Today, due to advancement in medical sciences and technology, identifying the exact kind of back ailment, one is suffering from has become easy. This specific segregation has allowed us to target the exact area, of the back, that needs focused therapy.
Yoga practices designed for one kind of back pain may not be suitable for another kind of back pain. In fact, may back fire in some of the cases. Hence, it is crucial that you identify the exact nature of your lower back pain. The most common complaints of today are related to ‘Muscular Imbalance’ which is a resultant of being perpetually ‘Desk Bound’ – be it at work or home.
- Those who have a stressed or stiff lower back will mostly enjoy forward bending asanas, as forward bend is instrumental in releasing the stiffness in the back. In majority of the back-pain issues, however, forward bend is strictly prohibited. So, one needs to observe precaution. Having said that, half forward bends, in which your head is not dropping down and is up towards the ceiling, is recommended during any kind of back pain for the simple reason that it keeps your back in a concave position, thereby, aligning your spine to its correct position while also lengthening your spine to lubricate your disc.
- Do not do extreme back bending asanas
- Initially only choose the postures (recommended for backpain) which brings comfort. Avoid the postures which brings any kind of discomfort (even though recommended for back pain). Later on, you can slowly graduate onto the advance postures.
- Don’t sit crossed leg if you have sciatica
- Vajrasana is good in case of sciatica
The below listed stretches are simple, can be done on their own and are safe in any kind of back pain.
Series of Ardha Pawanmuktasana
I have listed 4 sets of Pawanmuktasana, starting from the very basic to the most elaborate one. Each one as shown, is very helpful in treating even chronic backpain. Using a support to perform, initially, can further help ease the pain.
- Make sure to keep your spine, especially mid to the lower part glued to the floor for maximum benefits. Any kind of gap will create stress in the lower back.
- Press the knee/s firmly against your chest. This will further fix your spine to the floor and slide the hips out, thereby, releasing tension from the lower back.
In the picture, the arms are stretched out. You can alternatively interlace your fingers and place them under your head.Tips:
- Make sure to keep your shoulder blades fixed to the floor as much as possible.
Urdhava Kati and Adho Kati are very simple but highly effective in making your back supple. The only thing you ensure here is creating gap between hips and upper back by pushing mid back towards the ceiling, and then alternatively pressing this area firmly down on the floor. Hold both the positions for 10 seconds each with normal breathing and repeat 10 times round.
One may not always need to wait for an official diagnosis before beginning any kind of yoga stretches. However, if pain is chronic, if there is progressive numbness in the feet, legs or pelvic area, if one is experiencing changes in bowel, bladder function or if the pain is unbearable, seek medical advice before doing any type of physical exercise.
Shammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.