Do you have an achy breaky back? Improve your spine health and try yoga! Yoga has been shown to improve chronic back pain and occasional soreness. According to Everyday Health Fitness expert, Jennifer Bayliss, engaging in certain yoga positions can lengthen the spine, stretch and strengthen muscles in the spine and help realign the back to proper alignment.
You don’t have to be super fit to participate in yoga; this ancient practice is for anyone of all shapes and sizes. Yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle, so before you shrug it off, here are five Yoga positions you can try to improve your back health:
Downward-Facing Dog: This classic pose targets the large muscles in you lower back that help you stand and lift objects. Start by placing your hands and knees on the floor. Then pressing back, raise your knees from the floor and lift your tailbone upward. Hold this position for about 5 to 10 breaths then repeat as desired.
Child’s pose: This de-stressor pose is a great stretch for elongating the spine. Start on all fours; stretch your arms out in front of you, the sit back on your gluten making sure you come to rest just above your heels. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breaths and repeat as many times as desired.
Triangle pose: This pose is great for strengthening the muscles in the spine and legs. Start this pose by standing straight with your feet together. Then take your left foot and lunge it back about three feet; make sure to point your left foot is at a 45 degree angle. Next, turn your chest to the side, touch the ground with your right arm and stretch your left arm to the sky. Make sure you keep your feet straight. Hold the position for 5 breaths then alternate sides and repeat the steps.
Upward Forward Bend: This pose is great for releasing tension in the shoulders while stretching the spine. Start this pose by standing straight, shoulder width apart. Keep your knees loose, hinge at your waist and bend forward reaching for the floor. *It is important to remember that you don’t have to touch the floor, stop wherever you can reach. Hold the position for 5 breaths then repeat the steps.
Upward-Facing Dog: This pose will engage your spine as well as open your chest. Start this pose by laying flat on the floor with your palms facedown near your ribs. Then with legs together, press the tops of your feet unto the floor and use the strength of your back to lift your chest upward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths then repeat.
Now you know the poses and the steps, go improve your back! If you suffer from serious back pain and would like to speak with a physician about options, please make an appointment.
* Do not try these poses by yourself; get a partner to assist you.
*If you suffer from severe back pain, trying yoga is not recommend.