Our backs take on a lot of stress due to certain lifetstyles, pregnancy (your back is part of the pelvic floor equation), sports injuries, the list goes on. So many jobs require a lot of sitting due to a large amount of computer work being the norm- all of these things weaken your back and eventually could lead to injury or pain.
If you don’t pay attention to keeping your back strong, or if you are over weight and sedentary, it’s important to start strengthening now to prevent injury down the road, or to help with current back pain.
Yoga is honestly something I don’t do frequently, but need to start incorporating it more. If you struggle with balance or flexibility, it’s SO good to start trying a few poses at least weekly. As you age, it becomes even more important!
Here are six yoga poses to build a strong back, or help with back pain-
Seated Twist: Sit tall with your legs extended, feet at mat width. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees so that you can sit directly on your sitting bones. On an inhale, sweep your arms forward and up; on the exhale, sweep one arm down and back and your other arm forward until your fingertips reach beside your legs, twisting to one side. On the next inhale, sweep both arms forward and up; on your exhale, change sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.
High Lunge With Twist: Place left foot forward between your hands. Keep your front shin vertical and stay balanced on your back toes as you lift your back thigh. Reach your left arm skyward. Repeat on the same side 3 times, then hold the twist for 3 breaths.
Plank Pose: Place your palms directly under your shoulders and extend your legs back. Press firmly through the mounds of your hands and index-finger knuckles, root your toes down into the mat, firm your legs, and lengthen from the crown of your head through the soles of your feet. Hold the pose for at least 3 slow breaths.
Plank Pose With Twist: From plank position, bring your feet and toes as close together as possible. Keep both hands on the floor and your chest square with the floor. Rotate your heels and hips to face the front, working toward stacking your feet and ankles, if possible. Hold for at least 3 slow breaths; return to Plank and change sides.
Happy Baby Pose: Lay on your back. From here, bend your knees to about 90 degrees, with the soles of your feet facing the sky. Hold the back of your thighs, your ankles, or your feet, whichever is most comfortable. Breathe as you gently lengthen your spine, widen your collarbones, and draw your knees down toward the floor. Hold for at least 5 breaths.
Temple Pose With Twist: Turn your thighs, knees, and feet out. Slightly bend your knees as you hinge forward from the front of your hips, bringing your hands to your knees. Lengthen your entire spine, including your front, back, and side waist. Inhale, and as you exhale, twist your upper spine to the left, keeping your legs and pelvis completely still. Inhale to center, exhale to switch sides. Repeat for 3 twists each side. Use your ab muscles to twist, not your shoulders or arms.