Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain

Updated on 12. May. 2020

Many of us know the feeling after a long day of work either sitting in an office or putting in manual labor. You feel stiff, rusty, and tense. No wonder that our bodies feel this way. Repetitive movements or working in the same position all day has more impact on your body than you might think. Yoga has gained more and more popularity as it is said not only to balance our body and soul but to relieve pain and tensions many of us experience.

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Everyone who has attended a yoga class before knows the relief and positive energy that flows through the body after a session. Each yoga pose has a purpose that aims to align body and soul. It is no surprise, then, that yoga studios gain more and more customers, especially for those with a stressful job that are seeking relief, yoga has emerged as the go-to remedy.

The best part is that every one of us who is feeling stiff and tense can find relief by simply following the instructions for the yoga poses below. To relieve back pain, you don't have to go to a yoga studio. You can simply do it at home or during your lunch break for extra energy and flexibility, which is one of the biggest advantages of yoga. You can do it wherever and whenever you want to. These yoga poses are made for beginners and advanced yogis alike who want to feel a little relief in their daily lives. Yoga is all about yourself, the flow of body, and the flow of soul. It can help relieve back pain and will, when done regularly, affect your body positively by relaxation and improved mobility. Yoga has a centuries-old history and is believed to open the Nadis (energy channels) and chakras (psychic centers).1

Here are some yoga poses that can be done almost everywhere.

The only thing you need is a towel or yoga mat as a base.

Two-Knee Twist
Lie on your back, inhale, and bend your knees into your chest. With your hands, pull your knees closer to your chest. As you exhale lower your knees to the ground on the right and spread your arms. Keep both shoulders evenly on the ground. If your left shoulder lifts, lower your knees further away from the right arm. Hold for 1-2 minutes and repeat to the left.2 Both sides can be repeated as much as desired.
This yoga pose will release the lower back and increase mobility.

Bridge Pose
Lying on your back, bend both knees and place feet flat on the floor (hip-width apart). Put your arms alongside the body with palms facing down. Fingertips should be lightly touching the heels.
Press feet into the floor, inhale and lift the hips up, rolling the spine off the floor. Lightly squeeze the knees together to keep the knees hip-width apart.
Press down into the arms and shoulders to lift the chest up. Engage the legs and buttocks to lift the hips higher.
Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths. To release exhale and slowly roll the spine back to the floor.3
Repeat if desired.

Cat and Cow Pose
On hands and knees, align hands underneath shoulders and knees under hips. Think of the spine as a straight line functioning as a connection between shoulders and hips.
Inhale (cow pose), curl toes under and tilt your pelvis to create a hollow back. Let the movement flow as a wave motion from tailbone to the spine to the neck.
The belly drops down but keep abdominal muscles hugging the spine by drawing the navel in. Gaze towards the ceiling without cranking the neck.
Exhale (cat pose) and release tops of feet to the floor. In a wave motion, tip pelvis forward and tuck tailbone in. The spine should naturally round.
Draw navel towards spine and drop head, taking gaze to the navel.
Adapt the movement to breath, doing the cow pose when inhaling and cat pose when exhaling. Repeat for 5-6 breaths, moving the whole spine and experience the relieving feeling in the back.4

Sphinx Pose
Lie on your stomach with toes flat against the floor. Forehead resting on the ground. Keep legs close together. Stretch hands next to you with palms facing downward. Hands should be at shoulder level, while fingertips align with shoulders. Arms should touch the ground.
Inhale, slowly lift head and chest, while keeping navel on the floor. Pull torso back and off the floor. Try to have as little weight as possible on your hands and work throughout your back muscles. Push toes into the floor to gain strength and stability.
Keep your awareness with the feeling and breath as you move one vertebra at a time.
Exhale, gently release the pose by bringing down chest and head to the floor. Enjoy the stretched feeling in the body.5
Repeat if desired.

If you want to know more about the effects of stress on our health, check out this article about all the impacts and triggers. You can also add a little meditation to your day, to calm and focus your mind.

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