3 Beginner Yoga Poses for Back Pain Relief

Back pain has become one of the most common disorders affecting people everywhere. You have to only look for people around you to find someone who has had back pain before or is suffering from back pain right now. And if you happen to be one of them, you may have been told to practise yoga by many. It may be your physician, a friendly neighbour, a concerned family member, or even your co-worker. Yoga exercises are often advertised as the go-to pain-relief hack for back pain.

Why are Yoga poses so popular for back pain? Yoga is an ancient mind and body healing practice for a large part of the world. Its appeal as a non-pharmacological, easy-to-practice, low-cost therapy has intrigued new practitioners over the last few decades. Yoga poses or asanas are low impact exercises that help improving strength, flexibility and balance of the body. If practised correctly, they can not only prevent but also bring relief from back pain.

Before we look into the 3 beginner yoga poses for back pain relief, here is a list of things you need to prepare:

What will you need for Yoga Asanas?

  • Clear space on the floor with enough room for exercise.
  • A mat or thick sheets for exercise. You may choose the thickness of the mat as per your preference.
  • Comfortable clothing with breathable fabric. Your clothes should not restrict you from performing your yoga asanas.
  • A mat towel to keep your mat from becoming too slippery.
  • A bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

3 Beginner Yoga Poses for Getting Relief from Back Pain

Back pain occurs as a result of injury to one or more structures in the back. It may be from the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, intervertebral discs, or even nerves. Yoga exercises help temporarily relieving the tension among these structures and bring relief from pain. Here are 3 Yoga poses you can try as a beginner to get relief from back pain:

Cobra

How to begin:

  1. On a mat, lie face down and place your palms by the side of your shoulders.
  2. Relax your hips and bring your feet together.
  3. Lift your upper body up with the help of your back, support your body with your arms.
  4. Try to straighten your arms as much as possible.
  5. Repeat 5 times.

Focus on:

Breathe and hold your position for 5 to 10 counts. This may be difficult initially and your arms may get tired. You may also not be able to extend your arms fully.

How it helps:

The cobra pose or Bhujagasana efficiently stretches the muscles at the shoulders, the chest and the abdomen. It helps in strengthening the muscles as well as relieving tension at the back. It also reduces lower back and leg pain.

Child

How to begin:

  1. On a mat, begin on all fours, place your hands firmly and keep your feet relaxed.
  2. Slowly try and sit back on your feet and stretch your arms straight.
  3. Stretch your arms out further without getting up and relax your back.

Focus on:

Hold your position for 30 seconds and breathe. Try to relax your back further with every breath.

How it helps:

The child’s pose, or the Bal asana, gently stretches the muscles of the middle and lower back. It helps in relieving neck, upper back and lower back pain.

Cat and Camel

How to begin:

  1. On a mat, begin by positioning yourself on all fours.
  2. Make sure your knees are under your hips.
  3. Position your hands right under your shoulders.
  4. Now slowly start pushing your back up into a hump, like a camel, your head will move down.
  5. Hold this position for ten counts.
  6. Now pull your back down all the way into an arch, like a cat. Your shoulders and head will be pushed up.
  7. Hold this position for 10 counts.

Focus on:

Hold the two extreme positions of cat and camel for ten seconds each. Alternate between the two for about ten times.

How it helps:

The cat and camel pose works well as a warm-up routine and improves the mobility of your spine. It relieves tension at the upper back, the lower back, and the hips.

When is it Right to Practice Yoga for Back Pain?

Performing yoga as a preventive routine for back pain is one of the best ways to practice Yoga. However, if you are currently suffering from back pain, it is better to ask your physiotherapist’s opinion. While these Yoga poses are beneficial for most people, they may not be the right treatment for some conditions. Your physiotherapist will accurately guide you in understanding when Yoga can most benefit you.