3 Yoga Poses for a Sturdier Back
By KayLee Chie Kuehl
Our backs are responsible for a various amount of tasks. They keep our bodies aligned, our spinal cord protected, and our body weight upright so we retain proper posture. Our backs even assist with our breathing! They're strong, sturdy, and flexible! But as a consequence, our backs are common pain areas. When our backs ache, finding comfort is complicated and risk of injury is higher. That's why caring for our spines is so important. But how can we do this?
Supporting spinal strength and flexibility is key for preventing back pain. Practicing yoga emphasizes strength, flexibility, and an increased range of motion, so it's a perfect precautionary method. Here are three poses focused on increasing back stability.
Forward bends seem easy enough to do, but actually, they can be pretty difficult. This is especially true if you have tighter than average hamstrings. But if done right, this pose can stretch the entire back and improve circulation in those specific muscles.
Sit on the ground with your legs outstretched in front of you with your feet together. Keep your breathing steady and lean forward as far and as slow as you can. While the goal is to touch your forehead to your knees, it's rather complicated. So, it's important to keep your back straight no matter what level you're at. Otherwise, you risk injury.
There are two variations of the cobra pose. First, there's low cobra pose, which works on spinal strength by flexing the back muscles. The spine must move itself upwards as far as it can go, with no hands. Then, there's the extended cobra pose. The extended cobra pose increases spinal flexibility by using our hands to press the upper body up.
A personal favorite, Bow pose focuses on the entire spine. It hits the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral points. Normally, it's recommended to practice bow pose in a sequence with cobra and what's known as locust pose in order to really tackle spinal health.
In order to get into this pose, you must lay on your stomach with your knees hip-width apart. Then, bend your knees back until you're able to grab the outside of your ankles. Keeping your toes pointed and your eyes up, pull yourself back as if your head is trying to touch your toes. Make sure your neck is in line with your spine.
Though these are only a few poses, they're great for prompting a routine focused on back health. Our spines work remarkably hard! The least we can do is try to make their jobs easier.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy Springs, Ga.