#HealthBytes: 5 Yoga asanas to help relieve back pain
Thanks to the modern sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise, back pain has become a common problem these days, surprisingly even in younger people. In case your back pain isn't severe, Yoga, by strengthening the back, stretching the muscles, and improving blood flow to the spine and nerves, can help. Here are 5 Yoga asanas to help you get rid of back pain.
The Cat-Cow pose helps massage the spine, and strengthens the back and the torso. By keeping your back relaxed and strong, it helps get rid of pains. To perform, start by getting on all fours. Now using your hands and knees (grounded into mat), inhale and round up your back (cat), then exhale and arch your back (cow). Repeat this a number of times.
Step your right foot forward into a plunge, then straighten your leg. Next, move your left foot forward, and turn it at a 45 to 60 degrees angle with the edge of the mat. Rest your right hand over your shin, and reach your left hand toward the roof, with your palms facing outward. Hold the position for a minute, then shift sides.
Apart from being a great Yoga asana for relaxation, the Balasana or Child's pose is great for stretching and strengthening your back as well as hips. To perform the Balasana, kneel on all fours, and relax your buttocks on your heels. Reach your arms out, with the head resting down on the mat or floor.
To get in the Downward Dog position, start in tabletop position, then raise your hips in a manner that your body forms an upside-down 'V' position against the floor. Now, relax your head and neck, and draw your inner thighs to the back. Take five to seven breaths. Relax, then repeat. Perform the asana daily for strengthened back.
From shoulder stand, bend your hips to bring your toes to the floor. Clasp your hands together and stretch out your forearms behind your back. Hold the position for as long as it is comfortable for you. Then relax, and repeat. The pose will help strengthen your shoulders and spine.