Having lower back pain is one of the most common complaints I hear from a lot of my students. Thank goodness for these basic yoga movements/poses, you can relieve lower back pain by relaxing tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles. Just a few minutes of yoga practice every day will help you become more aware of your body and this can help you discover where you’re tense and where you’re out of balance. Harvard health made an exceptional article talking about the safest way to do yoga for your back pain. Having this knowledge, you can then re-establish balance and alignment in your life.
What causes lower back pain?
Understanding what’s causing your back pain is vital so you can manage it and avoid it from recurring, and in some circumstances, seeing a doctor or physical therapist is the best way to do so. However, in many cases, moderate stretches and simple strengthening yoga poses can assist with releasing tension and provide comfort to your lower back.
While there are many causes of low back pain, a weak core and bad posture from sitting all day (which shortens the hip muscles and pulls on the lower back) are two of the most frequent. The more you sit, the less you utilize your stabilizing muscles, the weaker they get and the more difficult it is for them to do their job when you need them, resulting in pulled, strained, or sprained muscles.
Picking up something heavy or carrying your child can all create lower back pain if your muscles are weak.
Is It Okay to Do Yoga With Lower Back Pain?
If you have a history of lower back injuries, disc issues, or pain that is long-lasting, it’s advisable to seek medical advice from your doctor or physical therapist prior to starting your yoga practice.
However, if your lower back pain is more of a general ache or soreness, try these yoga poses to alleviate any discomfort or stiffness. Always remember to take your time getting into each posture, and if anything hurts, stop! Adapt your practice to how your body is feeling at any given time, and be patient with yourself to avoid aggravating your back pain. When practised mindfully and with intention, yoga can help alleviate lower back pain.
Here are the 6 basic poses that can help you ease lower back pain.
Yoga for Lower Back Pain
Standing Forward Fold
Standing forward fold helps to lengthen the spine and release tension in the back.
Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Fold forward at your hips, keeping your back straight as you bring your chest toward your thighs. Place your hands on the floor (or a block if you can’t reach), bringing them shoulder-width apart. Press into your feet and lengthen your spine as you fold forward. Keep your knees soft to allow your hips to release. Hold for five breaths.
Happy Baby Pose
The Happy baby pose brings relief by opening up the lower back.
To get into the happy baby pose, lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Grab the outside of each foot with your hands (or a strap if you can’t reach). Gently pull your feet toward your armpits as you open your knees wider than hip distance apart. Press your lower back to the floor and hold for five breaths.
The supine twist helps to release tension in the lower back by twisting the spine.
Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your right hand on your left knee and pull it across your body toward the right as you look over your left shoulder. Use your left hand to support your head. Hold for five breaths and repeat on the other side.
The cat-cow movement is a gentle way to release the lower back.
Start on all fours with your shoulders over your wrists and hips over your knees. As you inhale, arch your spine and look up toward the ceiling (cow pose). As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling and tuck your chin to your chest
Planks are a great way to strengthen the muscles in your core, which can help support your lower back.
Start in a push-up position with your shoulders over your wrists and feet hip-width apart. Tuck your toes under and press into your palms to straighten your arms. Ground down through all four corners of both feet and engage your abdominals by drawing them toward your spine.
Crescent lunge helps to stretch the muscles in the lower back.
Start in a low lunge position with your right foot forward and left knee on the floor. Place your hands on your hips and press into your feet to straighten both legs. Draw your tailbone down toward the floor and lift your chest up and open. Hold for five breaths before switching sides.
The six yoga poses mentioned in the article can help alleviate lower back pain by stretching and strengthening the muscles in the area. The poses are gentle and can be adapted to your own level of ability, making them a great option for those with back pain. Practising these poses regularly may help to reduce inflammation and discomfort in the lower back.
These are just some of the yoga poses that can help alleviate lower back pain. Remember to listen to your body and stop if anything hurts. With time and practice, you will be able to ease any discomfort you may be feeling. Namaste!