Many people experience back pain at some point in their life and a number of us don’t even know what caused it. We have our theories of what could have triggered this nuisance; from weak core muscles, to lifting something too heavy, or sitting for extended periods of time, the list goes on. Fortunately for the 31 million Americans currently suffering from low back pain there is hope on the horizon.
Yoga has been proven countless time to speed the healing process. We know that it is imperative to strengthen and stretch our bodies, but what muscle groups precisely should we focus on to ease low back pain? To make it simple, we are only going to focus on the muscles that contribute to the movement of the hips. The hips include many muscles with one in particular, the psoas, which connects directly to vertebra in the low back.
The following yoga poses will ease low back pain regardless of severity and intensity by focusing on hip opening. Here are some of my favorite hip openers that have helped me as well as countless others in living a life with a pain-free back.
This classic pose helps posture by stretching the muscles on the sides of the thigh, the groins and psoas muscle. Begin by holding this position for one minute and gradually work up to three minutes. This can be practiced either on the floor or with the hips propped up on a cushion or blanket. If the first pose is too difficult then try one of the variations. This pose is safe to do post surgery and should be practiced with flexed toes to protect the knee.
Bound Angle Pose
This simple pose helps to stretch and tone the inner thighs and groins, relieves sciatica by reducing lumbar lordosis, and increases circulation to the low back. Tip: If your knees are higher than your hips sit on a folded blanket or cushion. You can also do this pose lying down.
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold
This therapeutic posture is used for strengthening the spine, relieving sciatica, stretching the inside of thighs, hamstrings, adductors, groins and back. If you have hips on the tighter side sit on a folded blanket and use a strap around each foot to hold for support.
Tip: Practice with a tall spine trying to avoid any rounding in the back.
It is always a good idea for people new to yoga to practice these postures at least once with a professional. The practice of yoga helps us to get more familiar with our bodies thus possibly preventing future injuries. Just like every lifestyle change it takes time and daily dedication to reach maximum results.
For more tips and information, contact:
– Chelsey Charbeneau – CYT, E-RYT
Certified Yoga Therapist, Yoga Instructor, Private Trainer
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