5 Easy Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain - Medshield Movement

5 Easy Yoga Poses to Relieve Back Pain

Even before the COVID-19 third wave hit, many of us continued to work from home – even if only part-time. However, as many can attest, working from home has had negative health side effects, one of which is back pain. Without ergonomic work chairs at home, it’s easier to sit on soft couches that don’t offer proper back support for an 8-hour workday, causing lower and upper backaches. Lack of movement also leads to the body stiffening up and all kinds of little pains.

To get your body moving again, here is a list of beginner-friendly yoga poses that you can do in the comfort of your home. The moves will help to ease and release tension in the upper back and iron out any painful kinks. If you don’t have a yoga mat, place a large towel over a flat carpeted or grassed area.


Cat & Cow

Think of this as your gentle warm-up and a nice release for the back. This gentle, accessible backbend stretches and mobilises the spine. Practising this pose also stretches your torso, shoulders, and neck. Start on your hands and knees in a Table Top position, with shoulders directly over wrists and hips over knees.
Inhale and lift your head, chest and tailbone towards the ceiling as you arch your back for Cow pose, sticking your bum out. On the exhale, round your spine and drop your head towards the floor for Cat pose. Tilt your pelvis and gaze towards your belly button.

Slowly repeat, moving on the breath for 30 seconds or up to 1 minute.


Downward-facing Dog to High Plank

This traditional forward bend can be restful and rejuvenating. Practising this pose can help to relieve back pain. From Table Top position, as you inhale, curl your toes and lift your knees up off the mat. As you exhale, extend your hips up towards the ceiling so that your body forms a triangle-like shape or inverted V. Bend your knees slightly if needed, especially as your body warms up. On your next inhale drop your hips and move into High Plank. Adjust your hands if you need to for the first transition, then keep them where they are as you exhale and come back into Downward-facing Dog.

Slowly repeat, moving on the breath for 30 seconds or up to 1 minute.


Cobra

This gentle backbend stretches your abdomen, chest and shoulders. Practising this pose strengthens your spine and may soothe sciatica. From High Plank, lower your body all the way down to the ground. Place your hands directly beneath your shoulders, tucking your elbows into your waist.

Inhale to press your chest up off the mat into a Baby Cobra. Hold for three breaths before allowing the body to come back down to the mat on the next exhale.

On your next inhale, press your upper body off the mat into full cobra position, straightening the arms. If this is too much for your body, continue only with baby cobra, repeating three more times. If you can hold a full cobra, repeat baby cobra once more and then full cobra for a second time.


Bridge

This is a backbend and inversion that can be stimulating or restorative. It stretches the spine and may relieve backaches and headaches. Turn around so that you’re lying on your back, arms alongside your body. Lift your knees and point them up towards the ceiling, keeping your feet firmly flat on the mat. As you inhale, lift your lower back first, then middle back, then upper back off the mat. Squeeze your glutes, engage your quads and lift your pelvis. Hold for three breaths, then slowly lower your back all the way down to the mat. Repeat twice more.


Spinal Twist

This restorative twist promotes movement and mobility in the spine and back. It stretches your spine, back and shoulders. It can help relieve pain and stiffness in your back and hips.

Start where you left off in Bridge pose, with your knees pointed up towards the ceiling and arms alongside your body. Keeping your knees and feet together, then slowly drop your knees over to one side, starting with your left. Lower the knees as low as your body allows and hold in this position. You are welcome to place your left hand on top of your right thigh, guiding it down. If it feels comfortable, gaze in the opposite direction (i.e. to the right). Stay here for five breaths and then change sides.

If you’d like to follow a free yoga class online, try this beginner-friendly class here. You also motivate yourself to work out by reading these handy tips.

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