Lower back pain is as common as it gets nowadays. Prolonged sitting, standing and lack of exercise leading to weak supporting muscles are the most common causes of lower back pain.
However, the condition is not incurable. You can address your lower back pain by doing simple exercises that stretch your back and the surrounding muscles responsible for supporting it. Over time, your back will get strengthened and you'll feel much better and be able to do much more.
Best Yoga Stretches You Can Do for Lower Back Pain
Try these seven yoga stretches to relieve lower back pain:
1) Adho Mukha Svanasana
Start your session with the adho mukha svanasana, an excellent stretch for all major pain points of the body. This gentle stretch targets and loosens up your shoulders, hamstrings and back extensors (large muscles that support your spine and lower back).
Here's how you can perform this yoga stretch:
- Begin by assuming the Table Top position on your hands and knees.
- Curl your toes under; drive your shoulders into the ground, and pull your hips up and back.
- Press your fingertips and palms firmly to draw your forearms towards the front of the room.
- While contracting your outer upper arms, roll your inner upper arms towards the wall in front of you.
- Engage your shoulders, and allow your shoulder blades to rotate outward and upward, away from your spine and towards your outer armpits (upward rotation).
- You should have a straight line from your wrists to your shoulders to your hips.
The Balasana is an excellent resting pose that can calm you down. It provides an excellent stretch for the hips and back, helping stretch your back muscles and providing relief from lower back pain.
Here's how you can do the Balasana:
- Kneel down on a mat or padded surface, and sit back on your toes keeping a straight spine. You may keep your hands on your thighs.
- Your knees should be hip-width apart and relaxed.
- Lie your torso down between your thighs, extending your hands straight out above your head.
- Rest your hands palm down on the floor, and touch your forehead on the mat. Breathe, and relax.
- Rest for a few breaths or a few minutes. Repeat the asana five to seven times.
The Standing Forward Bend seems to be an easy exercise but is often performed incorrectly. When performed correctly, the Uttanasana can stretch and release your hamstrings, calves and hips, relieving stress and lowering back pain
Here's how you can perform the Uttanasana:
- Stand upright in Tadasana with your hands on your hips. Take a deep breath, stretching your front torso; exhale, and bend forward from the hips, not the waist.
- Bring your palms or fingertips to the floor slightly in front of or alongside your feet, or bring your palms to the backs of your ankles, if possible, while maintaining straight knees.
- With each breath, slightly raise your body. Each time you exhale, release a little bit more into the position. Allow your head to dangle from the base of your neck, which is located in the upper back, between the shoulder blades.
The Garland Pose is a great stretch for your entire lower body and back. It strengthens your lower back, quadriceps, groin, hips, torso and ankles.
Here's how you can do this asana:
- Stand upright in Tadasana with your hands at your sides.
- Squat down completely on the floor, keeping your feet as close together as possible.
- Make sure your thighs are wider than your midsection. Exhaling, lean your torso forward, and snugly position it between your thighs. Maintain a straight spine.
- Bring your hands together in Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal), and press your elbows into your knees.
- Maintain for 30–60 seconds, and repeat five to seven times.
At the end of the sequence, we shall move towards gentle back bends and stretches that can help relieve lower back pain.
The Bhujangasana targets your your chest, shoulders and abdomen while strengthening your back.
Here's how you can do it:
- Lie on your stomach, with your toes flat on the ground and your forehead on the floor.
- Keep your legs close together, with the soles of your feet softly touching.
- Extend your hands in front of you so that the palms face downward and arms contact the ground.
- Taking a big breath in, slowly raise your head, chest and abdomen off the floor while keeping your navel on the ground.
- Using your arm strength, pull your torso back and off the floor.
- Continue to breathe mindfully as you bend your spine vertebra by vertebra.
- Make sure your feet are still close together, and your head is pointing forward.
- Exhaling, slowly lower your abdomen, chest and head back to the ground.
This knee-to-chest exercise especially stretches and relaxes your lower back, helping reduce stress and pain.
Here's how you can do Apanasana:
- Stretch out completely on your back.
- Bring your knees as close to your chest as possible by bending your knees and lifting your feet off the floor one at a time.
- Hold your shins or thighs with both hands as you hug your knees to your chest. Rock gently from side to side to massage and relieve tension in your lower back.
- You may remain in this position for as long as you'd like before returning to the completely reclined position.
We have saved the best for last. This amazing yoga asana can relieve your lower back pain in just a few minutes. It stretches your hips, chest and back.
Here's how you can do the Chakravakasana:
- Begin in the Tabletop position, on your hands and knees.
- Ensure that your knees are aligned with your hips and that your wrists, elbows and shoulders are perpendicular to the floor. Keep your head neutral.
- Breathe in, and raise your sitting bones and chest to the ceiling, letting your abdomen to fall downwards. Raise your head to look directly ahead.
- Breathing out, curve your spine towards the ceiling while maintaining the position of your shoulders and legs. Don't force your chin to your chest; instead, relax your head towards the floor.
- Following the rhythm of your breath, repeat as many times as necessary (10–20 inhales and exhales is ideal).
Perform the aforementioned seven yoga stretches, and your lower back pain will recede and eventually go away. If the pain continues, consider consulting a doctor, though.
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