Yoga is a great way to take care of your back and spinal health. Practicing simple yoga poses and holding them for a short period of time can ensure you have a healthy back.
Anyone who has suffered from back pain knows how debilitating it can be. Be it simple back soreness or more severe forms of back pain which can leave you reaching for the medicine cabinet, yoga can offer some relief and help strengthen your back muscles.
Yoga poses can not only offer relief from existing pain but also prevent conditions from worsening and support the bones and muscles through the aging process. Let’s look at some yoga poses that can take care of your back and spine.
The happy baby pose sounds a bit silly, but it’s fantastic for posture, especially the lower back. Lean on your back, raise your legs with knees bent towards the sky, reach for your heels and grab them. Maintain this position. You should almost feel as if you’re creating an invisible bubble around yourself, with the feet forming the top of this “bubble.” If you are able to hold the posture with ease you can also rock gently to and fro or sideways holding your big toes.
Lie on your stomach with your legs stretching out from your body. Extend your body, lifting up your chest, neck, and arms. Your legs should be strong and your back muscles will do most of the work. Reaching behind your back, link your fingers together and straighten your arms like your legs. Breathe shallow through this pose, keeping your chest open and lifted and gazing ahead of you.
(Supported) Bridge Pose
The bridge pose is a wonderful one to gently work into more difficult poses, and for the beginner or anyone who needs extra help, it can be easily modified to give you extra support. Start on your back with arms relaxed by your side. Bending your knees, plant your feet on the floor closer to your body. On an exhale, press up your hips and flatten your whole body so that you are supported only by your feet and shoulders. If this is too difficult to hold, simply place a yoga block under your back for more support. Hold for a few deep breaths then lower slowly to the floor.
Seated Spinal Twist
For the seated spinal twist, start by sitting on the floor and extending out your legs. If you have trouble with getting your back straight, sit on a yoga bolster, or a folded blanket. Pull in your left foot, lift it, and cross it over to the outer part of your still extended right leg. Pull it in as close as possible to the hip of the right leg.
Wrap the right arm around the now bend the left knee and hug the leg into the body as close as possible. Hold the pose for 5 – 10 deep breaths or for as long as it is comfortable. Repeat with the right leg.
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