Everyday Health – Many studies have shown the power of the ancient practice of yoga to relieve back soreness and improve function.
Yoga may even help reduce the need for pain medication.
While yoga isn’t a good idea if you have severe pain, those with occasional soreness or chronic aches may greatly benefit from certain postures that can help return your back to its proper alignment.
- Downward-Facing Dog
This classic pose is a great total body stretch that targets back extensors: the large muscles that help form your lower back, support your spine, and help you stand and lift objects.
Try it: Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees away from the floor and lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling. For an added hamstring stretch, gently push your heels toward the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat the pose five to seven times.
- Child’s Pose
It may look like you’re resting, but Child’s pose is an active stretch that helps elongate the back. It’s also a great de-stressor before bed at the end of a long, exhausting day.
Try it: Start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your glutes (butt muscles) come to rest just above — but not touching — your heels. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as many times as needed for a good, soothing stretch.
- Pigeon Pose
Pigeon pose stretches hip rotators and flexors. It may not seem like the most obvious position to treat a backache, but tight hips can contribute to lower back pain.
Try it: Start in Downward-Facing Dog with your feet together. Then draw your left knee forward and turn it out to the left so your left leg is bent and near perpendicular to your right one; lower both legs to the ground. You can simply keep your back right leg extended straight behind you. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.
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