Having an achy back that just won't go away? Yoga could be the answer to your trouble!
Back problems are a common reason to visit the doctor and often the only solution given are pain relief medications which don't target the problem, but simply cover it up. Yoga is becoming increasingly recognised by health specialists as a treatment and even preventative for many common health problems from high blood pressure to psychiatric disorders. Whilst yoga may not be advisable for severe back issues, it can work wonders on your everyday sore back and chronic pains and it's always good to check with your physician before starting a new fitness regime.
We've put together a list of our 4 favourite yoga poses that we think are the bees knees when it comes to stopping those achy backs.
1 Downward Facing Dog
This pose mimics what nature does so well. You will find many animals stretching in the downward dog position from dogs (of course) to cats to rabbits; even they instinctually know that a yoga pose a day keeps the doctor away.
Give it a go:
Unroll your milochie yoga mat and start by placing your hands at either side of the mat under your shoulders. Pushing back, keep your legs straight lifting your tailbone up towards the ceiling. Keep your back as straight as possible and stretch from the palms of your hands. If you're feeling a little daring, try to move the heels of your feet to the floor giving a more intense hamstring stretch. Aim to hold this pose for 5-10 deeps breaths and repeat as needed.
This pose engages your back whilst stretching your abdominal muscles and opening your chest.
Give it a go:
Start by lying on the ground, place your hands flat either side of your chest and lift your torso up with your back using your hands as support. Keep your legs straight out behind you keeping the tops of your feet flat on the ground. You can use a bolster to help support your hips to avoid working into your lumbar. Aim to hold this pose for 5-10 deeps breaths and repeat as needed.
3 Wall Plank
The Wall Plank pose helps to relieve pressure off the spine giving it a chance to relax whilst providing the hamstrings and back muscles a good stretch.
Give it a go:
Stand facing towards a wall, far out enough for your torso and hands to fully stretch out in front of you. Bend forward keeping your back and arms straight and extended and place the palms of your hands flat against the wall. Keep your head facing downward so that the neck is in line with your back and spine. Stretch back as much as possible pushing from the wall, but maintaining an 'L' shape. Try to hold this pose for a couple of minutes and bend your knees a little of you feel pain in your lower back.
4 Child's Pose
Child's Pose helps to elongate the back giving it a deep stretch along the spine and is particularly great for lower back pain sufferers. Along with being a deep stretch, it also helps against stress and can therefore be and excellent pre-bedtime pose.
Give it a go:
Start by sitting on your heels with your knees bent. Keep your legs shoulder width apart and bend forward sitting on your heels. Extend your arms and chest forward and try to lengthen by crawling your hands forward. For an even deeper stretch press into your heels. Aim to hold this pose for 5-10 breaths and repeat as needed.
These yoga poses help to relieve back pain as well as increase your flexibility. Done regularly and properly you will notice a difference in your back as it becomes stronger and you become more aware of which positions can create the onset of back pain, therefore allowing you to prevent it.
We advise to try these poses initially with the guidance of a licensed yoga instructor to prevent any injuries.
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