Stories and statistics about poor health arising from or connected to back issues abound in modern society. Indeed, it has been suggested that as many as 80% of Americans will experience back problems at some point in their lives. [http://acatoday.org]
For years, you had two choices: put up with the pain, or opt for expensive, invasive surgery. Now, however, more and more people are turning to yoga for back pain. The ancient art of yoga is a form of palliative that is still effective for our musculature and health problems today. In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the most effective yoga poses for back pain.
The variety of yoga exercises for back pain might seem overwhelming or overly expansive but with a cursory level of study they are easily mastered. Many of the poses best suited to alleviating back pain have some kind of animal motif common in their names.
For the cat pose, you simply need to adopt a ‘tabletop’ position on your massage mat, with your knees aligned below your waist and your arms straight and perpendicular to the floor. As you’re breathing out, isolate your spine by rounding it towards the ceiling, keeping the rest of your body in its starting position. Release your previously neutral head gently toward the floor. Breathe back in and return to your starting position. This pose is great at making the spine more flexible and is particularly effective for those who suffer from lower back pain or sciatica.
Often paired with the cat pose, the cow pose starts in exactly the same position, but involves lifting the chest towards the ceiling while simultaneously letting the stomach drop. Repetition is key – you need to repeat 10-20 times to start to feel a difference.
The cat and cow poses are relatively simple and are good for beginners to yoga. More complex yoga exercises for back pain include the camel pose, which requires some measure of familiarity with yogic practice but is widely known for its soothing effect for those suffering from back pain; the pigeon pose, which works on the hips; and the fish pose, notable for treating upper back pain.