Familiar with persistent low back pain?
Low back pain most often occurs due to a passive lifestyle, or excessive physical exertion. But hernias and protrusions in the lumbar spine are not excluded.
To improve the condition of the spine, we can perform a number of simple asanas. First of all, these are deflections. They release tension from the back, combat stress, release tension from the abdominal cavity and open the shoulders down. The fact that thanks to yoga you can get rid of back pain is an indisputable fact.
Practice backbends under the supervision of an experienced instructor. Because some lower back exercises with the wrong technique can further aggravate your condition. It is also important not only to mindlessly repeat after the instructor, but also to listen to yourself, to your feelings, not to rush and not set records for a short time.
Why are there problems with deflections?
What is deflection in general as a goal? Deflection is stretching of the spine + stretching of the front surface of the body. This also includes the mobility of the shoulder and thoracic regions.
The relationship of the chest and shoulders is very visible when you straighten your shoulders and your chest automatically rises, your gaze is directed forward, the chest expands and opens.
For many, the thoracic region is difficult to open, all because our life is a movement forward. For half of our lives we sit at the desk, then at the desk, behind the wheel, and wash the dishes, and all this with our heads and shoulders bowed. And finally, our sleep: most adults sleep curled up, on their side or on their stomachs, which also aggravates the problems with the spine. Over time, the shoulders and neck simply remain turned downward. While mastering the correct deflection, do not forget about strengthening the muscles. Yes, yogis seem incredibly flexible, but if we try to go deep into the deflection due to weak muscles, then sooner or later we will get injured.
Below is a sequence of asanas that will help open the chest, help loosen the shoulders and safely master the arch.
Chest + Shoulders
To master the backbends, you will need yoga blocks and a belt. A strap for us in order to work out the shoulders well before starting the lesson.
- sit on your knees, buttocks on your heels, straighten your back
- take a strap wider than shoulder width apart and place it on your hips
- with a breath, lift the strap to the sky, and a little back
- with an exhalation, raise it again above your head, and lower it down to its original position.
- inhale, lift the strap up
- exhale, lower the strap down
- repeat 5-10 times to develop shoulders + expand chest
- this is a great exercise to do daily or add to your practice
Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
At first glance, it is not obvious that the triangle pose works with the thoracic region, and really helps to expand it. It seems to have a lot of emphasis on the legs and torso.
But in it, we try more than ever to keep our shoulders straight and our arms wide apart. I recommend putting one hand on the block, and pulling the other up. Also, if you feel comfortable, you can lower your raised arm behind your back, this will allow you to expand the thoracic region more.
- we perform this pose only after a good warm-up, or if the warm-up was not half-strength.
- place your forehead and chin on the floor or on a yoga block.
- focus on keeping your hips above your knees
- and always breathe, don’t hold your breath
Puppy Pose Variation
If the previous option is difficult for you, do this:
- we start on all fours with two blocks at hand.
- extend your arms forward and place them on top of the blocks.
- extend your hips up into a puppy pose, and continue to pull your arms forward, lowering your chest down, closer and closer to the deep stretching mat.
- stay in this position for five deep breaths.
- this pose is also done after a good warm-up.
- it strengthens the body + opens the thoracic region.
- we go into a pose from our knees, legs together, lie on our stomach
- we wrap our hands around our feet and slowly raise our legs and chest up.
- we observe the breath, do not hold it. If your breath is automatically held back, go back and do everything much slower.
- do this pose for a start at 30% of your capacity, and increase as you practice.
This pose teaches us to feel the difference between flexion and extension of the spine. As you exercise, imagine a string that goes through the center of your chest and stretches. Pulls you up in the cat position and pulls you down in the cow position.
This wonderful pose teaches us to move our shoulders away from our ears, and in it we learn to lift the chest up. This action will come in handy later in the upward-facing dog, the cobra, and many other poses. This asana can be considered a key one in the practice of “yoga for the thoracic region.” It perfectly warms up the muscles of the back and lower back as well.
- lie on your stomach
- place your forearms directly under your shoulders
- Press firmly on your forearms to extend your spine and make room for forward movement.
- engage the muscles of the press and back
- rest your pubic bone on the mat.
- take seven deep breaths.
This asana helps to increase the active range of your shoulders. It also trains the forearms very well. be careful not to fall on your shoulders; instead, push them off the rug.
- if you want to complicate things, place a block between your forearms.
- then enter the dog, face down, and grasp the bottom corners of the block with your thumbs and forefingers.
- and shift your weight forward, lift your pelvis high up
- touch the block with your forehead or nose
- remember to keep your core muscles strong
- lift up and return to starting position in dolphin pose
- with each repetition, bring your feet closer to your chest
- repeat 10 times.
In half-bridge position, pull your shoulders under your body, then lift your hips. By raising your shoulders before raising your hips, you are protecting your thoracic spine because your shoulder blades at the back act like a small shelf, raising your thoracic spine.
And completes our small practice of shashankasana. This is a variation on the baby’s pose to increase the range of your shoulders. We need two yoga blocks.
- we put them on both sides of the hands.
- spread your knees to a comfortable distance for you
- put your forearms on blocks
- and let your forehead sink gently onto the rug
- hold this pose for five deep breaths.
This yoga back set is a basic sequence for mastering backbends.
By doing it regularly, you will see progress already in the second week of classes. Of course, in yoga, the priority is not progress, but health, so do all the exercises at your own pace. Be patient and careful. And in addition to this sequence, try to observe the position of your back in space throughout the day. If you are sitting, straighten up, stretch your arms up, breathe in deeply, and exhale all the hardships and troubles.