Simple Yoga for a Healthy Back by Sue FullerSimple Yoga for a Healthy Back by Sue Fuller 

By committing to a regular yoga practice your posture improves and muscular imbalances begin to dissolve; these are often the cause of mild back ache. 

Yoga teaches correct alignment and weight distribution, it heightens any muscular imbalances and areas of tension within the body.  Yoga also helps to strengthen all of the major muscles groups that support the spine.   

To help ease the symptoms of mild back ache it is a good idea to firstly spend a moment reminding your self of correct alignment.  I recommend this technique; begin by laying on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor, the outside edges of your feet are parallel and hip distance apart, make sure that your weight is distributed evenly through the soles of your feet, lift your lower stomach muscles and release the lower back down towards the floor, broaden the upper back and release the shoulders to the floor, the hands are beside your hips with the palms facing up towards the ceiling.    Breathe slowly in and out through the nose, releasing tension on every out breath. 

If it feels comfortable draw the right knee in towards your chest, breathe slowly and then extend your left leg along the floor.  Hold for 5 or more complete breaths remembering that if you experience any discomfort relax immediately and return to the above posture.  Repeat on the other side.  After working both sides equally return the soles of both feet to the ground with the knees bent and facing straight up.

When you feel ready perform a slow supine spinal twist, take the arms out to the side level with your shoulders, palms facing up towards the ceiling and allow the knees to slowly fall to each side, make sure you work both sides equally.

Finally apanasana or the wind release is a fantastic posture to remove tension from the lower back.  Whilst laying on your back draw your knees in towards your chest, lightly hold the knees or the shins and breathe slowly in and out through the nose.  With each exhalation picture all tension leaving your lower back. 

These simple postures will help release tension and provide a time and space to become aware of alignment helping to alleviate lower back pain. 

If you feel pain or discomfort relax the posture immediately and focus on breathing slowly, working to relax on each exhalation.

The Yoga 2 Hear class Simple Yoga for a Healthy Back contains a complete floor based practice to help strengthen the core muscles and mobilise the lower back and spine to help keep your back strong and healthy.  If you do experience back pain always seek medical advice before commencing any exercise routine.

Sue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher, columnist and course author.  She is the creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes.  There are over 60 yoga classes suitable for different abilities all available from www.yoga2hear.co.uk