Five Yoga Postures to Help Alleviate Back Pain – Emma Catto

Back pain is one of the most debilitating forms of pain that one can endure, and generates huge revenue in painkillers and doctor’s bills. However, there is hope for those who suffer back pain. In this blog I describe five postures that not only help to alleviate the pain, but will leave you feeling great afterwards.

I’m deliberately referring to these simple, but effective yoga asanas (postures) as “stretches” because a yoga asana involves the interconnection of mind, body and breathing. However, as your back becomes more stable and less stiff and your awareness increases, your sense of embodiment will also improve. Then the stretches will evolve into asanas.

Enjoy these as often as you can!

ARDHA UTTANASANA (Half forward bend)

Place your hands on a surface or wall at chest height, feet hip width apart, and draw your hips back so that your legs are upright and your trunk is parallel to the floor. If your hamstrings are tight, take your feet a little wider apart (or straighten one leg at a time). If your shoulders are tight, take your hands higher.

ADHO MUKHA VIRASANA (Active child’s posture)

Sit on your heels with your knees further apart than your hips (place a cushion between your bottom and your heels if this makes your knees sore). Place your palms on the floor, stretch your arms forward, and draw your hips back. Support your forehead with cushions.

PARSVA ADHO MUKHA VIRASANA (Sideways active child’s posture)

From ADHO MUKHA VIRASANA, walk your arms and body over to the left side so that your tummy is above your left thigh. Stretch your right arm diagonally away from your right hip and use your left hand to push your right hip back. Repeat on the other side.

CHATUSH PADASANA (Bridge posture)

Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet hip width apart below your knees. Tuck your shoulders closer together under your back so that your chest lifts. Press your arms and feet down and press your bottom and thighs up towards the ceiling. Lift your chest towards your chin. Stay for 5 breaths and then slowly come down and gently bring your knees towards your chest.

BHARAVADJASANA (Spinal twist)

Sit comfortably with your spine lifting (on the floor or on a chair as you wish). Bring your left hand to your right leg and your right hand behind you (onto the floor or the back of the chair). Roll your upper arms out. As you breathe in sit up taller and as you breathe out turn to the right. Continue gently for five breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Have fun, keep breathing, and play with the intensity and your breathing. Get to love being inside your body and your body will respond with joy.

Like any form of asana, practice makes perfect. We are here to help you if you need support and guidance – online or face to face. If you would like to chat about private yoga lessons, please do get in touch with us any time on +44 20 8452 8322 or at info@breatheyoga.co.uk.