Troubled by an achy back? Well, you are not alone. One of the most familiar complaints in the United States is that of chronic lower back pain. It is common among the working class, athletes as well as people with a sedentary lifestyle. A typical 9 to 5 office job involves a lot of sitting. Excessive sitting can cause your lower back muscles to go sore.
On the other hand, sports like weight lifting, running, jumping etc. cause tension in the lower back muscles. In the absence of proper stretching and releasing exercises, chronic lower back pain may occur.Do not get disheartened, however. There are many yoga exercises that can give you relief from lower back pain. The key is to practice these asanas regularly.
Effective Yoga Poses For Lower Back Pain
Adho Mukha Shvanasana Or Downward Facing Dog Pose
This yoga pose strengthens the muscles of your lower back by giving them a good stretch. It is these muscles which support your spine and help you lift heavy things.For this, kneel down on all fours on a yoga mat like a dog, such that your palms, knees and toes touch the floor.
Now press your palms on the floor and lift your knees off the floor such that your tailbone is raised towards the ceiling. Your body now assumes an inverted ‘V’ shape. Push your heels further down to give a proper stretch to your back muscles. Hold this position for five to seven breaths and then return to starting position. Repeat five times.
Sapta Matsyendrasana Or Two Knee Spinal Twist
This pose gently stretches the muscles of your lower back, spine and hips. This removes tightness and soreness from these muscles.For this, lie on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees such that your feet touch the floor. Now slowly extend your arms on both sides, palms touching the floor, to form a ‘T’. Slowly lower both your bent legs to the right with your right leg touching the floor. Then move your head towards the left, pressing your shoulders towards the floor. Stay in this position for five breaths. Repeat on the other side as well.
Balasana Or Child’s Pose
This pose completely relaxes your achy back muscles by stretching them.For this, sit on a yoga mat on bent legs with your bottom touching your heels. Stretch your arms before you, palms facing downward. Now slowly bend forward till your forehead touches the floor. Keep your arms outstretched before you, palms touching the floor. Stay in this position for seven breaths. Then slowly come back to starting position. Repeat this pose at least five times daily.
Alternate Marjaryasana and Bitilasana Or Cat and Cow Pose
This pose is just right for sore lower back muscles. You can also use this pose as a warm up exercise before performing other yoga exercises.For this, kneel down on all fours with your knees, toes and palms touching the ground. Now arch your spine into an outward curve by moving your head downwards.
This is the cat pose. Stay in this position for five to ten seconds. Now slowly lift your head, press your shoulders back and bend your spine into an inward curve. This is the cow pose. Repeat each position at least five times. Alternating between both the positions helps increase spinal strength besides relaxing your back muscles.
Urdhwa Uttanasana Or Upward Forward Bend
This yoga pose stretches your hamstrings and lower back muscles, giving relief from stiff back and shoulders.For this, stand straight on a yoga mat with your hands by your sides and feet shoulder width apart. Now slowly bend forward from your waist till you feel a stretch in your back and hamstrings. Hold your hands behind your legs, allowing your head to hang downwards. Repeat this exercise five to seven times, holding the position for five breaths each time.
Salamba Bhujangasana Or Sphinx Pose
This position increases blood flow to your lower back muscles, relaxing them in turn.For this, lie on a yoga mat, facing downwards. Stretch your arms before your head, palms touching the mat. Now slowly move your elbows closer to your stomach and keep your palms touching the mat.
Press your palms downwards and raise your upper body from the waist. Hold this pose for five breaths before you return to starting position. Perform five repetitions.Do note that people with a slipped disc in their lower back or sciatica must avoid deep forward bends. Discontinue these poses if pain persists or worsens.