Yoga can help you improve your spinal health

Grand Master Akshar

Yoga is a one-stop solution for all our physical, mental and even emotional issues. Yoga strengthens the body, makes it lithe and flexible, it expands the mind and helps you balance your emotions for peaceful living. There are several ways in which yoga can help you improve your spinal health.  With the backbends available in yoga asanas, you can improve you spine’s flexibility. There are different degrees of backbends depending on the level of your practice. Supporting this spinal work are asanas that greatly enhance your core strength. The core supports the body in all its dynamic movements and offers maximum protection to your spine.

Here are some of the conditions commonly linked to poor spinal health leading to back pain, muscle strain, and muscle weakness. Lifting of heavy objects, bad posture, and sudden jerky movements can all put repeated strain on your back causing painful muscle spasms. Intensity of the back pain can be categorized as acute, sub-acute, or chronic. With maximum of the body weight supported by the lumbar area, it is easily the most affected.

Here are some of asanas which you can keep your back healthy and strong:

Vashishtasana

Formation of the posture

  • Begin with santholanasan (plank)
  • Place your left palm on the ground and lift your right hand off the floor
  • Turn to face the right side
  • Raise your right arm up
  • Both knees, heels and feet are in contact with each other
  • Ensure that both arms and shoulders are in one straight line
  • Turn your head and look up at your right hand
  • Hold the asana for a while
  •  Repeat the same on the left side
Image Courtesy, Grand Master Akshar

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Formation of the posture:

  • Lie down flat on your stomach with palms placed under your shoulders
  • Keep your feet together, with toes on the ground
  • Inhale completely (Purak), hold your breath (Kumbakh) and then lift your head, shoulders and torso up at a 30 degree angle
  • Ensure that your navel remains on the floor, your shoulders are broad and head slightly raised upwards
  • Pressure on your toes– This activates the Sun (Right) and Moon (Left) channels which are connected to your lower back 
  • Hold the posture for 10 seconds
  • Slowly bringyour torso down and then exhale breath (Rechak) – This breathing technique is therapeutic
Image Courtesy, Grand Master Akshar

Sarpasana (Snake Pose)

Formation of the posture:

  • Lie down flat on your stomach
  • Interlock your palms behind your back
  • Inhale completely (Purak), hold your breath (Kumbakh) and then lift up
  • Ensure that your feet remain on the ground
  • Hold the posture for 10 seconds, slowly bringing your legs down and then exhale breath (Rechak) – This breathing technique is therapeutic


Twisted Cobra Pose (Triyaka Bhujangasana)

Formation of the posture:

  • Lie down flat on your stomach with palms placed under your shoulders
  • Keep your feet apart, at a distance of about 2ft with outer toes on the ground
  • Inhale completely (Purak), hold your breath (Kumbakh) as you lift your head, turn to look over your right shoulder at your left heel
  • Hold the posture for about 10 seconds, turn to the front and exhale as your bring your torso down
  • Inhale completely (Purak), hold your breath (Kumbakh) as you lift your head, turn to look over your left shoulder at your right heel
  • Hold the posture for about 10 seconds, turn to the front and exhale as your bring your torso down

Yoga provides exercise for your body which increases strength and endurance in your back. Asanas build muscle strength and flexibility improving posture. When you strengthen your core, and increase flexibility in your hips and upper legs it improves how your spine feels. Maintain a healthy weight and good posture.  If you’re overweight, this strains back muscles causing back pain.

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