3 Yoga Poses for Low Back Pain
A desk job puts an extraordinary amount of stress on the lower back, often resulting in lower back pain, the #1 cause of disability worldwide (Global Burden of Disease, 2010).
However, simple changes in our daily lives can have a profound preventive effect on LBP. For example, a 2014 Israeli study showed that lack of sleep is a common precursor for lower back pain, leading the research team to believe that our backs would benefit from simply getting more rest.
Our backs don’t just need rest, though. They also need conscientious exercises – movements to stretch and strengthen soft tissue while improving circulation and detoxification. Here are three yoga poses to reduce back pain caused by our sedentary lifestyle, recommended by veteran yoga teacher Jean Koerner in Women’s Health.
Lie down on a yoga mat, looking up at the ceiling. Your knees should be bent, and the bottoms of your feet should be fully on the ground, in line with your hips, 4 to 6 inches from your buttocks. You arms should be comfortably on the ground, in line with your shoulders, with the backs of your hands on the ground. Now raise your pelvis and move it 4 inches to your right, creating an imbalance.
Then take a breath and pull the knees to the chest. Next, bring them down to your left, in line with your hips.
Twist your neck toward the right. Inhale and exhale eight times, and then come back to your original position. Switch to the right side.
Eye of the needle
Lie down facing the ceiling, and pull your knees up to form right angles above your pelvis. Rest the left ankle on the right thigh, near your knee. Now put the left arm into the “eye of the needle,” the area between your pelvis and legs; and bring the right arm the other way so that the hands can clasp behind the right thigh, close to the knee. Increase the bend in your knee, bringing the right thigh up to the chest. Meanwhile, push the left thigh away from your body. Inhale and exhale eight times. Switch sides.
Spinal lift pose
Lie down facing the ceiling with your knees bent and feet fully against the ground, with the backs of your hands up. Raise the pelvis and abdomen from the ground. Move the hands inward, beneath the pelvis. Clasp them. Tilt your head back slightly. Inhale and exhale eight times. Bring yourself down in a smooth, gradual roll from the neck to the buttocks. Switch to the opposite side after a quick recovery.
Easy does it
Be careful with these exercises, especially if you are already in pain. Respecting your body leads to a quick recovery from a yoga pose, just as it leads to a quick recovery from chronic pain.
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