Lower back pain is a common problem, particularly for mothers with young children and adults as we age. Several studies have shown that the practice of yoga helps to heal back pain and prevent future problems with specific yoga poses.
A growing number of doctors have responded to this evidence and now recommend yoga to their patients. Check with your doctor before beginning your practice, if you have an injury or condition that is causing back pain. In addition, you should begin your practice with the support of a trained yoga therapist.
Some Asanas to Try:
Seated Twist – In this pose, you are seated on your mat with your knees bent. Bend one arm and move the arm to the outside of the opposite knee. The goal is to move the opposite leg over the body to rest on the other side. Breathe in the pose and then return to center and repeat on the other side of the body. When trying this pose, remember to twist only as far as you can without pain or excessive discomfort.
Reclining Twist – This is another twist pose and you need to take the same precautions to make sure you aren’t twisting too far. Lie flat on your mat with your arms out to the sides. Bend one knee up toward the sky with your foot planted on the floor. Lift the foot and move the knee over the other side of the body to rest on the floor. Move only as far as is comfortable, breathe for 30 seconds and then return to center and repeat on the other side.
Standing Forward Bend – This asana is helpful for many people, but some find it difficult, so do what feels best for you. Stand upright with your feet together and bring your arms over your head. Bend forward and reach for your toes, while bringing your head toward your knees. Only go as deep into the pose as is comfortable. If the full pose is too difficult or painful, modify the pose by slightly bending the knees or only bending forward as far as you can without discomfort.
Cat and Cow Poses – These two asanas are usually done together in a flowing sequence. Start on your hands and knees and round the back into cat pose. Then alternate the movement by moving the tail bone and eyes toward the ceiling while letting the belly and back drop toward the floor. Repeat the sequence several times.