Ever wondered why sitting in a bad posture even for a few minutes triggers that uncomfortable pain in the back? Well, the back or the spine is a chief support system for the human body. Even the simplest functions like standing or sitting are possible because our back supports us at all times. Consequently, our lower back bears a significant amount of our weight most of the time. 

Yet, very often, between our busy schedules, we take our spines for granted. Poor posture, sitting without support, weak core, faulty-fitting shoes, lifting heavy weights incorrectly cause strain to the muscles in our back and contribute to back pain. 

To counter these complications, there are simple and safe yoga exercises and poses that one could easily perform for back pain relief. These poses would help you maintain a good posture by aligning your spine. It could also enhance your flexibility and balance. 

These poses are suggested to ease the stress caused by mild backache. In case the pain is severe or chronic, it is recommended to consult an Orthopedic doctor at the earliest. The following are the simple poses to manage back pain.

1. Cat or Cow Pose

This pose works by mobilizing and stretching your spine. It strengthens the torso, shoulder, and neck, and it significantly aids in relieving the lower back’s tension. Cat/Cow Pose also increases the flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and spine.

How To Do It –

  • This pose starts on all fours. Your shoulder should be in alignment with your wrists (shoulder-distance apart) and hips should be over the knees (hip-distance apart). Balance your weight appropriately.
  • Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged. 
  • Inhale gradually and simultaneously look upwards to the ceiling as you continue inhaling. Let your belly soften, arch your back, and lift your head and tailbone. This part of the stretch is called Cow.
  • Next, while exhaling, slowly tuck the chin into the chest by bending your neck and gradually draw the navel towards your spine. Round your spine up to the ceiling while pulling your abs toward your spine. While you do this, tuck your tailbone and chin inside. This part is known as Cat.
  • Continue the flow back and forth from Cat to Cow for a minute. Remember to link the movement to your breath.

2. Seated Spinal Twist Pose

Spinal twists are very beneficial for the back. The seated spinal twist is a simple pose to get you comfortable with twisting your spine. This pose eliminates the pain and stiffness of the spine and shoulders. It also improves the overall elasticity of the spine and opens up the chest to increase oxygen take. The pose also has a relaxing effect. 

How To Do It – 

  • To begin with this pose, sit on the yoga mat with both legs flexed straight.
  • Next, bend your right knee, keeping the sole of the right foot on the floor, towards the outside of the left thigh. The right foot should be as close to the left thigh as possible.
  • Then, clasp your left hand to hold the shin area just below the bent right knee. Keep your right hand behind you on the floor (palm-faced) for support and look backward.
  • Maintain this pose for 15 seconds and change sides. Repeat it 3-5 times.

3. Downward Dog Pose

The downward dog pose is one of the most widely practiced poses in Yoga for its immense benefits for the entire body. As you lengthen and stretch your spine in this pose, you bring more oxygen into your body. This pose also lets you experience a stronger, more extended backbone and spine with more strength in the entire back body.

Though beneficial for the back, the downward dog pose also helps strengthen and stretch other muscles in the hamstrings, shoulders, hands, and calves. It is even stated to prevent osteoporosis.

How To Do It –

  • Similar to the first step of cat/cow pose, start on all fours. Your shoulder should be in alignment with your wrists (shoulder-distance apart) and hips, should be over the knees (hip-distance apart). Balance your weight appropriately.
  • Gradually, bring your hands slightly forward ahead and away from the shoulders. Spread your fingers and press it on the floor. Roll the upper arm away from you, and stretch the forearm as well.
  • Next, gently engage the navel back to the spine and lift your hip back and up. Keep your heels firmly pressed to the ground. It would be an upside-down V-pose. 
  • Maintain the pose for 15-20 seconds or up to a minute. Repeat it 5-6 times.

4. Plow Pose

This pose opens the region near the neck, shoulder, and back. It is known to stimulate and regulate the thyroid gland and encourages correct breathing patterns. This pose might be a bit strenuous for some people, and hence it should not be performed in case of consequential back, neck injury, or at a beginner level. 

How To Do It – 

  • First, lay down on the floor in a supine position, allow your arms to rest beside you with the palm facing downwards.
  • Next, while inhaling, gradually lift your legs and hips off the floor and raise them towards the ceiling. 
  • Straighten the legs and gradually lower them over your head. In case your toes do not touch the floor, remember to provide support to your back with the help of your hands. 
  • If the toes rest comfortably on the floor, interlace your fingers by extending the arms along the floor behind your back.
  • Maintain this position for 15- 20 seconds. You could increase the duration of practice. 
  • Lastly, to release the pose, gradually bring your legs downwards, reversing the motion you did before. You could provide the support of your hands as well.

5. Seated Forward Fold

This stretch believes in strengthening and straightening the back, pelvis, shoulder, hamstrings. It is common to do this pose inaccurately; hence, precisely follow the next steps.

How To Do It –

  • Sit on a mat with the legs flexed ahead of you. 
  • Next, as you inhale, lift your hands and bend forward and clasp your feet’ sole with your fingers.
  • Remember to bend your knees if you find it challenging to carry-out or maintain the pose. Stretch the sternum forward rather than rounding the back.
  • Maintain this pose for 20-30 seconds and keep increasing as your flexibility to perform this pose improves.

6. Child’s Pose

This pose is very relaxing and aids in lengthening and stretching the spine and neck. It relieves the tension felt on the back and is even known to reduce stress and fatigue.

How To Do It –

  • Keep the knees together and kneel on the floor and gradually sit back on the heels.
  • Next, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, bend forward and touch the forehead to the floor.
  • Allow your hands to be flexed on the floor over your head and lay your palms straight forward. Maintain this pose for 45 seconds to a minute. Repeat it twice.

7. Eagle Pose

This pose needs strength, flexibility as well as concentration. Performing this pose would improve the posture and enhance your balancing ability.

How To Do It –

  • Stand with your arms stretched over your head. Next, bend both the knees slightly and at the same time gradually bring the left foot up and balance on the right foot. Then, cross the right leg from behind and tuck your left foot behind the right calf.
  • Next, lower your hands and twine them in front of your torso, in such a way that your right arm is above the left and gradually bend the elbows. 
  • Next, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, bend forward and touch the forehead to the floor.
  • The back of the hands should be facing each other and maintain this overall pose for 20-30 seconds. Repeat it thrice.

8. Locust Pose

The locust pose is known to strengthen the torso, back, and buttocks. It even works on the triceps and the trapezius muscle of the back.

How To Do It –

  • Lie on the stomach, with the forehead flat on the floor and keep your hands loosely beside the torso, allow the palm to be facing upwards.
  • Next, gradually lift the head, the trunk part, arms, and legs away from the floor. 
  • Touch both the big toes together while lifting the legs straight away from the floor (slightly upwards)
  • As you lift your arms, interlace your fingers above the back and stretch.
  • Sustain the pose for 30-45 seconds. Repeat it two to three times.

9. Bow Pose

The bow pose can stretch and strengthen the entire front body and even tones the back muscles. It gives relaxation to the tensed muscles.

How To Do It – 

  • Lay on the mat in a prone position. Next, lift your arms backward.
  • At the same time, bend your knees slightly and lift them upwards as well.
  • Next, grab your ankles with the help of the extended backward arms. Hold one ankle first and then the other.
  • Lastly, lift your chest and thighs away from the floor as you try to lift yourself upwards, maintaining the pose. Perform this pose for 45 seconds to a minute.

 10. Triangle Pose

This classic pose can help alleviate the back pain and the strain felt on the neck muscles. It stretches the leg and strengthens the muscles around the knee, hips, and groin region.

How To Do It –

  • To begin with, keep a three feet distance between your feet while standing. Next, rotate the right foot so that the right foot’s heel is in line along the arch of the left foot
  • Next, tilt your body at the hip, stretch the left arm straight up and fix your gaze upwards while your right arm is extended downwards and touching the right feet. 
  • Keep the body straight and sustain this pose for 7 to 10 seconds.

These poses could thereby be of great assistance to get rid of the temporary mild backaches. Remember to consult with your doctor to prevent any unforeseen experiences before incorporating the exercise in your regime. You can also consult with our Ayurvedic practitioners and consultants to identify the correct poses for you to get relief from backache. 


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