Young Woman Relaxing in a Yoga Class

Yoga Postures for a Healthy Back

July 13, 2020

Try these easy postures to help relieve and prevent back pain. 

Always consult with a health practitioner first and listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort relax the posture immediately.

Basic alignment

Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet firmly on the floor. Breathe slowly through your nose and direct your focus towards your alignment. Make sure that your spine is straight, feel that both sides of your body are equal in length, your neck is a natural extension of your spine and your nose points straight up. Position your arms alongside your body with your palms facing up, maintain a space between your upper arm and your torso. Check that your feet are hip width apart and that they are about one to two of your foot lengths away from your hips. Feel that your weight is distributed evenly between your feet and make sure that you are not rolling onto the outside edges of your feet.

Remain here breathing slowly though your nose for as long as is required.

Gentle Mobility

Whilst lying in the above position it is possible to gently mobilise the pelvis and lower back.

As you inhale allow your lower back to leave the floor by rolling your pelvis so that you keep your bottom on the floor as you exhale tilt the pelvis in the other direction so that the lower back releases down to the ground. Continue with these movements gently mobilising the pelvis and the lower back.

Core Strengthener

Remain in the above position breathing slowly through your nose. The following muscular contractions will activate some of the deep core muscles.

In yoga these contractions are also referred to as Bandhas or Locks.

As you inhale draw up your pelvic floor muscles (also known as the root lock or mulha bandha) and with each exhalation draw your navel back towards your spine (also known as the abdominal lock or uddiyana bandha).

Repeat for twenty complete breaths.

Lower Back Strengthener

Roll onto your front and extend your arms and legs. As you inhale lengthen your right arm with your left leg and allow them to lift from the floor as you exhale return to your starting position. Repeat by inhaling and lengthening the left arm with the right leg keep and allow them to lift from the floor. 

Continue for twenty complete breaths.

Wind Release (Apanasana)

Lie on your back and draw your knees in towards your chest. As you inhale allow the knees to drift away and as you exhale bring the knees closer to your chest. 

Continue for ten complete breaths.

Gentle Spinal Twist (Jathara Parivartasana)

Begin laying on your back with your knees bent, your arms out level with your shoulders and your palms facing up. Inhale and as you exhale let your knees fall to the right and turn your head to the left. As you inhale lift your knees up in the centre and as you exhale allow the knees to fall to the left and turn your head to the right.

Continue like this for at least ten complete breaths working both sides of the body equally.

Final Relaxation or the Corpse (Savasana)

Always finish your practice with at least 5 minutes of deep relaxation.  You can do this in Savasana (the corpse). Lie on your back with your arms alongside your body and your legs extended, if you find this uncomfortable bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are on the floor and your knees point straight up. 

Learning to relax and taking the time to relax regularly will help release tension and could speed up your recovery.

Keep revisiting basic moves to maintain good alignment, even after the pain has subsided take the time to include postures and movements to strengthen your core muscles.

Listen to your Body & Move Mindfully

To help you maintain a healthy spine try Yoga 2 Hear Simple Yoga for a Healthy Back.