Indian girl and group of young sporty people doing yoga Warrior II exercise, Virabhadrasana two pose, working out indoor, female students training at sport club, studio. Well being, fitness concept
Experiencing lower back pain? Yoga has the power to treat not only back pain but also the stress that accompanies it. From strengthening the abdominal and pelvic muscles – which improves posture and loosens stiffness in the body, thereby reducing pain – yoga is a great way to treat these issues without medication.
The following are five yoga asanas designed to strengthen your lower back, release stress and improve flexibility of the spine. As with any new exercise regimen, it is essential to consult a medical professional before trying these poses.
- Bridge Pose or Setubhandhasana/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Lie flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees while keeping your legs and hips apart and bring the heels closer to the hips. Inhale and lift your stomach and chest up by taking your hips off the floor. You can support your lower back with your hands, if necessary. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and release.
This pose not only strengthens the back, buttock and hamstrings but also increases blood circulation, alleviates stress and calms the brain.
- Warrior 2 Pose or Virabhadrasana II
Stand with your legs in a wide stance, starting with your right foot at a 90-degree angle and your toes pointing forward, while keeping your left foot at 45 degrees. Raise your outstretched arms to shoulder level and keep your hands parallel to the ground. Bend your right knee and look towards your right hand. Keep your hips square and right thigh parallel to the ground. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds, then release the posture and do the same thing on the other side.
Warrior 2 energizes tired limbs, opens up your chest and lungs, and stretches your hips, groins and shoulders, while improving stability and balance. It also stimulates your abdominal organs.
- Easy Pose or Sukhasana
Sit erect on a yoga mat, cross-legged. Focus on maintaining a good posture, keeping your head, neck and trunk aligned. Rest your hands on your knees or thighs and relax your shoulders and face. Inhale slowly, feeling your spine lengthen and exhale, rooting down through your seat.
Apart from finding stillness and tranquility, this asana relieves muscle and joint pain as it helps you maintain a good posture, lengthening your back muscles and spine. You can also broaden your collarbones and chest, and stretch the external aspect of the knees, helping to unlock your hips.
- Cat Pose or Marjariasana
Get down on your hands and knees, forming a tabletop with your back, while your hands and knees become the table’s legs. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor and place your hands flat on the floor, directly under your shoulders while keeping your knees hip-width apart. Look straight ahead, inhale and raise your chin as you tilt your head backwards. Push your navel down while raising your tailbone and compress your buttocks so that your back forms a concave shape. Hold the pose for a few seconds as you take long, deep breaths.
Next, exhale, drop your chin to your chest and stretch your spine in the upward direction, like a scared cat arching its back. Hold the breath for three seconds, then return to the tabletop position.
Cat pose improves flexibility in your spine and strengthens shoulders and wrists.
Warning: This exercise is not recommended for anyone with a head or knee injury. During pregnancy, one should stretch the abdomen only mildly and be careful to not stretch the body beyond its limits.
- Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana
Lie down flat on your stomach. Rest your palms by the side of your chest, arms close to your body, elbows pointing outward. Inhale and raise your forehead, neck and shoulders. Raise your trunk using the strength of your arms. Look upward and breath normally, making sure your stomach is pressed on the floor. Hold the pose for five seconds. Slowly lie back flat on your stomach. Turn your head to one side and rest it on your folded arms.
The reclining, back-bending Cobra Pose strengthens the spine, butt muscles, chest, abdomen, shoulders, lungs and improves circulation, while also releasing stress.
Source: Hindustan Times