No matter how old you are, or how much pain you’re in, yoga is something that is almost guaranteed to benefit you.
Yoga has actually been around for several thousand years and it’s something that has been helping people on a daily basis ever since.
For some people, it is the entirety of their exercise regime. Because it’s known for its calming effects, people often dismiss yoga as something that qualifies as exercise.
They really shouldn’t do, it’s much more effective than you might think. It works for many different muscles, it gets your heart rate up and you also need very little, if any, equipment.
And it is great for dealing with chronic pain. If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from lower back pain, yoga really can provide an answer.
Let’s have a look at five yoga poses for lower back pain.
1. Knee Raise
We’ll start off with a relatively easy one. Well actually, all of the ones on this list are going to be pretty easy but this is a good place to start and doesn’t look like one that will scare anyone off!
There’s a couple of different styles of yoga, and they’re all good for different things, but this is one of those neutral poses that you’ll find in most of the styles.
To achieve this pose, lie flat on your back on your yoga mat. No matter what the rest of the pose entails, make sure that your shoulders stay flat on the mat.
Taking deep breaths, raise your knee as far up towards your chest as you can and grab it with both hands.
Keep the other leg as straight as possible with your toes pointed towards the ceiling. Push down towards your chest with your knee and pull with your hands.
Hold for a few breaths and then try with the other leg. If you’re not used to yoga you might not be able to get too close to your chest on your first time, but with practice you’ll get better.
Don’t worry too much about that right now, just make sure you keep your shoulders flat to get the benefit for your lower back.
2. Two Knee Twist
As you can see, this is another pose that you can do from the same position as the knee raise. Although we would recommend doing it on your yoga mat as opposed to a bed.
Simple enough pose either way, but it will be somewhat more difficult than the single knee raise, especially if your back pain is particularly bad.
Don’t worry if you can’t nail it straight away though. The goal with most of these poses is to stretch and rotate these tight muscles to give them a chance to loosen up.
For this one, you again must make sure that your shoulders stay absolutely flat. Splay your arms out this time like the shape of a capital ‘T’.
Turn both of your knees out to one side, as far as they can go and then hold them for a minute before turning to the other side.
Do this a couple of times each. If you can’t get one knee resting on the floor then holding for a full minute will be difficult, but do it for as long as you can.
Eventually you’ll be flexible enough to go the full distance.
3. Seated Twist
Now this one might be even tougher still, but it will work wonders on your back. Giving your spine a gentle twist sounds painful but it’s actually very beneficial.
It hydrates your vertebrae, which is very important and it will also activate both your core muscles and your lower back muscles.
These muscles don’t often get activated but twisting your body in both directions like this gives them a good stretch.
Start in a sitting position with both legs straight out in front of you and then bend your right leg at the knee and plant your right foot outside your left knee.
You can curl up your left leg or keep it straight, whichever is more comfortable for you. Place the fingertips of your right hand on your right hip and lengthen your spine.
Twist your torso to the right, then extend your left hand on the outside of your right leg and hold your right foot.
Hold this position for a couple of breaths and then do the same on the opposite side.
4. Cat Pose
Things will get a little bit less strenuous with these last two. There are a lot of other poses that are good for your back but they’re not great for relative beginners.
This one is nice and simple though, and while it’s not particularly difficult, it will stretch and lengthen all of the muscles that hold your spine tall.
These are muscles that we put to use all day and are the ones that tend to be under chronic stress so you’ll feel the difference after this pose.
Start in tabletop position, which basically just means on your hands and knees. Make sure your shoulders are above your hands and your hips above your knees.
Round out your back, pushing into the floor and stretching your shoulder blades apart. Pull your navel in as far as you can and look towards your stomach.
Hold this for a few breaths and then relax your spine. Do this a few more times, always making sure to breathe along the way.
5. Sphinx Pose
Another simple enough pose that’s very effective. This is great for putting the body into spinal extension and allowing the muscles along the spine to activate.
Lie flat on your stomach with your feet hip distance apart. Put your elbows directly below your shoulders and prop yourself up on your forearms.
Stretch your shoulders far apart, make a concentrated effort to push them as far away from the sides of your head as possible.
Push your chest forward and try to draw the tips of your shoulder blades towards one another. Then imagine stretching the top of your head up to the ceiling.
It’s not a difficult pose to hold, so you should hold it for about a minute before relaxing and then repeat a couple of times.
It’s a good pose to finish your routine with, before corpse pose of course, because it won’t put you under much more strain and will help you cool down a little bit.
As I’ve probably said countless times already, these are among some of the least taxing yoga poses out there, but even still, they can help you with your back pain.
If you do these yoga poses for lower back pain for a few weeks you should start to feel the tension slowly slip away. Then you can maintain these exercises consistently to ensure the pain stays away.
After that, the sky’s the limit for you with yoga! You can progress through it and master even more difficult poses over time.
Connect with WatchFit expert Ina Gutowska