Yoga for back pain relief for beginners
Today’s sedentary lifestyle comes with it’s own challenges and one of the major issues that it cause is back pain. The back or your spine is one of the most important part of your body which when not in a healthy condition can cause a lot of other issues, apart from challenges in carrying out your day to day jobs, you may face challenges with the sleep and may feel lethargic and uncomfortable throughout the day.
Now, the very easy, handy and magical fix available with everyone to handle this challenge is Yoga. Yoga asanas will help you a lot with your backaches, you just need to start practicing it to see its magic (the science). Yoga helps you to twist and turn your body in so many ways that you would not in your general day to day life. This turning and twisting with proper breathing helps to release tension and stress from your body that helps it keep healthy.
As per my observation, in case of back pain you may feel some relief after the first session of your practice.
And, like it is important to brush your teeth, wash your face and eat food on daily basis, it is important to practice yoga to keep your body fit and healthy.
So here are some of the yoga asanas (poses) that will help you with the back pain relief and will help you keep your back healthy.
Important: Yoga is about uniting your mind with your body and the key to this union is your breath, when you align your breath with your movements it would help you get the maximum benefit of the posture.
Please keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to not go deep into the posture until your body is ready to do so, this takes time and practice and that is why it is important to listen to your body, respect it’s limitation and slowly work on them. Do not try to compete with your counterparts or anyone else, that is not the goal. The goal is to live a healthy and stress free life.
Yoga for back pain relief and healthy spine
1. Marjariasana or Cat and Cow Pose
A very relaxing pose for relaxing the spine and making it flexible. Helpful in backaches and improving posture. Massages abdominal organs and hence improves digestion.
How to do Marjariasana or Cat and Cow Pose
- Come to table top position. Knees on the mat, knees hip width apart, palms right below the shoulders.
- Take a long inhalation and arch your back aligning it with the inhalation.
- Exhale slowly and hunch your back.
- Do not move your knees, hips or arms, only focus on moving your spine.
- Repeat for 8-10 breaths.
- Exhale and relax in child’s pose.
2. Bhujangasana (भुजंगासना) or the Cobra pose
Bhujangasana (भुजंगासना) or the Cobra pose is one of the gentle backbends that is helpful in relieving backache, it also helps in improving digestion and overall health of the spine.
How to do Bhujangasana (भुजंगासना) or the Cobra pose
- Lie down flat on your stomach with your head on the floor, legs straight and feet together.
- Keep your palms on the floor under your shoulders and your elbows close to the body.
- Relax your body and lower back.
- With inhalation slowly raise your head and start lifting your chest up, keeping your chest open, use your back muscles for the lift and put less pressure on the hands.
- Keep your pubic bone in contact with the floor, the naval can be raised a little bit.
- You can keep your elbows a little bent and once you reach a comfortable height, look diagonally.
- Stay for 5-8 breaths
- To return, exhale and slowly bend the arms, lower the naval, chest, shoulders and forehead to the ground.
Read more about bhujangasana here – Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – Steps, Benefits and Contraindications
3. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge Pose
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge Pose brings your awareness to your back, this pose is quite beneficial for backache and also helps you to rejuvenate and energize your mind.
How to do Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge Pose
- Lie down on your back, you can cushion your shoulders and neck with a folded blanket as well.
- Fold your knees and bring your feet as close to your hips as you can, keep your feet hip width apart from each other.
- Keep your hands on the floor besides your body, palms facing down.
- With inhalation, press your palms, shoulders and feet on the ground and slowly lift your hips up, you can tighten your hips so that you don’t put too much pressure on your back
- Using your thighs, keep your knees close as they may spread out.
- Engage your shoulders to keep your neck neutral.
- You can clasp your hands behind your back, keep your arms straight.
- Stay for 5-8 breaths or longer if you are comfortable.
- To release, simply exhale, unclasp your hands and lower your hips to the ground.
Read more about Setu Bandha Sarvangasana here – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) – Steps, Benefits and Contraindications
4. Dhanurasana (धनुरासन) or the Bow Pose
Dhanurasana (धनुरासन) or the Bow Pose is a backbend that looks like an archer’s bow.
How to do Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
- Lie down flat on your stomach, with legs straight, feet together and stretched out, hands besides your body.
- Bend both the knees and bring your heels closer to your buttocks.
- Take your hands towards you ankles and clasp the ankles.
- Look forward with chin on the ground.
- With inhalation, slowly push your legs away from buttocks, lift your thighs, head and chest together.
- Keep your arms straight and gaze forward.
- Keep breathing, do not hold your breath.
- Hold for 8-10 natural breaths.
- Exhale while coming out of the pose.
Read more about Dhanurasana here – Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) – Steps, Benefits and Contraindications
5. Ustrasana or the Camel Pose
Ustrasana or the Camel Pose is an intermediate level posture, this pose helps in strengthening the back, uplifts mood, improves digestion. Ustrasana also opens up your heart chakra.
How to do Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Sit comfortably in Vajrasana
- Slowly stand on your knees, in case your knees hurt, you can fold your yoga mat or place a thin layer of blanket under your knees.
- Keep your arms on the sides.
- Keep your knees and feet together or separated if it is more comfortable (not wider than your hips).
- Keep your feet stretched outwards.
- With inhalation slowly lean backward and while pushing your pelvic region forward keep your right hand on your right heel and left hand on your left heel. (You can keep a bolster close the heals on the legs horizontally, if you can reach them)
- Keep pushing your hips forward and your thighs vertical.
- Bend your spine, neck and head backwards as far as it is comfortable.
- The arms should support your shoulders and distribute your weight evenly between knees, legs, feet and back.
- Remain in this position for 5 – 8 natural breaths. You can increase the duration to 3 minutes with practice.
- To come out of the posture, exhale slowly and release your arms one at a time and come back to kneeling position.
- You can relax in Vajrasana or Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Read more about Ustrasana here – Ustrasana (Camel Pose) – Steps, Benefits and Contraindications
I hope you will practice these yoga asanas for back pain relief, I would be adding more poses to the list, by the time please try these poses and let me know your feedback in the comment section. 🙂
Stay healthy, stay safe.