times.
      cobra pose

      Benefits of Cobra pose
      1. Stretches the muscles of shoulders, and chest .
      2. Decreases stiffness of lower back.
      3. Strengthens the arms and shoulders.
      4. Increases flexibility.
      5. Invigorates the heart.
      6. It makes the spine flexible and broaden the chest.
      7. Makes the neck, shoulders, chest and head more active.

    5. Downward facing Dog pose
    6. Procedure:
      1. Firstly set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward to your shoulders.
      2. Spread your palms and turn your toes under.
      3. Exhale your breath and make your legs straight (take your knees up).
      4. Keep your back straight.
      Downward facing Dog pose

      Benefits of Downward facing Dog pose
      1. Calms the brain .
      2. Helps to relieve stress and mild depression.
      3. Energizes the body.
      4. Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands.
      5. Strengthens the arms and legs.

    7. Locust Pose
      1. Lie down on the ground on your belly and put the palms on the ground.
      2. Join both the feet. Slowly raise the lower portion of the waist while keeping the legs straight.
      3. Stay in this position for sometime.
      4. Put both your hands beneath the stomach and raise the feet as high as possible.
      5. The front portion of the waist should touch the ground.
      Locust Pose

      Benefits of Locust Pose
      1. Improve flexibility.
      2. Reduces back pain.
      3. Strengthens the core.
      4. Helps to relieve stress and mild depression.
      5. Energizes the body.
      6. Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands.
      7. Strengthens the arms and legs.

    8. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
    9. Procedure:
      1. Begin in downward dog pose.
      2. Bring your right leg in front. Slide your left leg back behind you.
      3. Place your hands on either side of your leg.
      4. Exhale your breath and lay your torso down over your right leg. Hold your position for 4-5 breaths. Refer below image for more clarity.
      Pigeon Pose

      Benefits of Pigeon Pose
      1. Pigeon pose is good for lumbar and sacral spine.
      2. It also treat and prevent the sciatica pain.
      3. Stretches the hip.
      4. Opens gluteus minimus.
      5. Relaxes the piriformis and psoas muscles.

    10. Boat pose
    11. Procedure:
      1. Lie flat on your back on the mat with your arms by your side.
      2. Inhale and slowly raise your both legs and upper body up the ground. Only your sacral spine area (butt) should touch the ground.
      3. Hold the position as long as you can, exhale, and lie down back normally in savasana position.

      Boat pose
      Boat pose

      Benefits of Boat pose
      1. It strengthens hip and spine.
      2. It help to relieve stress.
      3. It is good for digestion and cures various problems like constipation.
      4. Relaxes the mind and help in avoiding the full-blown attack of migraine.


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