Back issues- Yoga prevents & rehabilitates!
Since teaching my yoga practice, I have had a range of students from farmers/ footballers/ rugby players/ cyclists/ runners & more come and say to me how much better their backs feel over their time in the classes.
It is very common to encounter some form of back issue as you go through life, whether that be sports/ exercise induced or naturally developing through genetic make up in curvatures of spines.
Here is a short blog displaying 3 simple yoga postures that help address the back and reduce stiffness and the chances of it ceasing up and causing sciatic problems.
Check them out below!
Revolved Triangle Pose
Bringing energy to your spine with this stretch & really stimulating the muscles in the back. Step your feet about 4 feet apart and turn your right foot out to 45–60 degrees, with your left foot facing forward. Bend your left knee and on an inhale, raise your arms overhead; on an exhale, turn your torso to the left, encouraging your pelvis toward the front edge of the mat. Now lean forward over your front leg, reaching your right hand down either to the floor (inside or outside the left foot) or a block; bring your left hand skyward. With your front knee still bent, squeeze your torso against your thigh. Hold this shape, and then gradually engage your quads to straighten your front leg (shown). Draw your hips away from your shoulders to lengthen your spine. Stay here for 5 deep breaths, and then switch sides.
Seated Forward Bend
To release any tension created in a twist, I like to follow up with a pose in which the spine is symmetrical. Forward folds—such as Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) or Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) —are great choices. For the latter, sit on the floor or a folded blanket with your legs extended in front of you. Press actively through your heels and slightly turn in the tops of your thighs, pressing them down into the floor. As you inhale, lengthen your front torso; as you exhale, lean forward from your hip joints and lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis to fold over your legs. Stay in the posture for 5–10 deep, easy breaths.
Practice Pose, before you twist is a nice way to expand the chest—a key action while twisting, too. Lie on your belly, legs side by side, and contract your glutes. Roll your outer thighs toward the floor to internally rotate your femurs, helping to broaden and lengthen your lower back and sacrum to protect them in this backbend. Set your elbows under your shoulders, and your forearms on the floor parallel to each other. Inhale and lift your upper torso and head away from the floor into a mild backbend. Stay here for 10 deep breaths, then find your way to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog).
Deepen the stretch
If you have the flexibility in the armpits, chest, and groins you can move into a deeper backbend. Walk the hands a little farther forward and straighten your elbows, turning the arms outward. Lift the top of the sternum straight toward the ceiling.
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