Practicing yoga is great for your posture and your back. In fact, research has found that twenty percent of the adults that regularly practice yoga specifically do so to improve back pain.
Don’t know where to start? Here are our top five favorite pain-eliminating poses (that can all be done in the comfort of your own home):
How to: Start on your knees with your arms stretched out in front. Sit back so your gluteus is resting right above your heels. The stretch is great for elongating your back muscles. Hold for five to ten breaths and repeat.
Downward Facing Dog
How to: Start with your feet hip-distance apart and walk your hands out so they’re just in front of your shoulders. Lift your gluteus to the sky and straighten your legs. Make sure your back is straight, your core is engaged and your head is in a neutral position. This pose will strengthen your lower back and improve posture. Hold for several seconds and repeat.
How to: From downward-facing dog, draw your left knee forward and turn it out so your left leg is bent and your foot is touching the right hip. Stretch the right leg out long behind you. Press your palms into the floor and allow your legs to stretch. You’ll feel the stretch in your hip rotators and flexors (which can contribute to low back pain). Take 5-10 breaths then switch to the other side.
Cat and Cow Pose
How to: While on your hands and knees, slowly move into cat pose by arching your back. Hold the cat pose for a few seconds and then move to a cow pose by releasing your spine, lifting your head and holding your shoulder blades back. Repeat 10 times, moving from cat into cow and vice versa. You’ll feel your back muscles loosen while your spine achieves a neutral position.
Standing Forward Bend
How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend forward at your waist, exhaling as you reach toward the floor. You’ll feel the stretch in your hamstrings and back muscles. Repeat the pose five times, holding the position for five to ten breaths each time.