Written by Evgeniya Koseva
One of the most common issues among computer workers, elderly people, and sedentary millennials is back pain. Rounded shoulders, tight hamstrings, and stiff hip flexors often accompany spinal problems.
While most people ignore the initial discomfort, the pain in their back and neck becomes unbearable before they know it. Pain killers and muscle relaxants are often the immediate remedies one seeks. They will undeniably numb the pain at first. However, they cannot replace proper spinal therapy and could lead to an addiction.
Intense workouts and heavyweights are also out of the question. So, what could you do if all these methods are inefficient, risky, and do not promote spinal health?
Visiting a chiropractor or acupuncturist is one feasible route. For extended back health, though, you will need to supplement your medical appointments with consistent physical practice. The solution lies in the yogic science of asanas (physical postures).
Before you attempt any of the following suggestions, be sure to check out some online tutorials on proper alignment and execution of the poses. Here are our top favorite asanas for improved posture, strength, and flexibility in your spine:
1. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist Pose)
Like most spinal twists, this pose will increase your spinal flexibility. It will also stretch your neck, shoulders, and hips. Suitable for all levels.
2. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
This restorative asana will enable you to deeply relax your back while reducing stress levels and calming your nervous system.
3. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
One of the most popular yoga poses that will strengthen your entire vertebral column. Start with modifications if you are a beginner and slowly work your way up to the complete asana.
4. Bakasana (Crane Pose)
This posture is a bit more advanced, so exercise heightened caution when attempting it. It will not only stretch your back but also strengthen your abs, wrists, and arms.
5. Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
One of our most beloved heart openers, this pose is ideal for strengthening the entire back of your body (from the toes to the fingertips).
6. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
Your upper back will thank you after a consistent practice incorporating Eagle Pose. As an added benefit, you will enjoy stronger calves and ankles.
7. Halasana (Plough Pose)
Recommendable for intermediate practitioners, this asana provides a deep & intense vertebral column and shoulder stretch.
8. Kandharasana (Shoulder Pose)
If you are keen on correcting your posture from too much slouching, this pose is for you. It could also alleviate lower back pain while improving your digestion.
9. Karnapidasana (Ear Pressure Pose)
You should only attempt this asana after mastering Plough Pose, as it is a more advanced variation. It has both a strengthening and stretching effect on your vertebral column.
10. Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose)
This beginner-friendly pose can quickly soothe you while gently stretching your neck and back torso.
11. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
If you are looking to pump your upper back muscles and neck, Matsyasana is the perfect pose.
12. Moordhasana (Crown-Based Pose)
If you have tight hamstrings, you may feel discomfort in this pose. It will alleviate lower back pain, though, and is extremely helpful for people with low blood pressure.
13. Naukasana (Boat Pose)
Strengthen your spine while getting rid of belly fat: a dream combo!
14. Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose)
Though it may look and sound intimidating, this pose will provide your mid-and low back with greater strength while promoting better spinal mobility & flexibility.
15. Paschimottanasana (Back Stretching Pose)
This forward bend stretches your entire back and is appropriate for all levels.
16. Shashankasana (Hare Pose)
If you enjoy deep back relaxations, this pose will gift you precisely that!
17. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Posture correction and reduced lower back pain could be expected with consistent practice of this asana.
18. Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
Relieve your entire vertebral column, shoulders, thorax with this back-challenging yoga pose.
19. Vakrasana (Twisted Pose)
If Ardha Matsyandrasana is not available to you, try Vakrasana instead. Your spinal stiffness will dissipate over time, and your back muscles will get more toned.
20. Vyaghrasana (Tiger Pose)
Though classified as a beginner pose, Vyaghrasana could transform into a refreshing exercise with enough repetitions. It will increase your spinal flexibility while strengthening your back, shoulders, chest, abs, glutes, and legs.
Do not skip Shavasana in the end.
For a fulfilling yoga session, make sure to finish with Shavasana (Corpse Pose). It will allow you to reap the mental and physical benefits of your practice.
Namaste, with love!