I went over in detail the use of the shoulder stand sequence as ‘the’ Yoga exercise for back pain in part one of this article. Now let’s go over the rest of the applicable poses shall we.
Wind Relieving Pose: (Vatayanasan)
Lie down flat. Now take a deep breath and hold it. Now fold your right leg at the knee and press the folded leg against the abdomen. Make sure to keep the alternate leg straight while doing this. Now, switch legs and to conclude this use both legs at the same time.
Plough Pose (Halasana):
Lie flat on your back on your blanket. Keep the hands, palms down near the thighs. Without bending the knees, slowly raise the hips and the lumbar part of the back and bring down the legs till they touch the floor or go as far as you can. The key here is to get as deep a stretch for the lower back as possible.
Forward Bend (Paschimothanasana):
Lie flat on your back on the blanket, with arms overhead on the floor. Keep the legs and thighs firmly on the floor. Stiffen your body. Slowly raise the head and the chest and assume a sitting position. Now exhale till you are able to catch you toes, ankles or heels. You may even bury your face in between your knees.
Inclined Plane Pose (Purvottanasana):
Rest on your hands on heels, keeping the body straight.
Bow Pose: (Dhanurasana)
This pose is hailed as the best backward bending exercise. Lie Prone on the blanket. Relax the muscles. Now bend the legs over the thighs. Catch hold of the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left hand firmly. Raise the head, body and knees by tugging at the legs with the hands so the whole body rests on the abdomen.
Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)
Lie down. Bend the arms and legs. Raise the body and rest on the hands and feet. Tuck your head firmly in between your shoulders.
Spinal Twist: (Ardha Matsendrasana):
-Sit on the floor with both legs out in front of you.
-Bend your right knee, lift your right leg over your left, and place your right foot on the floor next to your left knee.
-Sitting with spine straight, place your left elbow on the right side of your right knee.
-Bend your left arm so that your left fingertips are touching your right hip, while at the same time, twisting to look over your right shoulder.
Since this actually involves a twisting of the back, make sure you go only as far as it is comfortable. As a matter of fact, it is advised that depending on the severity of your case, you only go as far as the poses allow you to at any time.
Corpse Pose (Savasana):
This is the relaxation pose. From experience, after the spinal twist above, if you immediately get into this pose, there is an indescribable feeling of relief from tightness in the back. You ought to try it out for yourself.
-Lay motionless on your back with the arms and legs slightly extended.
-Breathe deeply in counts of 5 that being in a ratio of 5:5:5
-Lay as such for as long as you desire and you could mentally send relaxation messages to your body parts such as “My .. is hereby relaxed” (filling in the space with whatever body part. Remember to start from the toes working upwards.)
Other factors to keep in mind when I say try ‘yoga for back pain’ are that Yoga involves the consumption of a healthy diet. This brings to mind Hippocrates’ quote: “Let your foods be your medicine”
That considered, do make sure your diet is primarily made up of the right stuff, raw and cooked fruits and veggies.
This will relieve constipation and this reminds me of a true experience with my father years back. He had suffered a severe back pain for weeks and an alternative health consultant told him to eat a meal of plain fruit on a given night and 2-3 hours afterwards, he was instructed to drink a laxative tea. After a really good bowel movement the next day, the pain magically subsided. That said you may want to try this tip as well.
It is my hope that all these pointers above will come in handy in your use of yoga for back pain relief-with the right poses. So go on and give it a shot today.