You’ll have to agree, back pain is one of the most common health complaints. If you look at how most of us spend our day, it is easy to see why. We’re spend our time sitting at home, in the car or at work with minimal physical activity. Sitting or sleeping in the wrong posture, improper distribution of body weight or skeletal imbalances can trigger back pain.
“The muscles between your shoulder blades, the Rhomboid and Trapezius muscles, work hard to keep your head straight in line with the centre of gravity. When these are stressed, you need to soothe them. If they’re overworked, it make lead to knots which are caused by the lactic acid deposit and they need to be massaged to release tension. Similarly, when you use one of your arms more often than the other to do day to day chores, your body weight tends to shift and it becomes less flexible. Such skeletal imbalances can affect your spine muscles and nerves,” explains Zubin Atré, founder of AtréYoga Studio in New Delhi.
Looking for a better way to relieve back soreness than popping pills? Give yoga a go. There are six basic actions that you need to perform to rejuvenate your muscles. These are – bending forward, bending backwards, twisting to the right, twisting to the left, tilting to the right and tilting to the left, shares Zubin.
You don’t naturally experience these movements daily and therefore, you need to move your body in certain ways to revive tired muscles that are working constantly. But before you do, you must note that these poses help in relieving muscular back pain. If you are suffering from pain related to spine ailments, degenerative disc disease or arthritis, please consult a doctor.
1. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
This pose will strengthen the lower back muscles while cushioning the spine. “It brings a uniform arch in the spine, increases blood circulation to the spine, boosts muscle quality and flexibility,” says Zubin.
Lie on your stomach with your feet together and toes flat. Place your hands downwards below your shoulders on the mat, lift your waist and raise your head while inhaling in. Pull your torso back with the support of your hands. Keep your elbows straight and make sure you put equal pressure on both palms. Tilt your head back and make sure your shoulders are away from your ears. Exhale while coming back to the ground.
2. Paschimottan Asana (Sitting Forward Bend)
“It stretches the back, hamstrings and increases the flexibility of the spine and opens up the vertebrae. It gives your muscles more mobility,” says Zubin.
Sit up straight with your legs stretched in front and feet pointing upwards. Keep your spine straight. Inhale and stretch your arm upwards. This will lengthen your spine upwards. Exhale and bend forward, bring your hands down keeping your spine elongated and reaching towards your feet. If you can reach your feet, wrap your index finger around the big toes with your thumb resting over the toe. If you cannot, let your hands fall freely on to your thighs or on the floor next to your legs. Hold the posture for 30 seconds and then inhale, stretch your hands past your feet and come up while stretching your spine and arms.
3. Matsyendra Asana (Spinal Twist)
“When you twist it lengthens the spine and increases the inter-vertebral space in the spine. If you spend most of the day sitting, your spine tends to sink due to your body weight. Working on your muscles and nerves will makes you feel more awake and active,” suggests Zubin.
Sit on the floor and stretch your legs. Bend your left leg and place your left foot over your right thigh. The heel should touch your belly. Now, bend your right knee and place it outside your left knee. Your food should be flat on the floor. Inhale and stretch your right hand over the right knee and hold your right foot. Exhale and twist your back. Remain in the posture while breathing normally for few seconds and then repeat with the other side.
4. Trikona Asana (Triangle Pose)
It strengthens your spine and reduces anxiety and back pain while in increasing mental and physical equilibrium.
Stand with your feet wide apart. Stretch your right foot out (90 degrees) while keeping the leg closer to the torso. Keep your feet pressed against the ground and balance your weight equally on both feet. Inhale and as you exhale bend your right arm and make it touch the ground while your left arm goes up. Keep your waist straight. Ensure that your body is bent sideways and not forward or backwards. Stretch as much as you can while taking long, deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.