3 Yoga Poses to Beat Lower Back Pain During Lockdown
Has working from home during lockdown taken its toll on your lower back? If so, yoga is one of the best ways to alleviate pain, relieve tension, and improve your posture. In this article, we'll be looking at three simple yoga poses that you can do anywhere to unwind and take the pressure off your lower back. This beginner-level ten-minute routine can be done morning or night and will help make your working days pain-free. To get started, all you'll need is a small mat - ideally a foam yoga mat - and some loose comfortable clothes. You may also like to play some peaceful spa music to help you relax.
1. The Inner-Child Pose
Kneel on the mat with your knees shoulder-width apart and your butt on your heels. Bring your big toes together behind you and put your hands on the mat in front. Slowly "walk" your hands forward as far as you feel comfortable and sink your hips onto your heels. With your arms long and relaxed in front of you, rest your forehead on the mat.
Breathe in and out through your nose and observe your breath as it deepens and slows down. Feel your lower back relax and let your head sink into the mat. Rest in this position for five minutes, or as long as you need to relax.
2. The Cow Pose and Cat Back Pose
From the Inner-Child Pose, slowly rise into a "Tabletop" position, on your hands and knees. Drop your belly and lift your chin. This is the Cow pose. Keep your hands parallel with your shoulders and your fingers facing away from you. Take a big breath in, tuck your chin in, and round your spine. This is known as the "Cat Back" pose. When you breathe in, let your belly drop, lift your chin, and you'll be in the Cow pose again. Practice moving between these two poses a couple of times as you inhale and exhale.
As you gain experience with these poses over time, focus on extenuating your movements to activate your lower back muscles. When you drop your belly down into the Cow pose, feel your lower spine arching down and your tailbone rising. As you inhale and rise into the Cat Back, try you round your entire back so that your tailbone points down. This will strengthen your back muscles and help improve your sitting posture while alleviating lower back pain.
3. The Downward-Facing Dog Pose
From the Cow Pose, bring your spine into a neutral position and walk your hands forward about six inches. Curl your toes under and then push until your hips rise and your legs are as straight as comfortable. From the side, your body will look like a mountain with your hips high and your hands and feet on the mat. This is known as the "Downward-Facing Dog" pose.
Keep your back straight and your head down, looking at the mat. You can make this pose as easy or as challenging as you like depending on how much you straighten your legs. If you lack flexibility, keep your knees slightly bent. If you have more flexibility, straighten your legs and push your hips as high as you can. Once you find a comfortable position, spend a few minutes bending your knees alternately. This will relieve tension from your lower back and warm up your leg muscles. As your muscles start to relax, try to press your chest towards your legs to stretch your lower back muscles.
After a few minutes, simply drop your knees to the mat and walk your hands back until you are in a kneeling position.
These three simple yoga poses should help you beat lower back pain during, and after, lockdown. As the whole routine takes as little as ten minutes to complete, you can practice everyday to keep back pain at bay. If yoga sounds appealing but you need more guidance, many yoga centers offer a course specifically for people with back pain. You can join an online class to see whether you like it first before signing up for a full course. Online classes are a great way to build your confidence from the comfort of your own home. You should be able to build up a repertoire of moves you can practice at home in between lessons. Once you master these poses, you'll be well on your way to banishing lower back pain and improving your posture.