Sometimes the daily demands of your routine can be exhausting. Although it's great to keep yourself busy, your typical day might be causing you some long-term physical issues down the road. If you work at an office, you might be hunched over a laptop for nearly eight hours straight, which can cause back pain. Or if you're a stay-at-home mom, you're probably spending most of your time in your car as you shuffle the kids back and forth. Depending on your posture, you might be driving in a position that is straining your back. Maybe you work in retail and need to stock shelves for a straight twelve-hour shift. It's common to get caught in the rush of life to finish tasks quickly, but this can be a jeopardizing endeavor. According to eMedicineHealth, chronic back pain is the most common pain problem in the United States.
Let's focus on something a little more positive than this alarming truth: it turns out that you can, in fact, manage any potential back pain that you're experiencing. The secret? It's yoga, of course!
Depending on your level of back pain, you might want to refer to your doctor first to ensure that you can practice yoga without creating additional strain. Once you speak with your doctor and you're granted the "OK" to indulge in yoga exercises, you can enjoy the many benefits of this ancient practice.
In order to take advantage of yoga for your back pain, it's a good idea to practice a few essential poses. Here is a helpful list of poses to become familiar with in order to keep that pesky back pain from controlling your life.
The First Yoga Pose to Help Manage Your Back Pain: Downward Facing Dog
This is one of the most common yoga poses out there, so if you're eager to practice yoga for more reasons than your back pain alone, it's good to start off with the Downward Facing Dog. This pose is known for rejuvenating the body. In addition to conquering back pain, incorporating the Downward Facing Dog into your daily routine can assist with headaches, insomnia, and even mild depression. To complete the Downward Facing Dog pose, position yourself on your hands and knees while tucking your toes. Lift up your hips while bringing your heels toward the ground. Hold your breath in five times, and you've mastered the Downward Facing Dog!
The Second Yoga Pose to Help Manage Your Back Pain: Upward Facing Dog
We've already covered the downward version of this pose, so why not go a step further and include the Upward Facing Dog asana? The Upward Facing Dog has many benefits. For starters, the Upward Facing Dog pose strengthens your spine, arms, and wrists. It also firms your buttocks if you're looking to tone that region. Most importantly, it improves posture, which is critical to conquering back pain. You can accomplish the Upward Facing Dog pose by first completing the Downward Facing Dog pose. Once you're in the Downward Facing Dog pose, shift your posture to a plank pose.
While untucking your toes, look up to the sky (or ceiling!) while keeping your knees off the ground. Keep this pose while holding for three breaths.
The Third Yoga Pose to Help Manage Your Back Pain: Low Lunge with Backbend
The Low Lunge with Backbend pose is a great stance for athletes. Practicing this pose can help to treat common sources of soreness in the lower body area. Runners can definitely benefit from the Low Lunge with Backbend asana. To get into this pose accurately, start off with the Downward Facing Dog pose mentioned previously. Once you've settled into the Downward Facing Dog asana, step your right foot forward with both hands suspended into the air. Your arms should be alongside your ears as they are lifted upward. With your arms and hands in the air, lean your body back. If you're having any trouble keeping yourself balanced in this pose, it's a good idea to practice while facing the wall in front of you.
The Fourth Yoga Pose to Help Manage Your Back Pain: Seated Forward Fold
For an intense and helpful asana to manage your back pain effectively, you'll love the Seated Forward Fold. Just remember that if you're doing this position in a relatively hot area, you'll want to wear a nice pair of yoga shorts to accommodate the temperature! The Seated Forward Fold is used commonly for people who experience asthma and serious back pain. To get started, sit in an upright position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Slide your hands down your legs until you reach your toes. If you can't reach your toes entirely, then get as close to them as possible. You'll enjoy the satisfying stretch while participating in the Seated Forward Fold. Once you've gotten yourself in a good stretching pose, hold for three breaths.
The Fifth Yoga Pose to Help Manage Your Back Pain: Bow Pose
This pose is a bit difficult, so make sure to wear your yoga crop top in case you start feeling the heat! As always, it'll look perfect with your choice of yoga pants. To begin the Bow Pose, position your body facedown while on your stomach. While in this position, reach for your heels and then lift them up. Hold the Bow Pose for three breaths. Your back will thank you!
No matter what your schedule is like – or what your level of back pain is, for that matter – there are nearly infinite benefits to yoga. If you find that you constantly sacrifice posture for quick completion of daily activities, end that cycle now by adding these five helpful yoga poses into your regime. You'll be happy to live without back pain!