Here’s yoga for lower back – a 15-minute sequence to improve lower back strength, flexibility and bring relief.
“The brain forgets much, but the lower back remembers everything” – Wise words and they do ring true for those of us who have a complicated relationship with the lower back. I know very few who have not experienced lower back pain at some point or other. Young, middle aged or old, it effects people across all age spectrum these days. Reasons may vary and even the recovery timeframes may vary, but lower back pain or sensitivity is there to stay.
At least as long as we continue to lead the lives we currently do. Read SEDENTARY. There are many causes of acute or chronic lower back pain, but for the sake of this article we will focus mainly on lifestyle related factors.
Lower back pain was earlier considered an old person’s problem. Not anymore. Thanks to a daily minimum of 8 hours in a desk/chair set-up or a couch or a dining table chair or other makeshift seating arrangements that are far from ergonomical, our lower backs are screaming for attention and care. But there is very little time to notice – there are deadlines to meet, assignments to complete, emails to send, meetings to attend, calls to make, conversations to lead and if nothing else there is social media that demands the rest of our time.
So where is the opportunity to be curious about our body or about something as simple as the posture we constantly maintain? By the time we get around to it, it’s too late. Acute or often chronic pain sets in and from then on it is no longer preventative care. It is diagnostic care that is needed. Welcome steroids, OTC pain relievers, pain killers, muscle relaxants, anti-depressants etc.
However, increasingly many doctors and chiropractors are now recommending yoga as a supportive therapy to heal and strengthen the back. In the approximate seven years that I have been involved in the yogic field, I have met several fellow practitioners as well as students who were encouraged to adopt consistent gentle to moderate intensity yoga practice as a way to deal with chronic lower back pain. And I am happy to say, I know many who began with severe sensitivity and have over years of diligent practice seen major improvements in range of motion, muscle strength as well as overall spinal well-being.
I have many students who come with lower back pain and many a times a solid sequence of classical postures offers great relief to the back. On that note, I have created a 15-minute sequence for Finisher Magazine where I take you through a quick flow of postures and movements designed to improve lower strength and flexibility. Feel free to extend and hold each posture longer if time permits.
Remember to move mindfully, using breath and awareness. It is also good to note that while our focus in this sequence has been the lower back, all of the postures benefit several other parts of your body and the overall system too.
Yogic asana practice is very integrative and its effects are felt specifically as well as overall.