The lower back or lumbar region can be very sensitive for most of us.
Yoga can offer a great relief for the pain, as well as provide great preventative care for the future.
A consistent practice and regular movement will help you loosen up a stiff and uncomfortable lower back area.
To get you started, here are five yoga poses to poses to ease lower back pain and help relieve that dull ache.
A. Supine Twist (Jatha Parivartanasana)
Lay on your back, bring your arms to a T-shape on the floor.
Bring your knees in table top position and slowly lower both knees to the left, keeping your neck neutral or turning it to the right.
Use your left hand to push the knees to the ground with each exhale, keeping the right shoulder on the ground.
Take deep breaths IN and OUT. Stay here for 1-4 minutes and repeat on the other side.
B. Sphinx Pose
When we sit a lot, the lower back tends to flatten, which can cause pain. The sphinx is a great pose for toning the spine and stimulating the sacral-lumbar arch. It promotes the natural curvature of the lower spine.
Lay on the belly, feet hip-width apart, and bring the elbows under the shoulders. If there is too much pressure on the lower back, you can bring your elbows slightly forward.
If you want a deeper bend, place a block under the elbows.
Hold the pose for 1-3 minutes, keep breathing and come out by first lowering your upper body on the floor. Then come to a child pose for few breaths.
C. Eye of the Needle pose
Sometimes the back pain comes as a result of tight hips. When the hips and hamstrings are open, it alleviates the lower back pain since the body has a better and fuller range of motion.
This pose stretches the hips, outer thighs, lower back and spine. It also stretches out the sciatic nerve by loosening the piriformis muscle which sits on the sciatic nerve.
Lay on your back, place your right ankle/heel on the left knee, and keep the foot flexed throughout the pose.
Take your right arm in between the space of the legs, and the left arm outside the left thigh.
Interlace the fingers either behind your left knee, or on top of the shin.
Keep the back and shoulders relaxed.
Stay for 1-3 minutes and keep breathing then change sides.
D. Cat and Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
This simple move stretches out the entire spine and hips.
Come into your table top position (on your hands and knees).
Inhale and lift your chest and tailbone towards the ceiling, arching your spine (cow pose).
Exhale and round the spine pressing through the shoulder blades, dropping your head and tucking your tailbone in (cat pose).
Continue for 6-8 slow rounds with the rhythm of your breath.
E. Downward Facing Dog (AdhoMukhSvanasana)
This is a great pose for lengthening and decompressing the entire spine. It stretches the hamstrings as well.
From your table top position, tuck your toes and lift your hips up. Start with knees bent, back straight and long, tailbone towards the ceiling.
Slowly straighten and stretch one leg at a time, bringing the heel closer to the ground.
Draw the shoulder blades towards the spin, rotate your upper arms outwards.
Your lower back supports the whole torso, so taking care of it is very important. Sitting less, moving more, stretching and strengthening the back muscles goes a long way.
However, if you are having persistent pain, its always good to check it with the doctor to make sure nothing more serious is going on.
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