The following are five yoga poses to practice for back pain:
Balance on your hands and knees while alternately tilting the head and pelvis up so that the back dips. Then tuck the pelvis, drawing your chin towards your chest and round your back towards the roof and into an arch. This moves the back through flexion and extension.
This is a safe, gentle way to stretch the spine into flexion too. Simply rest the torso over the kneeling legs with the head resting on a pillow or the mat. This is a forward folding position that is designed to create comfort and a sense of rest.
A gentle, supported back extension, cobra stretches the abdominals and creates stretch through the upper and mid-back and also through the shoulders. A stronger back is more resilient to aches and pain since the muscles function optimally. Lying on your belly with your legs hip distance apart, place your elbows back by your waist and hands flat by your ribs, slowly lift the chest and head on an inhale while pressing the pelvis into the mat for support.
Twists are great for improving your range of movement and alleviating tension in the mid and lower back, but be careful to move slowly and always stop if you feel any sharp or strong pains. Lying on your back, raise your feet off the mat until your knees are over your hips so that you have a 90-degree angle at the hips and knees. With arms stretched out to your sides, take the knees to one side and release to the ground if you can (otherwise hover them as far as they’ll go) as you try to draw the opposite shoulder to the mat. Hold and breathe, letting gravity assist to deepen the stretch into the back without force. Then change sides.
A strong pelvic floor, abdominals and glutes will do wonders for supporting a healthy back, preventing and alleviating pain. Holding plank position, whether on your knees or toes, and the high-to-low push-up of chaturanga will build abdominal and leg strength over continued practice. Make sure to work at your own pace. If you can’t maintain head-hip-heels in a straight line yet, do plank on your knees.