We're caught up in our crazy schedules, busy jobs, family and social life that we can forget about our well being. Sitting at your desk for long hours every single day can really cause long term harm on your back. Start adding these 5 yoga poses to both relieve AND prevent future back tensions. Your older self will thank you :)
Nowadays, with so many people putting in long, crazy hours at work, their physical well being is being sacrificed. We’re spending too much of the day sitting and staring at screens and not enough time caring for our bodies. It’s easy to throw it on the back burner when you’re running on auto pilot, have bills to pay, and deadlines to catch. It is said that back pain is now the third most common cause for doctors visits. And if you don’t want that turning into chronic pain you’ll have for the rest of your life, it will really benefit you to start taking a few minutes out of every day for some self care.
The most common cause of lower back pain is from postural stress. You put 90% more pressure on your back from sitting than when you stand and chronic pain is brought on when sitting with poor posture. This could be from sitting at a desk, looking down at your keyboard, screen or phone and putting a lot of tension on your neck. Back pain could also arise if your shoulders are rolled too far forward, you’re sitting in a soft chair that doesn’t allow you to keep your spine straight, you spend too much time talking with your phone propped against your ear, you lean forward from your lower back or you sit at a desk with your elbows too far from your body.
The best way to relieve lower back pain in by walking and stretching. If your someone who sits at a desk all day, I would REALLY recommend you make it a priority to move a little bit every day. Try waking up just 15-20 minutes early. Go for a short walk around the block then come home to do these simple stretches. You’ll quickly see a difference if your back pain as well as your overall energy throughout the day.
Here are FIVE really great and easy stretches that anyone can do. Start showing some love to your back TODAY and relieve your lower back pain.
1. Child’s Pose
-Starting in a kneeling position, touch you big toes together and sit back on your heels -Separate your knees to be hip distance apart -Lay your torso between your thighs, narrowing your hips towards your navel so then can settle between your thighs -Lengthen your tailbone as you sink your but into your heels -Lengthen your spine and stretch your arms out in front of you allowing your forehead to rest on the mat -Stay here for 15 breaths Modifications: If you cannot sit your but onto your heels, place a pillow on top of your calves and sit on that. If the pose is too intense on your arms/shoulders rest your arms by your sides. Avoid this pose if you have any knee injuries.
2. Cat & Cow Pose
-Start in table top position with your wrists directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips -Inhale as you lift your gaze, opening your chest and allowing your belly to sink towards the floor -Exhale a you round your spine, tuck your tail bone and gaze towards your navel -Repeat this 10 times flowing to the pace of your breath Modifications: If you have a neck injury, keep your gaze focused in front of you.
3. Standing Forward Fold
-Starting in tadasana, stand with your feet hip distance apart -As you exhale, bend forward slowly from the hips -Extend your spine and lengthen your front torso to avoid folding from your lower back -Slightly bend your knees and hold on to both of your elbows -Allow your head and neck to hang -Press your heels into the floor and lift your tailbone toward the ceiling -Stay here for 10 breaths Modifications: Keep a bend in the knees for back injuries. If the stretch is too intense, place a chair in front of you and as you fold, allow your hands to rest on the chair.
4. Supine Spinal Twist
-Lay on your back with your legs extended out in front of you -Pull your right knee in towards your chest with your left hand -Exhale pull your knee over to the left and allowing it to rest on the ground -Extend your right arm open with your palm facing down and gaze to the right -Hold here for 10-15 breaths -Slowly pull your knee back to the center, extend your right leg out and switch sides -Pulling your left knee in towards your chest, allowing it to fall to the right side of your body, then extending your left arm open and gazing to the left Modifications: If you cannot comfortably let your knee fall to the floor, grab a large pillow to put next to your and rest your knee on that for a more gentle twist.
5. Happy Baby
-Laying on your back, bring both knees in towards your chest -Grab onto the outsides of your feet -Open up your knees so they are wider than your torso and pull them in towards your armpits -Flex your feet and push your feet into your hands -Stay here for 20 breaths at least -You can gently rock side to side to massage the spine too Modifications: If you cannot grab your feet with your hands, wrap a strap around your feet and hold on to that. Do not do this pose if you have a knee injury.