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No one wants back pain. But unfortunately in today’s ever evolving busy society, many of our daily tasks contribute to it.
Back pain relief and relief of aches and pains in general are one of the many reasons people begin looking into yoga, because they have heard it can be effective in treating it, and it is true!
Yoga has changed so many people’s lives. People who thought they would never be able to enjoy their daily activities again that have initiated yoga into their routines can now thrive in their daily lives, and you can too.
You don’t need to be able to do all those fancy yoga poses or be super flexible to be able to use yoga effectively to relieve back pain, although improving your flexibility definitely does help!
This 10 minute beginner yoga routine is made up of 10 basic and gentle moves that are perfect for beginner yogis trying to release tension and pain in their back.
Move through the poses slowly, and hold each pose for about 30 seconds, which equates to about 8 to 10 slow breaths. After practicing on your right side, make sure to repeat on your left.
1.Cat and Cow
This is made up of two poses, Marjariasana and Bitilasana, that are extremely effective in warming up your spine and identifying any sources of where the pain is coming from.
Remember, just because you feel pain in one spot, does not mean that is where the pain is originating from. Often symptoms like lower back pain are actually caused by tight hamstrings.
Start on all fours, with hands under shoulders and knees inner hip distance apart.
On your inhale, arch your back, lift your tailbone, and bring your gaze upwards. This is cow.
On your next exhale, hollow your belly, round your back, and bring your gaze downward. This is cat.
Go through each pose on your inhale and exhale at your own pace for a total of about 30 seconds, or longer if you’d like.
Bring awareness to the spots where you feel the most tension and try to focus on relieving the tightness using your breath.
One of the many causes of lower back pain, according to Spine Universe, can simply be from having a weak core.
Bird-Dog pose is a great pose to gently strengthen your abdominal muscles without having to do strenuous exercise.
From all fours, lift your right arm up straight in front of you, with your fingertips facing forward. Make sure your arm is as level with your shoulder as possible.
You will already feel your core slightly engage here to try to balance your weight. Now start to engage your core as you lift your left leg straight behind you, keeping it level with you hip.
Keep your foot flexed and facing downward and keep your hips level by keeping your core engaged.
Child’s pose is often used as a resting pose, and is great for stretching the lower back and hips.
Come back to a neutral position on all fours and untuck your toes.
Take a deep inhale, then as you exhale send your hips back onto your heels.
You can spread your knees a little bit wider to get a deeper hip stretch as well.
Spread your arms in front of you and walk your hands forward for a stretch.
Stay here and take slow, deep breaths, focusing on releasing tension on your exhales.
4.Downward Facing Dog
This is going to feel like the most strenuous pose in this sequence, but it is so good for stretching and strengthening your back, hamstrings, and core, which are all contributing factors to back pain!
You do not have to straighten your legs all the way if you feel it is way too much of a stretch doing so. Instead, pump one leg at a time by straightening one while you bend the other. This will give your hamstring, back, and hip a nice stretch without feeling too strenuous.
To get into down dog, get back into a neutral position on all fours, then push your hips up and back into the air.
Another thing you can do to make this pose less strenuous if you are really feeling it is use a block underneath each hand so instead of your hands being directly on the floor, they will be grabbing the blocks.
This helps make it a bit gentler for people who feel discomfort in their wrists, hands, or shoulders in this pose.
Pigeon is a hip opener pose, and is extremely beneficial to your back. According to Yoga Journal, when you have tight hip flexors, your pelvis is pulled forward and exaggerates the curve of your back, causing pain.
From Downward Facing Dog, crunch your right leg into your chest and bring it up towards the front of your mat, as parallel to it as you can get it. Your knee should be by your right hand, and your foot should be by your left hand.
If you have tight hips, you will need to bend your knee a bit more to find a comfortable stretch.
You can stay here if this is enough of a stretch for you, or you can choose to fold forward over your leg for a deeper stretch.
Spinal Twists are relaxing and great for relieving built up tension and stress in the back.
From Pigeon Pose, swing your left leg from behind you to in front of you and cross it over your right leg (which should still be in the same position it was in pigeon).
Ground your left foot completely, then focus on sitting up tall.
Then place your right hand on the outer side of your left leg, and slowly begin to rotate to the left, using your hand to twist deeper with each exhale.
Place your left hand behind you for support.
7.One Knee to Chest
The next three poses all involve the knees and focus on relieving tension in the lower back as well as improving range of motion in the joints.
First start by lying on your back with legs straight.
Bring your right knee into your chest, then take hold of it with both hands, pulling back to get a deeper stretch.
Keep using your hands to deepen the stretch with each exhale for the duration of the pose. Remember to switch sides when you repeat the sequence!
8.Both Knees to Chest to Knee Hug
From the previous pose, bring the other knee into your chest, grabbing each knee with one hand, pulling them in deeper with each breath.
You can simply stay like this, or you can choose to add in spinal rotations by moving your body in clockwise and counterclockwise motions, or rocking back and forth for a light back massage.
Afterwords, hug your knees and bring your head inwards towards your body, choosing to stay still or rock back and forth.
This is a great stretch for the shoulders and neck as well as the back.
Bring your feet down to the floor with your knees bent. Place your hands flat on the floor by your sides.
Shimmy you shoulder blades slightly under you so you can touch your heels with your fingertips.
On your next exhale, lift your pelvis up, engaging your core. Keep your shoulder flat and your head slightly tucked towards your chest.
This will relieve a lot of tension in the lower back, as well as build up your core and glute strength to balance the distribution of your body weight, which will help ease your back pain.
This last pose is my absolute favorite for when my back is feeling extra achy. You don’t have to do it unsupported if you feel uncomfortable doing so. You can use a wall for support.
After you come down from Bridge, bring your knees into your chest, then try to lift them straight up into the air.
I know for those of you that have back pain, you most likely have tight hamstrings, so you will not be able to lift them up completely straight. That’s okay.
After your legs are in the air, come into a supported shoulder stand by rolling your weight onto your shoulders with your hands placed on your lower back.
You can place a block under your lower back here for more support as well.
Begin to slowly lower your legs over your head, keep them as straight as possible with your feet flexed.
You will most likely not be able to lower them all the way onto the ground due to having tight hamstrings. You will feel a LOT of tension release in this pose. It is a great pose for loosening the hamstrings associated with lower back pain.
You can do this in front of a wall, and then use the wall to walk your feet closer down below your head as well.
This is my favorite pose because of how good I feel after it. It’s one of those poses where you want out of it as soon as you get into it because of how much tension it makes you feel, but when you stick through it, you will love the benefits it gives you.
Never push yourself too much to the point of pain. Remember to go through this sequence slowly, paying close attention to your body, and repeat on the other side.
I hope this routine was helpful to you and helps you relieve all your aches and pains as it helped me!
Ally is the co-founder of GroundedPanda.com with her fiance Victor. She began practicing yoga at the beginning of her career as a Registered Nurse to cope with the physical and mental stress it put on her, and fell in love with it. Her goal is to help beginners develop a fulfilling practice without the intimidation. Besides managing this website, she loves hiking with her loving fiance and cuddling with her two silly cats.