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6 Yoga Asanas You Must Do If You Have Back Pain

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To relieve recurrent back pain caused by sitting all day and to improve flexibility in your spine, try Jatara Parivartanasana (revolved abdomen pose), Upavista Konasana (wide-seated forward bend), Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), Marichyasana (seated twist), Bhujangasana (cobra pose), and Shavasana (corpse pose). Add these into your daily yoga routine.

If you’ve been suffering from recurrent back pain, these yoga asanas are a must try!

6 Yoga Asanas For Back Pain

Jatara Parivartanasana (Ja-tar-uh Par-e-var-ta-nasana) Or Revolved Abdomen Pose

  • Lie down on the floor with legs stretched out.
  • Extend the arms to the side.
  • Bend the legs and extend the feet up toward the ceiling.
  • Roll toward the left with legs outstretched.
  • Press shoulders into the floor (especially the opposite shoulder of legs)
  • Switch sides.
  • Repeat 3–4 times

Modification

If straight legs are too painful, bend the legs but keep the thighs perpendicular to the ceiling and the calves parallel with the floor. Roll from side to side. If you are on your period, you can bring the legs all the way down to the floor and roll again.

[Read: What Foods Should I Eat To Fight Back Pain?]

Upavista Konasana (Oop-ah-veesh-tuh Koe-nah-sana) Or Wide-Seated Forward Bend

Yoga for Back Pain

Upavista Konasana

  • Use 2 or 3 towels folded into a square for elevation. Sit on the edge.
  • Extend the legs wide apart.
  • Press the heels into the floor while the toes point upward.
  • Bring the hands behind you and either place them on the towels with fingers facing forward OR fingertips on the floor extending downward.
  • Work on keeping the spine erect by lifting up through the sides of the chest.
  • Roll the inner thighs down toward the floor.
  • Keep lifting your torso upward and draw your shoulder blades inward.

Paschimottanasana (Pash-chi-moe-ta-nasana) Or Seated Forward Bend

Yoga for Back Pain

Paschimottansana

  • Sit on a towel or mat and extend the legs straight out in front of you.
  • Roll the chest forward and reach the arms toward your feet.
  • Grab hold of your big toe with your index and middle finger or hold the outside edges of your feet. (If your hands don’t reach, use a belt and place the belt around the balls of your feet and grab from both sides).
  • Slowly pull yourself toward your legs.
  • Chest stays lifted unless you can lower your trunk and rest your forehead on your shins.
  • Keep the thoracic spine straight and shoulder blades moving in.

Note: Don’t push yourself too hard in this pose.  The main goal is to keep the spine as straight as possible as you extend forward.

Marichyasana (Mar-e-chee-asana) Or Seated Twist

Yoga for Back Pain

Marichyasana

  • Sit with legs extended in front. Bend your right leg first so that your heel is close to your groin.
  • Bring the right hand behind you onto the towels and straighten your spine.
  • Reach the left arm up into the air and rotate from the chest toward the right side.
  • Bend the left arm at the elbow and hook your tricep to the outside of your right leg.
  • Lengthen up through the spine and turn toward the right side.

[Read: Which Exercises Help In Reversing Chronic Back Pain?]

Bhujangasana (Bhoo-jahn-gah-sana) Or Cobra Pose

Yoga for Back Pain

Bhujangasana

  • Lie flat on your stomach, with legs straight behind you and arms to the side, tops of the feet flat on the floor.
  • Bring the arms forward and rest the forearms  on the floor.
  • Line your shoulders up with your elbows.
  • Press the palms firmly into the floor.
  • Lift the chest up so that you have a curve in your lower back.
  • Repeat 3–4 times.

Note: If there is a sharp pain in your lower back, your elbows are too close to your body, move them forward some more.

Shavasana (Sha-vah-suh-nuh) Or Corpse Pose

Yoga for Back Pain

Savasana

  • Lie down on the floor with legs extended and arms extended down (palms facing up).
  • Let your thighs roll out to the side with your feet.
  • Place your shoulder blades flat on your back and keep the chest open.
  • Keep your palms facing up.
  • Close your eyes and breathe. Inhale and exhale deeply through the nose.

Modification

You can cross your legs while lying down as this will also alleviate some pressure in your lower back.

References:

  1. Iyengar, Bellur Krishnamukar Sundara. Light on yoga: yoga dīpikā. Schocken Books, 1970.
Caleb Willow

"Yoga should be affordable and available to everyBODY" and everybody should practice asana. There are multiple levels on the yogic path, asana being the physical aspect. My teaching is heavily influenced by the Iyengar method but am certified specifically in the Hatha style. After training for three years at an Iyengar-based school in Scottsdale, AZ - I went out on my own and began a movement of yoga outcasts; to influence others that no matter who you are; you are welcome and encouraged to practice asana regularly. I believe that in order to live the life of a 'yogi' one should strengthen their body and mind through asana. Treating others and ourselves with kindness is also a tenement to my belief system.

Caleb Willow

"Yoga should be affordable and available to everyBODY" and everybody should practice asana. There are multiple levels on the yogic path, asana being the physical aspect. My teaching is heavily influenced by the Iyengar method but am certified specifically in the Hatha style. After training for three years at an Iyengar-based school in Scottsdale, AZ - I went out on my own and began a movement of yoga outcasts; to influence others that no matter who you are; you are welcome and encouraged to practice asana regularly. I believe that in order to live the life of a 'yogi' one should strengthen their body and mind through asana. Treating others and ourselves with kindness is also a tenement to my belief system.