by: Philip Knox
Whether you’re a casual yogi or a fitness fanatic, a strong, flexible back will always be the basis of your comfort and health. When our hectic lifestyles force us to spend too much time in front of a computer screen or behind the wheel of the car, it’s easy to develop a bad back. With this step-by-step guide to back-strengthening yoga, you’ll soon be on your way to fighting back pain, discomfort, and stress.
The key to building up your back muscles is a regular yoga workout custom-built to target those problem areas. If you suffer from serious back pain, start with some simple, gentle stretches until you build up flexibility and confidence.
Choose a yoga workout or DVD that matches your schedule and is a realistic target. A great start is Rodney Yee’s comprehensive DVD Yoga for Back Care. Even if you don’t suffer from a bad back, this yoga DVD will lay the foundation for all kinds of flexibility and agility.
Don’t forget that back pain or discomfort is often caused by weak hips and hamstrings. Here's an exercise to build hip and hamstring strength:
Repeat for the opposite side.
Another quick and effective yoga pose for back pain is the Cat-Cow Pose, which can be done several times a day to help build up back flexibility:
As with all back-strengthening yoga moves, ensure that you move slowly and deliberately — never force your muscles if you feel uncomfortable. Take it slow, be committed and you’ll soon feel your back loosening up as your flexibility improves and your discomfort fades.
If you suffer from lower back pain, everyday tasks like driving can be very uncomfortable. With simple yoga poses, you can build up your strength and flexibility as you work toward relaxation and blissful back-pain relief.
From Cat-Cow Pose, try moving into Child’s Pose, which will gently counter-stretch your lower back and help release any tension.
This pose, great for back pain relief, can be added to a yoga routine along with the two poses above.
To really target the source of your back pain, you can’t beat Thread the Needle Pose.