I remember when my back completely froze up a couple of years back. It scared me to bits. I felt as stiff as an ironing bored and the pain made me feel so nauseas, it took me every effort to try and move. Yoga has been a great friend for helping me to look after my back and I am going to share with you 5 yoga poses that help beat back pain fast.
This sequence is one I enjoy and practice a lot. It is suitable for complete beginners and will only take 15-20 minutes to complete. It is the perfect back MOT.
Why Constructive Rest Can Help Beat Back Pain?
Constructive rest is the first of my top 5 yoga poses to beat back pain. I love this pose because it utilises gravity. Gravity is a great way of helping the body find a better alignment through releasing and letting go. Lying on the floor with the knees bent and feet flat is the perfect position to help this to happen.
- Lie on your mat with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart.
- You may like to place a folded blanket under the head for support if more comfortable.
- Bring the arms out by your sides with the palms up; this will help open the chest as you rest in the pose.
- Breath in and out through the nose if you can and aim for a full yogic breath (or as I fondly name it, balloon breath). This will help the body relax and release any unhelpful tension.
- Stay here for at least 5 minutes. More if you have the time. This movement utilises gravity to work so the longer the better basically.
Yoga crunches with a neutral pelvis
Why These Special ‘Crunches’ Can Help Beat Back Pain?
You might not think that a ‘crunch’ would be an ideal yoga pose to beat back pain but this movement is different to a ‘standard’ crunch. A lot of back pain is made worse by weak core muscles. This move, not only strengthens and wakes up your core but is a magic formula for gettting rid of your back ache pretty instantaneously.
- Stay lying on the floor with the knees bent and the feet flat, hip width distance apart.
- Bring the hands behind the head, the elbows stay wide to help keep the chest open.
- Keeping the pelvis in neutral (so no pressing the lower back into the mat), inhale, and as you exhale, lift the shoulders off the mat. Imagine that you are lifting up and over a barrel rather than scrunching into the middle. It is important to keep the front body open. You are trying to create two c-shaped curves at the front and back of the body.
- Inhale to lower.
- Continue to lift and lower working the abdominals. Repeat 10 x. Have a break and then complete another two sets or just until you feel the abdominals have woken up.
Why Bridging helps to beat back pain?
The next pose out of my 5 yoga poses to beat back pain, is the humble bridge. Weak glutes contribute to back pain. It is safe to say that most of us (especially if you sit a lot during the day) have inactive glutes. Bridge pose is a great yoga staple to wake up, strengthen and tone these often-forgotten muscles. This is just one variation; so, do have fun and play around with different versions.
- Starting in the same position as above, with the arms lying by your side.
- Pressing into the feet, inhale and lift the buttocks off the floor a little way.
- Try to imagine the two sit bones reaching towards the back of your knees. Pressing into the upper arms and locking the arm bones to the floor will help you to do this.
- Hold the position, continuing to push into the feet.
- You should feel the hamstrings and the buttock muscles working incredibly hard.
- Hold for 5 breaths or more.
- Lower and rest. Repeat 2-5 times.
Why Ardha Apanasana Helps To Beat Back Pain
Just as back pain is caused by weak muscles, tight muscles can also contribute. This pose targets a deep hip flexor muscle known as the psoas which connects our leg to our torso. When it gets tight (and weak) it can irritate the lumbar curve of our spine causing back ache. Releasing this muscle along with strengthening it will do so much for the health of your back and posture.
- Take the extra rolled up mat and place it under the pelvis as shown in the photo.
- Start with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Hug the right knee into the chest, drawing the knee up towards the right armpit.
- At the same time lengthen out the left leg, reaching the toes towards the front of your mat and rolling the inner leg down towards the floor.
- Hold the stretch for 5- 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side (ROS).
To build endurance and strength in the psoas muscles (and flexibility)
Whilst in the pose try lifting and lowering the straight leg. This will strengthen the psoas in its lengthened state which is the opposite to what the muscle is doing when we sit down a lot. Try raising the straight leg in an inhale and lowering on an exhale. If you want more of a challenge float the head and shoulders off the floor, drawing the navel down adding a little more core work to the mix.
Supine Pigeon to Twist
Why Supine Pigeon To A Twist Helps to Beat Back Pain.
The last of my 5 yoga poses to beat back pain is supine pigeon with an accompanying twist. Any imbalances in the hips can contribute to back pain. The combination of these two yoga poses will help re-balance these muscles. A more aligned pelvis equals less back pain.
- Start lying on your back with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor (hip width distanced apart).
- Take the right foot and place it on the left knee (make sure that the foot is strongly flexed).
- Use your left hand to press the right knee away so that both sides of the waist feel the same length and the hips are level.
- Stay here or to increase the stretch in the right outer hip; interlace the hands behind the left thigh or shin and pull the hands towards you so that the left foot comes off the floor. Keep reaching the right knee towards the front of the mat. Be careful not to flatten the lower back into the floor as you do this.
- To come out release the hands and place the left foot back on the floor. Inhale and as you exhale drop both knees to the left coming into a supine twist. For comfort, you can support the knees with cushions or a couple of blocks as you rest here for 5-10 breaths.
I hope that you enjoyed practicing the above sequence. If you would like me to take you through the full class you can sign up for the video of this sequence here and get the class delivered straight to your inbox.
I can’t sign off without saying that our postural habits contribute to the health of our backs greatly so if you are aware that you might be a bit of a slumper check out my blog post to find out how you fare posture wise and then read up on how you can improve your posture with some easy yoga poses.