Yoga for Back Pain

Back pain is a leading common workplace injury (sitting behind a desk, standing behind a register) and leading cause of employees calling in sick.

Did you know that certain disciplines and physical activities (such as yoga) can decrease back pain and improve once overall condition?

In recent years, yoga has seen an increase in practitioners who began with the primary objective of relieving and managing joint pain, especially in the back.

Let's start with the basics: how can lower back pain be prevented?

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • strengthening back muscles
  • practicing correct posture when sitting
  • practicing correct posture when lifting heavy loads (ever heard lift with your knees?)
  • proper sleep on a mattress that supports your needs

How to manage back pain that already exists

If you suffer from chronic back pain, you should always consult with a doctor, a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or a individual who specialized in back and pain management.

In recent years, yoga has been gaining ground and considered one of the best alternatives and a complementary therapy for back pain. Yoga may be an excellent practice to start if you're beginning to feel mild back pain and the pain isn't chronic. It is important that you practice in a class setting or with an experience teacher, who can guide you through the practice, working on your alignment and postures.

When is yoga helpful?

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, often an issue in corporate environments resulting from  sitting for long periods of time and not walking enough, ANY physical activity is recommended and will provide benefits (always listening to your body and never pushing it beyond what it's capable of). Yoga can be a gentle form of physical activity that doesn't require a huge time commitment or excessive physical exertion. In fact, an advantage to practicing yoga to manage back pain is that it also tensions throughout your body and mind.

Best 3 Asanas for Back Pain

  1. Matsyasana (Fish Pose): Practiced lying on your back, straighten your legs with your feet pointed straight up and arms by your side or under your buttock. Slightly raise your torse creating an arche from your buttock to your head. Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds, never stretching so much that you are in pain. Through Matsyasana, the spine is stretched and aligned, the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck are strengthened and overall posture is improved. 
  2. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
    Lay on your stomach with your legs stretched out. The top of your feet should be resting on the ground and your hand placed in line with your shoulders. Push up with your arms to raise your torso so your back bends and hold for 15-30 seconds. This position will strengthen your spine, relieve stressed and fatigued muscles while stretching the entire back.
  3. Halasana (Plow Pose)
    This position is practiced by lying on your back. Start with both your legs stretched and arms by your side. Slowly raise your feet and legs until they are above your head. Continue to keep your legs straight and moving your feet and legs until, ultimately, your toes are resting on the ground behind your head. This position may take some practice and working up to but it is great for stretching shoulder and spine.

On closing, it's always beneficial to practice yoga on a comfortable mat, especially if you're trying to relieve back pain and practicing positions that involve laying on the ground. Our namaSTAY mat is a great option to practice on. It has a 4.5mm thick base that's made from natural tree rubber, providing a cushioning that will support you during your practice. Give it a try today!

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