Nine yoga poses to strengthen the spine

A 2003 research study with 11,000 people in north India found that a staggering 23% of them had lower back pain.

Myupchar September 10, 2019 15:07:34 IST
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Nine yoga poses to strengthen the spine
  • Among the major causes of back pain today, are poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle

  • A 2003 research study with 11,000 people in north India found that a staggering 23% of them had lower back pain

  • A report in the Hindu Business Line newspaper said that one-fifth of all Indians suffering from back pain arenÃ��Ã�¢Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½t old at all - they are in the 16-34 age group

Among the major causes of back pain today, are poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle. A 2003 research study with 11,000 people in north India found that a staggering 23% of them had lower back pain. Another report in the Hindu Business Line newspaper said that one-fifth of all Indians suffering from back pain aren’t old at all - they are in the 16-34 age group.

As life becomes more hectic, more and more people are turning to the wisdom of the ancient sages for relief. Case in point: yoga - a low-impact workout that is suitable for most people.

Nine yoga poses to strengthen the spine

Representational image. Image by Sofie Zbořilová from Pixabay

It is, of course, advisable to start your yoga practice with a trained guru, especially if you are a beginner. If you have a back injury or back pain, please consult your doctor to find out which movements to avoid. Increase the duration and intensity of the session gradually to reap maximum benefits.

That said, here are nine poses to help you get a super-strong back.

Cat pose

  • Come down on all fours; your hands should be right under your shoulders and your knees right below the hips
  • Breathe out, as you curve and stretch your spine upwards, just like a cat
  • Hold for 20-25 seconds
  • Exhale and return to the starting position
  • Repeat five times

Cow Pose

  • Come on all fours
  • Breathe in. Curve your back, so that it forms a trough
  • Hold this position for 20-25 seconds
  • Come back to the starting position
  • Repeat five times

Double-angle pose

  • Stand on the mat with your feet apart
  • Interlock your fingers behind your back
  • Bend forward from your waist, lifting your arms straight behind you
  • Make sure your back is not rounded. Stay in this position for 30 seconds
  • Breathe out and come back to the starting position
  • Do five repetitions

Fish pose

  • If you have asthma, check with your doctor before performing this pose
  • Lie down on your back
  • Tuck your arms under your back; try to touch the elbows
  • Breathe in, lift your head and chest to look down at your toes
  • Now tilt your head back and place the crown on the mat. Do not drop your chest and do not make any jerky movements
  • Stay in this position for 15-20 seconds
  • (If you need to come out of the pose at any point, lift your head to look at your toes again. Then gently lay it down on the mat)
  • Breathe out and come back to the starting position

Bridge pose

  • This is an advanced pose. Please see your expertise and comfort before doing it
  • Lie down on your back
  • Bend your knees. Now place your feet on the mat, close to your buttocks
  • Place your hands close to your feet, with palms facing down. You can also hold your heels lightly
  • Breathe in and lift your buttocks and torso off the floor. Do not lift your head or strain the neck in any way
  • Stay in this position for 15-20 seconds
  • Breathe out and come back to the starting position
  • Do five repetitions

Cobra pose

  • Lie down on your stomach on a yoga mat
  • Place your palms on the floor, right next to your shoulders
  • Now using your arms for support, lift your chest. Your hips should still be on the floor
  • Breathe in, look up and feel the stretch on your upper back
  • Hold this position for 15-30 seconds
  • Come back to the starting position
  • Do three to five repetitions

Half Locust is excellent for toning the back muscles. It's ideal for beginners and those with weak or stiff backs, as it’s milder than Full Locust. The locust poses, which lift the low back against gravity, complement the cobra poses, which lift the upper back.

  • Lie down on your stomach, and place your chin on the mat
  • Interlock your fingers behind your back. Keep your arms straight
  • Breathe in and slowly raise the right leg. Check your hip position to make sure you haven’t twisted it
  • Hold the position for a few seconds
  • Breathe out and lower the right leg
  • Repeat with the left leg
  • Do five repetitions on each leg

Bow pose

  • Lie down on your stomach
  • Bend your knees. Now firmly hold your ankles with your hands
  • Breathe in and lift your chest and thighs off the floor
  • Stay in this position for 15-20 seconds
  • Breathe out and come back to the starting position
  • Do five repetitions

Child’s pose

  • Sit down on your heels, on a yoga mat
  • Raise your arms overhead
  • Now gently bend forward from the waist, till your palms touch the mat
  • Exhale and try to touch your stomach to your thighs
  • Hold this position for 1-2 minutes
  • Inhale and come back to the starting position

To end your practice with savasana, lie down on your back and relax. Try to release all the tension from your muscles, and let your feet drop to the sides. Close your eyes. Stay there for at least five minutes, before gently coming into a cross-legged position and opening your eyes.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more on this topic, please visit https://www.myupchar.com/en/yoga

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