5 Yoga Poses For Your Back

There are so many things which can affect back pain; lifestyle habits, what you do for work, how much you exercise (and your form when doing so) or injury. Our spine supports our entire body so it’s no wonder it can sometimes get out of whack.

If you’re suffering from chronic or acute back pain the first step is to understand what’s causing the issue. You can then work on a plan to treat and rehabilitate the area to help manage the pain. Depending on you issue, the best healthcare professional to see will vary – it could include a massage therapist, physio, chiropractor, osteopath, acupuncturist or a combination of these, just to name a few…

Here are our top five yin yoga poses to target the back and keep the whole spine mobile and healthy. Approach them gently and work within your body’s limitations – these poses should be approached as yin postures, work to 60% of your full range and hold for 2-5 mins each (start slowly and build up to longer holds). If you feel any pain, come out of the pose or use props to modify:

1. Forward fold

This is a great stretch for opening the whole back line of the body while also having a calming effect, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. If you’re tight through the hamstrings (backs of legs) add a deep bend in your knees as you want to feel the stretch through your back rather than in your legs. Let you head hang heavy so you feel it all the way up into your neck and enjoy some deep breaths.

2. Sphinx pose

A fantastic pose for gently stressing the lumbar area, it will encourage blood flow which is essential for maintaining healthy tissues. It will also open you up through the chest, shoulders and abdomen. Be careful not to crunch or compress into this area and be careful if you have a back or disc injury. If performed in actively it will help bring strength to the spine.

3. Butterfly pose

A nice way to get into the hips and lower back without needing to worry about tight hammies restricting you! Feet further away will get into the hamstrings, closer to the groin will stretch into the adductors. You can either stay upright or gently lean forward. Again approaching gently and using props to support you.

4. Childs pose

A healing and restful pose it gently stretches the spine and is a great counter pose for any backbend. You can either stretch your arms out in front of have them down by your sides. If your head doesn’t touch the floor you can prop it up with a billow or block and don’t worry if your bum doesn’t reach your heels. As you get more open you’ll gradually get there.

5. Supine twist

Twists help to restore balance in the nervous system and release any tension in the spine. Don’t push into the twist, just relax, breathe and let gravity do the work. If your knees are floating in space, pop a pillow or bolster under them so you can really relax into it. Once you’ve done one side, move slowly into the other.

If you are suffering from back pain, please seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Work within your own personal ranges and limitations when performing these poses, if you are in any pain or discomfort while doing any of them please modify or stop doing them altogether. pH Clinic accepts no responsibility for any injury caused while performing these poses.

Nicola Johnson

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