Performing Yoga with Lower Back Pain

If you experience lower back pain, you might be concerned about performing Yoga and exacerbating your condition. Although some forms of Yoga and certain positions may be too strenuous or contraindicated for your particular condition, experts agree that regular exercise, stretching and relaxation techniques that are used in Yoga can decrease lower back pain and increase mobility. Before starting a Yoga regimen, see a doctor to diagnose your back condition. This will allow you to develop a Yoga routine that suits your condition.

It is important to perform Yoga on the correct surface. Don’t perform Yoga in bed, the surface is too soft and won’t give your back the support it needs. You should perform Yoga on the floor, lying flat on your back. A thin workout mat can be used to provide a little comfort. If you are suffering from an injury or experiencing severe lower back pain, you can use props such as yoga ties, blocks, blankets and pillows to stabilize your position and take pressure off the spine.

The most important principle of Yoga is awareness. Listen to what your body is telling you. Move slowly and with precision, concentrating on how your body feels. If it feels good, then continue, if it hurts…STOP. Don’t ever bounce in a Yoga position, this can injure your back or exacerbate an existing condition. Move into a good stretch position and hold it for 5-10 seconds.

Breathing correctly during Yoga is going to help you get the most out of your workout. Take slow, deep breaths using your diaphragm and stomach muscles. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on relaxing your lower back muscles when you exhale. Yoga teaches that the breath is what connects the mind to the body. As your awareness of your body grows, you will recognize when your back muscles are tensing up throughout your day and can practice breathing and relaxation techniques to decrease lower back pain or eliminate it.

Warm muscles will stretch more easily. Use a heating pad on your lower back for 15 minutes before beginning your Yoga routine. Warmth has a naturally relaxing effect on the body and if your lower back pain is reduced before you start your routine, you will be able to perform more during each practice session.

Yoga is all about the stretch. Start with easy stretches to warm up your muscles and relax the tension in your body. Concentrate on your breathing technique and prepare your mind before and during each position. The following poses have been found to reduce or prevent lower back pain.

  • Cat and Cow pose is a combination of Yoga poses that will work on upper and lower back pain.
  • Bound Angle, Pigeon, Crescent lunge and Forward Bend will reduce tension in the lower pack.
  • Cow-face pose, Chest Expansion, and Camel pose works on the chest and upper back muscles which is important to balance the entire spine and improve posture which has a direct impact on lower back pain.
  • Deeper release, twisting poses can open up your chest and stretch your hips and spine. Twisting positions should only be performed if you do not have disc issues. They should be performed slowly and carefully to avoid causing injury.

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