I know what it’s like to have low back pain and it’s the worst. Actually, most people know what back pain is like. Whether it's a minor strain or a major spinal injury, Americans spend nearly $50 billion each year to relieve low back pain. In fact, back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the U.S. (headaches being the first).
Luckily, it has been proven that yoga can help strengthen the spine and prevent back problems, even if you don’t have time to go to class. Below are two simple yoga practices that can be done anywhere, as long as you have a place to sit.
These exercises can be done in a chair, on the edge of your bed, seated on an airplane, or anywhere you can be seated with a little space to move.
Remember, in order to relieve low back pain, or prevent it, it’s important to stretch and stay warm in that area of the spine. If you have a serious injury, you may want to consult a physician first.
Here are 2 simple exercises to relieve back pain:
1. Pelvic Rocking
This exercise is similar to cat / cow but seated upright rather than on your hands and knees. Focus on the movement of the pelvis to manipulate the lumbar curve and sacrum.
As you inhale, rock your hips forward and lengthen the tailbone behind you. As you exhale, tuck the tailbone underneath you, round your back and bring your chin to chest.
Move on the breath as if you’re in a rocking chair, inhaling to open the front body and exhaling to lengthen the back. Find a rhythm and momentum that feels good, rocking as quickly or slowly as you’d like.
2. Torso Circles
This is a variation of the Pelvic Rocking with the addition of a circular motion of the upper body.
As you inhale and open the front body, circle the torso forward. In other words, the heart moves forward as the tailbone lengthens behind you. As you exhale and round the back, circle your heart back as the tailbone tucks under you.
Practice the circles in each direction and find a rhythm with your breath. Again, this can be done quickly or slowly. Watch the video for reference.
If you’re serious about relieving your back pain, practice these exercise for a minimum of 1 minute each every day.
Perhaps do them multiple times, when you first wake up in the morning, after lunch, and before you go to bed at night.
Your lower back with thank you.