How To Use Yoga For Effective Lower Back Pain Relief
Top Two Yoga Poses To Relieve Lower Back Pain
Yoga. It’s one of the greatest gifts India has given to mankind. The practice enhances our lives in so many ways. It even has the power to heal us on all levels of our being—mind, body and spirit.
Yoga is all about spinal health. In fact, the ancients say you’re only as young as your spine is flexible. Lower back pain can be a sign of spinal deterioration and results in a decrease in flexibility. Yoga can ease lower back pain and increase mobility in the lumbar region of the spine.
We want to practice yoga postures that elongate the spine and alleviate lower back pain. If at all possible, we want to prevent the pain from ever happening in the first place! With a regular yoga practice, we can do just that. In fact, with patience and time, a regular yoga practice can take the place of pharmaceutical pain medications because it enhances your body’s innate capacity to heal itself. Let’s take a look at the top 2 poses for lower back pain:
Cat/Cow pose is a great pose for beginners. It’s also an effective pose to prevent and eliminate lumbar pain. In cat/cow pose we work to increase spinal flexibility by elongating and stretching the spin.
How to do Cat/Cow Pose
Come to all fours (also known as tabletop position). Make sure your wrists are directly beneath your shoulders. Your knees should be right below your hips. On a long, deep inhale, arch your spine. This is cow pose. On a long, deep exhale, round your spine. This is cat pose. Alternate between cat and cow, inhaling as you arch the back and exhaling as you round the back. As you do this, imagine that your healing breath is clearing out blocked energy in the lower back. Breathe into the lower back region and allow fresh prana (life force energy) to circulate throughout. Do this pose for 5-10 rounds every day.
Supine Spinal Twist
This is an effective pose for lower back pain because it releases tension from the neck all the way down through the spine and to the lower back. It also works out kinks and tight places in the lumbar region, which eases lower back pain and stretches the entire area.
How to do Supine Spinal Twist
Lie on your back and bring your knees directly above your hips. Stretch out your arms into a T-shape on the floor with your palms facing down. Inhale to go nowhere and exhale to slowly lower the knees to your right, allowing them to rest on the floor. You can carefully turn your neck in the opposite direction to stretch the neck and spine even further. Breathe here for 3 long, deep breaths.
On an inhale, using your core muscles, raise the knees back up to your beginning position and exhale as you lower both knees to the other side. Again, turn your head to gaze in the opposite direction if that feels good. Breathe here for 3 deep breaths. Alternate directions as many times as you wish. Again, visualize your breath moving into the lower back area—cleansing and clearing out all pain and discomfort. (These same positions can be done with one leg straightened and one leg bent, instead of both legs bent, depending on your level of comfort and flexibility).
It’s this marriage of movement and deep breathing that makes yoga different from mere stretching. These yoga poses are fun, effective, and accessible to anybody and any body. May you enjoy the practice and trust in its healing nature. Your body and mind will be oh-so-grateful when you do!
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