In today’s world, a majority of us live a very sedentary life. Those who work at offices are seated in front of a computer for over 8 hours day. And those who are at home don’t get as much physical activity as they actually need, despite being active around the house. The end result is stiff muscles and joint aches and pains. This happens because our bodies are not meant to be this inactive and require regular motion and exercise to stay flexible and pain-free.
But it is difficult to avoid this reality of our lives, no matter how good or resolute our intentions. Therefore, common problems most people face due to a lack of physical activity are lower back pain and neck pain. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Here we suggest some recommendations of Yoga asanas you can do to relieve these pains.
It is important to note here that these asanas we recommend are not meant to be curative or therapeutic. They are meant to help alleviate the pain and improve the overall health and vitality of the body.
Lower Back Pain
The primary cause of pain in the lower back is usually poor posture, when you slump your shoulders forward and curve your back. That’s why our parents always insisted that we sit up straight when, as children, we would slouch in our chairs. Other common causes include being overweight (which puts pressure on the spine), pregnancy, stress, depression, long-term use of corticosteroids, and even smoking. Aging is also a standard cause, as are chronic conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis.
Regular precautions to avoid back pain
Don’t sit for extended durations (more than 30-45 mins). Get up from your seat and take a 2-3 min walk or just stand up for a few mins if you cannot leave the room.
Wear low-heeled or flat shoes with a cushioned base to decrease pressure on the back.
Sit on a chair with good back support. Keep your shoulders open (not too much) and straight; avoid slumping or slouching.
Asanas that can help Here are 3 simple asanas anyone can do for managing back pain.
Tadasana – This is a simple yet effective asana. It requires you to stand straight, stretch your arms above your head, and then stand on your tiptoes. This stretches your back and stomach muscles, which helps strengthen your core and thus reduce pain. How to perform Tadasana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eNMoDT2I-k
Ardhahalasana– In this asana, you lie down on your back and raise your legs up 90 degrees, keeping them up for a few seconds and bringing them down. Again, this asana helps strengthen your core muscles. How to perform Ardhahalasana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HutChT4Zu2U
Bhujangasana– In this asana, you lie on your stomach and then slowly raise only the upper half of your body. This is a great stretching and strengthening exercise for the back muscles. How to perform Bhujangasana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK6OqTIqlZs
This common ailment is also usually caused due to poor posture or sleeping at an awkward angle. We’ve all experienced that, I’m sure. However, neck pain can also be a common byproduct of cervical spondylosis. No matter what reason you experience neck pain from, these asanas should certainly help you with some pain relief.
Regular precautions to avoid neck pain
Stand and sit straight; don’t lean. Leaning puts pressure on the neck without any support.
Sit on a chair with good back support. Avoid slumping your shoulders.
Ensure the desk is at appropriate height so you don’t have to bend or crane your neck.
Asanas that can help
Kati Chakrasana – This is again a simple asana where you turn your upper body, neck and outstretched hand to the back, first on the right side and then the left. This asana stretches and strengthens the back and neck. How to perform Kati Chakrasana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytW6N2ZI6rA
Marjariasana – This asana is also called cat pose, as it requires you to go down on all fours and stretch your neck and back. It helps increase the flexibility of the back and neck muscles and exercises them. How to perform Marjariasana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzWKOVus1Ec
What’s really great about all the asanas we’ve mentioned above, is that they all help improve back and neck flexibility both. You will reap double benefits from all these asanas, and we have selected them to ensure that they are relatively easy to do for everyone.
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