While yoga is a great way to reduce stress and built-up tension, it is also an excellent way to reduce back pain. When done regularly and consistently, yoga can be a great way to manage a number of spinal issues, such as sciatica, herniated discs and an aging spine – just to name a few. Here’s a simple yoga flow, suitable for beginners and the advanced yogi alike, that can be done before bed or when you wake up in the morning to mediate lower back pain.
Child’s Pose: Begin the flow with your knees together and the chest and stomach folding onto the top of the thighs. Outstretch the arms or let them lay by your side. Lay in this position for 1 to 3 minutes.
Cat & Cow: Come into a tabletop position with the hips above the knees and the shoulders above the wrists. Inhale, arching the back and tucking the chin into the chest. Exhale, rounding the spine in the opposite direction and looking up toward the sky. Repeat.
Cobra Pose: Lay on your stomach with the hands next to the shoulders. Use the arms to press upward while pressing the top of the feet and the hips into the ground. Look up toward the sky rolling the shoulders back.
Downward Facing Dog: Come back into tabletop position. Lift the knees bringing the hips up and back. Press into the hands evenly and release tension from the neck. Actively press heels toward the mat – it’s okay if they don’t touch. Try and embody a downward facing V shape.
Knees to Chest: Come to lay on your back, bringing your knees to your chest. Hug your knees inward and rock back and forth as it feels good in your body.
Supine Twist: Outstretch your arms into a T shape with knees to chest. Let your knees fall to the right and look over your left shoulder. Repeat with knees falling to the left side while you look over your right shoulder.
Through stretching and relaxation, this yoga flow will reduce tension in stress-carrying muscles. For those with lower back pain, yoga is very important. Stretching the hamstring muscles, as one does in downward facing dog, the motion of the pelvis is expanded which decreases stress across the lower back. Stretching through yoga encourages blood flow throughout the body. This yoga flow is excellent in bringing blood flow to the soft tissues of the lower back.
Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
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