Simple Yoga for a better back

Most people some time in their life will experience back pain and back problems, it is normal to ask the question, why?

Since at the age of four we start school, we begins to shorten hamstring and curve the spine in an unnatural way because of the many hours spent on a desk. When we grow older this tendency get worse: we spend long time at a desk at work, seating working on a computer, driving, even when we finally get to relax we seat on a sofa.

Our body was never meant to spend so much time seating, the consequences are weak muscles that support our posture, slow digestive system due to lack of exercise, shallow breath which decreases lung capacity and oxygenation of the body, increased stress, etc.

Yoga is a way to address all of this problems, practicing as little as 10 minutes a day can improve all of this aspects, energise and stimulate the whole body and de-stress the mind.

The basic Sun Salutation is a good exercise that can be easily practiced every day and improve functionality of the body, increases flexibility and strengthen the upper body and core muscles which are important for a correct posture.

Gentle backbends like 'Cobra', 'Sphynx' , if you are flexible 'up dogs' or supported bridge are all poses that de-stress, improve flexibility and strengthen the back. These poses counteract the curved posture we tend to acquire when spending long times seating and driving. It also helps open up our chest and improve lung capacity.

Spinal twists like 'revolved side angle', 'revolved triangle pose', 'seated twist' are great to destress the back and also have a stimulating function on the digestive system.

Sometimes back problem are due to tight ligaments, fascia and muscles in the hip region and legs (like tight hamstrings), specific yin/yang stretching exercises for this areas will help with back problems.

It is always advisable if you have back problem to consult a doctor prior to any exercise including yoga. If you are new to Yoga it is advisable that you first learn the yoga postures with an experienced yoga teacher.

Raffaella is a Ayurveda Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapy for Chronic back pain and sciatica, Thai Massage, Sound Healing and Reiki Master based in Guildford. She leads courses, workshops and CSBY classes and is Publisher of The Yoga Daily. Her holistic approach invites students to unite mind, body, and spirit.

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