Achy back? Give yoga a go. Multiple studies have shown the power of the ancient practice, which emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility, to relieve back soreness. In fact, several studies have found that yoga can even trump usual care for back pain when it comes to improving back function.
While yoga isn’t a good idea if you have severe pain, those with occasional soreness or chronic aches may greatly benefit from certain postures that can help lengthen your spine, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and return your back to its proper alignment.
Tight hips can cause various issues, including:
Poor Balance and Posture – The front of the hips, the hip flexor, is a major stabilizer of the pelvis. Therefore, if the hip flexors are weakened, it can lead to imbalance and poor body posture.
Muscle Imbalances – The extended periods of sitting shorten and tighten the hip flexors. In a sitting position, the glutes and the hip extensors are being overstretched, but they are also weakened as not all muscle groups are used.
Back Pain – The tight hip flexors and the overstretched muscles will force the pelvis to be pushed forward, unnaturally tilted, and thus pull the muscles of the lower back.
If you are spending most of your time sitting, you could benefit a lot from doing these stretching exercises. They will improve the hip mobility and increase your power. Moreover, you will boost the flexibility of your hips.
Try these eight soothing poses for back pain:
In a runner’s lunge position, place the right foot forward, while the hands should be placed on the sides of it. Then, lower the back knee and shin to the floor, and raise the chest and arms, while the hands remain the front thigh.
The abdominal muscles should be constantly engaged. For an enhanced effect, reach the arms overhead, and lean forward a bit. Make sure you do not to arch the lower back. Hold for 3half a minute and repeat on the opposite side.
In the same starting position, raise the knee, and slowly raise the hands off the mat, but initially bring them to the front thigh. The hips can be allowed to go lower while squaring your hips to the front of the mat. Raise the arms overhead and lengthen the back leg. Go on sinking and squaring off the hips, and hold for half a minute on both sides.
Happy Baby Pose
In a lying position, pull the knees towards the chest. The hands should be on the arches on the feet and open the knees wider than shoulder-width apart. The back should be pressed into the mat, and the feet intro the hands while pulling down o feet. Deeply inhale and exhale and hold for half a minute.
You should starts on all fours, with the hands under the shoulders and the knees on the mat. Then, widen the knees slowly, and the ankles in line with them. The calves and feet remain on the ground all the time. Hold for half a minute.
Thread the Needle Pose
In a lying position, bend the knees and keep the feet flat on the floor. Cross the right ankle over the other one, but the hips should remain grounded, while the lower back is pressed into the mat.
Then, pull the left knee towards the chest, and thus threading the right hand between the legs. The clasped hands should be underneath the left knee, while the right one is open in order to stretch the hip. Breathe deeply and remain thus for half a minute.
In a standing position, with the knees, slightly bent, and the hands by the sides bring the soles together and open the knees to the sides. For a deeper stretch, pull the feet closer in or fold forwards and walk your hands out in front of you. Remain in this position for half a minute.
Half Pigeon Pose
Start in a runner’s lunge with the right foot in front, and the hands on its sides on the mat. Slide the front foot towards the left hand, and lower the knee over to the right hand. You should then put the right calf on the ground to be parallel to the front of the mat.
Then, gradually lower the back knee and shin to the floor. Then, square the hips to the mat’s front. For a deeper stretch, lower down to the forearms. Hold for half a minute and repeat on the other side. In case you experience pain or discomfort while doing this stretch, you should only do Thread the Needle.
Double Pigeon Pose
Sit on the mat with the legs crossed, and grab the left ankle with both hands and try to place it on the top of the right knee. At the point, the shins should be stacked with the left leg on top. For a more intense stretch, walk the hands a bit forward, and remain thus for half a minute. Then, do the same on the other side.
These stretching yoga poses can significantly improve the flexibility of your hips and support their health, and your hips and legs will be much stronger.