10 yoga poses for back pain that you should be doing

Back Pain or Back Aches are far too common in this gen. Most of us are stuck working from a desk, sitting on hard/cushioned chairs for almost the whole day, while the remaining of them are stuck standing on their feet for the better half.

Herein lies the main cause for backaches – Improper Back Posture. All those old lady tales of “Stand up straight” is not just a tale. It is not only a healthy posture but also gives an image of confidence in first impressions.

Of Course, there are numerous over the counter pills or creams you could use to alleviate that back pain. But do you know what could be a healthier and more permanent solution?

Yoga.

Yoga, which originated from India, is a set of stretches or exercises that helps one benefit physically, mentally, and spiritually. There are a vast number of researches that prove the power of this ancient practice in all facets of life. It is practiced widely by health enthusiasts.

In today’s blog, we will be discussing 10 yoga poses for back pain that you should be doing.

1. Cat Cow

The Cat Cow is a combination of two poses. The Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) and The Cow Pose (Bitilasana), as the name suggests.

Practised together, these poses help stretch your body, loosening your back muscles and relieving it from ache.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Erector Spinae
  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Triceps
  • Gluteus Maximus

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start off in an all-fours position, with your body weight balanced evenly. Your hands should be aligned to your shoulders and your back should be parallel to the ground.
  2. Facing upwards, Inhale and move into the cow pose by letting your stomach drop to the mat and shoulders rolled back.
  3. On Exhale, Arch your back away fom the mat, and tuck your chin into your chest.
  4. Repeat the steps, controlling every movement smoothly, for 10 counts.

Other Health Benefits

The Cat Cow pose is not only perfect for yoga pose for back ache, but also stretches the torso and neck, giving you relief from any strain present in that area. It also stimulate the abdominal organs.

The combination of the cat and cow pose also improves your breathing, instantly calming your mind.

It also helps in developing your posture and improves balance in your body. If practiced regularly, it can help prevent backaches.

2. Sphinx Pose

The Sphinx Pose also known as the Salamba Bhujangasana is the perfect pose to strengthen your vertebral column and relieve stress.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Erector Spinae
  • Gluteal Muscles
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus Dorsi

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start on by lying on your stomach, forearms tucked flat on the mat, chin on the floor and legs tucked together.
  2. Inhale and lift your head and chest in a gracious arch, keeping the neck in line with your spine. Pressing your lower half to the ground, lift your back by pushing your chest out.
  3. Make sure your elbows are close to your sides and using them as leverage, lift yourself higher. You may also use a pillow to help support you in this position.
  4. Hold this position for an 8 counts
  5. On Exhale, lower your chest and lie flat on the mat.
  6. Repeat steps for 5 counts.

Other Health Benefits

The Sphinx Pose helps strengthen and lengthen your spine. It also stretches your chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen regions. It helps stimulate your breathing, hence calms your mind, relieving any stress.

Read our article on 10 TIPS ON HOW TO MANAGE DEPRESSION to make sure that you stay mentally healthy as well.

For those with bulging or herniated discs, this pose is therapeutic.

3. Bridge Pose

The Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is a preparation pose that helps stretch your back, among others, and lowers your stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

As the name suggests, while in this pose, your body is in a Bridge posture. This is usually performed as a preparation poses for deep backbends or a rest pose.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Abdominal muscles
  • Gluteal Muscles
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Lie flat on your back, with your feet flat on the ground and knees facing upward to start off.
  2. Place your arms on your sides, and make sure your feet are in touching distance from your fingers.
  3. On Inhale, press your weight on your feet, and lift your hips as high as you can lift. Avoid lifting your neck or applying pressure on your upper body.
  4. Balance your weight on your feet and shoulders.
  5. Hold this position for a few counts
  6. On Exhale, lower yourself to the mat.
  7. Repeat steps as required

Other Health Benefits

The Bridge Pose helps in stretching your spine, neck, thighs, and hip flexors. It also helps open your chest, heart, and shoulders, which improve your breathing and provide relief from stress, headaches, or mild depression.

This asana is also known to be therapeutic to those with high blood pressure and asthma.  

4. Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose also known as the Bhujangasana is a very common and widely practiced asana. This reclining back-bending asana is also practiced in modern yoga as an exercise. If you have performed the infinitely famous Surya Namaskara, you have most probably performed this asana.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Hamstrings
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Serratus Anterior

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start off with lying flat on your stomach, with your hands aligned with your shoulders and palms facing forward.
  2. Pressing your palms into the mat, controlling every movement, lift your head, chest, and shoulders, as high as you can without pushing your elbows outward and moving your lower body. Notice a slight bend in your elbows, which is okay.
  3. Roll your shoulders backward, dropping your head backward to deepen the pose
  4. On exhale, retreat slowly to the first position
  5. Repeat steps for 8 counts.

Other Health Benefits

The Cobra Pose helps in increasing the mobility of the spinal cord. It also helps in strengthening the core muscles that help support the spinal region. Like the others, It is also a perfect yoga pose for backaches. Practicing it regularly can help relieve you from backaches or back pains.

Cobra pose is a great practice to improve your fertility. Read our article on TOP 10 YOGA POSES TO BOOST SPERM COUNT IN MEN.

5. Two Knee Spinal Twist

Jathara parivartanasana also known as the Two Knee Spinal Twist is a restorative pose that helps improve mobility of the spine and tones your vertebral column.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Lower abdominal muscles
  • Core muscles
  • Hamstrings
  • Abductors
  • Hip Flexors

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start off by lying flat on the mat. Stretch your legs straight, toes pointing upwards. Stretch your arms away from your body. The position you are in should be similar to that of the alphabet T.
  2. Bending your right knee, lift your hips upwards, and use this as leverage to swivel yourself to the left.
  3. Whilst keeping your upper body in place, twist your lower half by bending your legs and edging them closer to your chest
  4. Hold this position for 4-5 counts
  5. Gently, retrace your steps to the starting position.
  6. Hold a neutral position for 2-3 counts.
  7. Repeat the second step by bending your left knee and swiveling to the right.
  8. Repeat steps as required.

Other Health Benefits

The Spinal Twist helps improve the movement in the spinal and vertebral column. Practicing it regularly can help alleviate any stiffness, soreness, or aches present in the lower back region.

The Spinal Twist tones the internal organs, and improves digestion. It also stimulates the svadisthana chakra also called the sacral chakra that is associated with flow, flexibility, and fun.

6. Child’s Pose

The Child’s Pose also known as the Balasana that is a restful pose usually practised between challenging asanas. It is a neutral pose that helps relieve soreness of your back and neck muscles.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Lower abdominal muscles
  • Core muscles
  • Latissimus Dorsi

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start off by kneeling on the mat on your knees with your arms stretched out in front of you, palms resting flat on the mat.
  2. Bending forward, rest your stomach on your thighs and try touching the mat with your forehead. Use may use a pillow or a block to aid you in this step.
  3. Move your arms forward, expanding your core muscles. Make sure you don’t bend your neck.
  4. Stay in this position for 4-5 counts, concentrating on your breathing pattern.
  5. Repeat steps for as required.

Other Health Benefits:

The Child’s pose is a gentle stretch that helps relieve soreness in the back, hips, thighs, and ankles. For those struggling with a stiff back and hip muscles, this pose may seem a little too much work, but practicing it can help relieve that tension.

It also promotes flexibility and helps improve circulation in your core muscles and joints.

7. Locust Pose

Locust Pose or Salabhasana is a restorative pose that is very effective in strengthening your torso. It is one of the highly recommended poses for backaches.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Lower abdominal muscles
  • Core muscles
  • Hamstrings
  • Forearms
  • Calves
  • Glutes
  • Abductors

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start off by lying flat on your belly on the mat, with your legs stretched out straight. Rest your arms by your sides, palms facing upwards, and chin resting on the mat.
  2. Stretch your legs and head as far as they can go, lengthen yourself.
  3. Gently lift your head, shoulders, and legs off the ground. Make sure your legs are aligned straight and placed together. Notice you feel elongated as you lift yourself higher. 
  4. Hold the above position for 4-5 counts. Avoid slouching your back or bending your knees.
  5. Lower yourself to the starting position.
  6. Repeat steps as required. 

Other Health Benefits

The Locust Pose strengthens your core muscles and mainly, you back. It is one of the best yoga poses for backaches, as it is the safest. Locust Pose is prescribed as physical therapy to those often struggling with lower back pain and mild sciatica.

It also lengthens your spine and opens your chest, calming your stress levels greatly.The pressure applied on your lower half also helps stimulate these organs, improving digestion.

8. Downward Facing Dog

Downward-facing Dog or widely known as the Adho Mukha Svanasana offers the ultimate rejuvenating stretch to help relieve back stiffness. It is also one of the asanas in Surya Namaskara.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Lower abdominal muscles
  • Core muscles
  • Forearms
  • Glutes
  • Abductors

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start off by resting your body on all fours, with your feet placed 2ft apart. Make sure your legs and arms are not bent. Your knees should be placed right under your hips and hands can be placed slightly forward of your shoulders.
  2. On Inhale, lift your body off the floor, lengthening your tailbone and arching your back into a beautiful stretch with your head facing your knees.
  3. Notice your body shaped like a mountain.
  4. Repeat steps as required.

Other Health Benefits

The Downward dog pose is a transitional pose used between challenging asanas. It is a full-body stretch that warms and strengthens your back, core, legs, and arms.

The Downward dog pose also increases blood circulation throughout your body. It opens your chest which helps calm your stress and anxiety levels.

9. Extended Triangle

The Extended Traingle or Utthita Trikonasana is a quintessential standing pose in yoga.This yoga pose for back pain is highly recommended to those with anxiety, infertility, neck pain, and sciatica.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Upper and Lower abdominal muscles
  • Core muscles
  • Forearms
  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start off by standing in Tadasana or Mountain Pose, with your feet 3 or 4 ft wide apart from each other, knees locked and legs straight. 
  2. Turn your right foot to a 90-degree angle, away from your body; Notice your left foot to be at a 45-degree angle. The rotation of your right leg should begin at your hip, and not your ankle.
  3. On Inhale, extend your arms, palms facing downwards, so they are parallel to the mat.
  4. Bending from the hip, extend your torso to the right over your right leg, and try touching the mat with your left hand. Extend your right hand towards the ceiling and make sure it is aligned with your body. Your head should be facing your left hand and your breathing should be normal.
  5. Hold this pose for 4-5 counts, breathing deep.
  6. Retrace your steps to the starting position and repeat the asana with your left foot.
  7. Repeat position as required.

Other Health benefits

The Extended Triangle is a therapeutic pose that provides many mental and physical health benefits. It strengthens your core and legs.

If practised consistently, it can alleviate back and neck pain. It stimulates function of lower abdominal organs. It also helps relieve stress and anxiety..

10. Pigeon Pose

The Pigeon Pose is a variation of the advanced pose, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One legged King Pigeon Pose). It is a very effective hip opener routine that also helps benefit your lower back.

Muscles that are worked on in this pose are:

  • Upper and Lower abdominal muscles
  • Core muscles
  • Forearms
  • Hip Flexors and Rotators

STEPS TO DO IT

  1. Start off on all fours, with your knees placed directly under your hips and hands slightly ahead of your shoulders.
  2. Sliding your right knee forward, towards your right wrist, bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. Notice your left knee is slightly bent and touching the mat, with your left toes curling into the mat.
  3. Slide your left leg backward, making sure your leg is straight. While at this position, notice your right ankle is facing your left thigh and your left foot is flat with your left sole facing upwards.
  4. Place your arms by your sides, and using them as leverage, extend your body, facing straight ahead.
  5. Hold this position for 4-5 counts, breathing deep.
  6. Retrace your steps to the starting position and repeat as required.

Other Health Benefits

The Pigeon Pose is a very effective yoga pose for back pain. It increases the mobility of your lower back and alleviates any tension present in that area.

It also increases the range of motion of femur in your hip socket. Like other asanas, it also helps you calm your stress levels.

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