May 13, 2016 Radhika Bose 1Comment

Who hasn’t suffered from back ache !

I for one have had many episodes; where I am completely paralysed neck down. I can’t move, cant sit, cant sleep. I can’t do anything. Slight movement and I am in a world of excruciating pain.

And these have happened not because I was trying a summersault or a headstand and fell on my back. I once got up in the morning with mind numbing pain only because I had slept in a bad position. If you notice most people these days have bad postures. Bad postures lead to bad back aches. Your constant drooping in front of the computer, slouching, not sleeping on the right mattress or sleeping the wrong way, wearing really high heels are some of the reasons you suffer from back ache.

For most of our lives, we take our backs for granted. But if we go on doing this, one day our backs will revolt. It needs our attention. May be your pain is temporary but for some its chronic.

What do you do when you can’t even move ? How do you deal with the pain ?

In severe cases, medical attention may be necessary. I know people who are on pain killers everyday. They are dependent on them. Is that the solution ?

Now I am not saying that yoga will miraculously fix your back overnight and you will be sprinting around. But it can lessen the pain and eventually fix it. All you have to be is dedicated. You cannot just do it for a day and think it will get rid of all your aches. You have to be consistent then only will you see results.

Yoga strengthens your back by stretching and improving circulation to the spine and nerves. It also helps you with your posture; one of the main causes for back ache.

Listed below are 25 such moves. You can pick and choose as you like or if you are up for it, you could do all of them as well. But try doing 10 at least. Don’t strain your body too much while doing these. Mild discomfort is ok, screaming pain is not ok. Be gentle, let your body adapt to these poses . Initially you will struggle but with some tender love and care you will have a good strong back

Here are some yoga postures for back pain

 1.Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)


Try it: Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees loose, not locked. While you exhale, hinge at your waist and bend forward, reaching toward the floor. Don’t worry if you can’t reach all the way to the floor at first; just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a comfortable stretch. Bend your knees if it feels comfortable. Try pressing your abdomens to your thighs. Repeat the pose five to seven times. On the last bend hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.

2. Eagle Pose aka Garudasana


Try it: With your knees slightly bent, lift your right leg and reach your right thigh over your left. Point your foot toward the floor, and either stop here and balance with your toes on the floor, or hook your right foot behind your left calf. For the arms, bring the right arm under the left and, with elbows bent, bring your palms together.

3. Wall Plank


Try it: You need to stand in front of the wall. Reach the wall with your hands and straighten them. Flatten your palms on the wall. Bend forward with your head facing downward. Lengthen your spine by stretching back as much as possible. You will come into an L shape. You may feel pain near the lower back, if you do bend your knees. Try to maintain the spinal stretch for at least 2 minutes. Breath deeply as you stretch your back.

4.Triangle Pose

Try it: Lunge your left foot back three to four feet, and point your left foot out at a 45-degree angle. Turn your chest to the side and open up the pose by stretching your left arm toward the ground and the right arm toward the ceiling, keeping both your right and left legs straight. You may not be able to touch the ground with your left arm at first, so don’t over-stretch — only bend as far as you can while maintaining a straight back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat

  5. Cat and Cow Pose


Try it: Starting in an all-fours position, move into cat pose by slowly pressing your spine up, arching your back. Hold for a few seconds and then move to cow by scooping your spine in, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your head. Moving back and forth from cat to cow helps move your spine onto a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension.Repeat 10 times

6. downward facing dog


Try it:  Start in tabletop and raise your hips so your body is in an upside down V position. Relax your head and neck and draw your inner thighs toward the back of the room. Spreading your shoulder blades apart will stretch your upper back even more, and reaching your hips up and back will help to open your lower back. Breathe for five to seven breaths.

7.   Upward-Facing Dog


Try it: Start lying flat on the floor with your palms facedown by the middle of your ribs. While drawing your legs together and pressing the tops of your feet into the floor, use the strength of your back, not your hands, to lift your chest off the floor. Leave your legs extended straight out at first. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as needed.

8. Sphinx


Try it: Lying on your stomach, prop yourself up on your forearms. Align your elbows directly under your shoulders. Press firmly through your palms and the tops of your feet. Press your pubic bone forward. You will feel sensations in your lower back, but breathe through it. You are allowing blood flow into the lower back for healing. Hold for 1-3 minutes.

 9.Locust Pose


Try it:  Lie on your stomach with your arms beside you, palms up, you and your forehead flat on the floor. Slowly lift your head, torso, arms, and legs away from the floor. As you do this, your thighs should be rotated in slightly and you want to feel your body elongate from head to toe. Hold this for 30 seconds to a minute. If you’re up for it, relax and repeat two to three times.

1o.Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)


Try it: Lying on the floor, put your hands on the ground slightly in front of you and tuck the elbows into the chest. Push up into your hands, lifting into a slight backbend and drawing the shoulders down.

11. Dolphin Pose


Try it: Lower the forearms to the floor, tuck the toes under and lift the hips up towards the ceiling. Shoulder width apart. Press the forearms, fingers and the palms into the floor, and press the hips up and back. Keep the spine straight and long, reaching up high through the tailbone.Keep the feet are hip’s width apart with the toes facing forward. The legs are straight, or you can have a small bend at the knees to keep the back flat. Let the head and neck hang freely from the shoulders; the forehead can rest on the floor.Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.

12. Pigeon


Try it: From all-fours, bring your right knee behind your right wrist with your lower leg at a diagonal toward your left hip. Square off your hips toward the ground. Bend forward. Widen the elbows and place one hand on top of the other as a pillow for your forehead. Hold 2-3 minutes and then switch to the left side for 2-3 minutes

13.Seated Forward Fold


Try it: From a seated position with your legs extended forward, reach for your shins, ankles, or feet, bending at the hips.Instead of rounding your back, continue to reach your sternum forward, lengthening the torso. If this hurts your back, bend your knees as needed.

14. Camel Pose


Try it: Inhale and press the knees down reaching the crown of the head up to lengthen the spine. Exhale and press the hips forward, squeezing the buttocks and thighs and supporting your weight with the arms as you bend backwards. Very carefully reach one hand down to the heel at a time, if you cannot reach the heels keep the hands on the sacrum. If it feels safe drop the head all the way back.Holding tightly on to the heels with each hand, actively press the hips forward, lifting the chest up towards the ceiling. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

15. Bow Pose


Try it: Lying face down, reach your hands toward your ankles and grab hold one at a time. Slowly lift your chest and thighs away from the floor by drawing your chest forward and the back of your thighs toward the sky. This posture is a wonderful way to strengthen the back muscles, but if you have a back injury, take this easy as it can be intense.

16. Bridge Pose


Try it: Lie down on your back with your hands stretched sideways now fold your knees, spread them out. Raise your body up from your pelvis area. Take support from your hands and hold the position.

17. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)


Try it:  To come into the pose, sit up on your hips with legs stretched out together in front of you and toes pointed. Bring your hands under your hips and lean back to prop yourself up on your forearms. Then, lift the chest above the shoulders and drop the head back to the ground behind you. Breathe deeply and rest in the pose for 15-30 seconds.

18. Plow pose

Try it: From Shoulder Stand, bend at your hips to bring your toes or top of your feet to the floor. Your hands can remain against your back for support, or you can clasp them together, keeping your forearms on the floor. Hold this as long as is comfortable to get a powerful stretch in your shoulders and spine. If this is too much, you can place a chair behind and you rest your feet on the chair.approach.

19. Legs Up the Wall



Try it: Scoot your buttocks all the way into the wall and swing your feet up the wall. This pose is excellent for relaxing the muscles of the lower back and drains stagnant fluid from the feet and ankles. Do this pose after a challenging workout and always after traveling by plane. Hold for 5-10 minutes.

20.Supine Hamstring Stretch


Try it: Lying on your back, bend your right knee into your chest and place a strap or rolled-up towel around the ball of your foot. Straighten your leg toward the ceiling. Press out through both heels. If the lower back feels strained, bend the left knee and place the foot on the ground. Hold for 3-5 minutes and then switch to the left let for 3-5 minutes.

 21. Two-Knee Twist


Try it: Lying on your back, bend your knees into your chest and bring your arms out at a T. As you exhale lower your knees to ground on the right. Keep both shoulders pressing down firmly. If the left shoulder lifts, lower your knees further away from the right arm. Hold for 1-2 minutes each side

22.Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)


Try it:  Lie down on your back, draw the knees into your chest and grab your feet from the inside, pulling them down so the knees extend on either side of your torso. If the stretch is too intense, grab behind your thighs. Try to bring the hips down to the floor. Breathe deeply and rock gently side to side, returning to stillness at your center for 30 seconds.

23. Child’s Pose


Try it: Start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your glutes (butt muscles) come to rest just above. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as many times as needed for a good, soothing stretch.

24. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose


Try it: Sit tall with your legs extended in front of you. Cross your left foot over your right leg and stand it outside your right thigh. Bend your right knee, tucking your right foot by your left buttock. Place your left hand on the mat, just behind your buttock. Inhale and lift your right arm in the air by your left ear. Exhale and twist, bringing the left elbow to the outside the right knee. Look back over the left shoulder.  Repeat on the other side. Let the twist start in your belly, not your neck. Any spinal twist is good for your body. Do it as often as you can

25.Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Butterfly pose


Try it: Start seated with the soles of the feet together. Gently place your hands on the ankles and use the elbows to press your thighs and knees toward the floor. Breathe and visualize the hip flexors softening. Take 10 deep breaths.

Hope these poses help you with your pain

The inner light in me salutes the inner light in you




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