Back exercises are almost always necessary to rehabilitate the spine and alleviate back pain. A controlled, gradual exercise program that is tailored to an individual is usually the most effective.
Exercise is such an important thing for all of us to be doing for a whole host of reasons. In the lower back, in particular, doing the right kinds of exercises for the lower back as part of an overall exercise routine can be such an important thing. Something that I tell people when they come in with lower back pain from a variety of different causes and they are concerned it could now be a lifelong thing that they are dealing with is I say,
These exercises help to stretch, strengthen and mobilize the lower back.When starting out, go gently to get used to the movements and work out how far you can go into each position without feeling pain.Aim to do this routine at least once a day if the pain allows. You can complement this routine with walking, cycling, and water-based activities.
Vajrasana (Diamond Pose)
Vajrasana is the simple asana which can be practiced after lunch or dinner also. Vajrasana is also known as ‘diamond pose’ which is best for practicing breathing exercises and meditation. Regular practice makes you stronger and healthier.
Steps To Perform The Vajrasana Yoga Pose In 10 Steps
Step 1: Bend your knees and sit on your buttocks.
Step 2: The sides of your soles should be close together.
Step 3: Interlock your big toes.
Step 4: Maintain your posture so that your spine and neck are absolutely straight
Step 5: Place your palms on your knees and relax your shoulders.
Step 6: Balance your body in this position while taking deep and even breaths.
Step 7: Do not lean back or allow your spine to arch backwards.
Step 8: Keep your eyes closed and remain conscious of your breathing.
Step 9: Inhale and exhale slowly and allow your mind and body to relax completely.
Step 10: Sit in this pose for a minimum of 2 minutes. Once you are used to it, you can increase this to 5-10 minutes.
Follow these Vajrasana yoga pose steps carefully and do not make any changes to them. It is important to follow the Vajrasana sequence of steps to maximise the effects of this asana
A person suffering from joint pain should not practice this asana.
Should practice under expert guidance
Benefits of Vajrasana
- Calms the mind and bring stability in mind.
- Cures constipation, acidity, increases digestion process.
- Those suffering from gas problems can practice immediately after lunch or dinner.
- Helps to get rid of back pain.
- Cures stomach disorder.
- Cures urinary problems.
- Strengthens the sexual organs.
- Increases blood circulation.
- It is preferred for meditation and concentration.
- Helps to reduce obesity.
- Strengthens the thigh muscles.
- Acts as painkiller in arthritis patients
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Balasana or Child’s Pose is one of the best yoga poses for beginners as it is a ‘forward bend asana’ that induces a calming effect on the individual’s mental, physical, and emotional faculties.This pose stretches and relaxes the spine
8 steps to do Balasana properly
1. Kneel on the floor.
2. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
3. Exhale and slowly lay your torso down between your thighs.
4. Broaden your lower back across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points towards your navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs.
5. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
6. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso with your palms up, and release the front of your shoulders towards the floor.
7. Feel how the weight of the front of your shoulders pulls your shoulder blades wide across your back.
8. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute
- Precautions for Balasana
You can use pillows under your forehead if it is difficult to place on the floor.
If suffering from knees injuries or diarrhea should not do this asana.
Those suffering from high blood pressure should not practice.
Benefits Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Stretches and Strengthens muscle of hips, thighs, and ankles
Helps to relieve stress and fatigue.
Increases blood circulation.
Helps to cure back pain.
Marjariasana – Cat Pose
Marjari‘ means ‘Cat’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’ so it is called Marjariasana (cat pose). From cat also we can learn the lesson in yoga. Marjari incorporate excellent stretch in yoga workout
Steps to do Marjariasana :
Sit in Vajrasana, lean forward putting both your hands perpendicular to the ground and palms on the floor pointing forward.
You can shift the legs slightly apart. Now, your position resembles a standing cat with your trunk parallel to the ground and thighs vertical and straight.
Relax your body in this base position – shoulder, back muscles and thighs should all relax.
In this position, exhale completely letting your belly go inwards. You should move your head inwards between your shoulders while exhaling. Your back will automatically bend and arch upwards when you do this.
Hold this position for a few seconds, take deep breath and begin with second step.
The second step is to inhale and arch your back in the opposite direction. When you do this, the spine will bend slightly downwards. Now arch your head, neck and shoulders backwards as if you are looking up.
Hold this position for a few seconds, take a deep breath and get back to the original position.
Take 3-6 breaths each time holding the breath for up to 30 seconds.
This process of exhaling and inhaling can be repeated as many times as you are comfortable. Minimum six times will be ideal.
You should do Marjariasana with slow and deep breathing focusing on the stretch caused at back, neck and shoulders in the process. With regular practice, you will feel that stiffness gradually disappears and your back muscles and spine become flexible.
Never push yourself beyond your comfort level.
In case of neck injury and pregnancy, please practice it under guidance of an experienced yoga teacher only.
Benefits of Marjariasana (The Cat Pose)
Flexible spine and back muscles. People suffering from Spondylitis and slipped disk will be more benefited.
Strengthened wrists and shoulders.
Massage of lower abdomen that includes the digestive system, intestines and reproductive organs.
Marjarisana relaxes the mind and improves blood circulation.
Women can practice Marjarisana to tighten the abdominal muscles and resume to original shape post-pregnancy.
Women who suffer menstrual irregularities, cramps and leucorrhoea get benefited from regular practice of Marjarisana. Reproductive disorders also get eliminated.
Shavasana – Just lying straight on back is called Shavasana
This pose looks like sleeping pose. It is very simple and everyone can do this asana. But friends this pose needs lots of concentration. You have to concentrate on each part of the body.
Steps of Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
First lie down straight on your back on the floor. Put or maintain a distance of 1 foot in between your legs. Keep your both hands open, with palms facing upwards, at some distance away from your thighs.
Now slowly close your eyes keep your neck erect and relax your whole body.
After that slowly – slowly take deep breaths about 5 to 6 time. At this time, visualize each and every part of your body in your mind with resolution and the feeling that each and every organs is in a relax and free from all stress.
Precautions Or Contraindications Of Shavasana. This asana is absolutely safe and can be practiced by anyone and everyone. Unless your doctor has advised you not to lie on your back, you can practice this asana. If you are pregnant, it might be a good idea to rest your head and chest on a bolster for comfort.
Kati Vasti: the back pain treatment
Ayurveda is the oldest science of healing. It is a science and art of appropriate living which helps to achieve longevity. According to Ayurveda principle there are two different treatments, one is palliative and the other one is purificatory.
To achieve a balanced state of body, mind and consciousness, Ayurveda prescribes purificatory therapy i.e Panchakarma for the cleansing of body toxins. Kativasti, a part of pre-operative procedure prior to Panchakarma is a very effective treatment for lower backache.
The waist area of the body is called Kati. Holding warm ayurvedic oils on the affected areas is called Vasti. Kati Vasti involves retention of warm thick medicated oil over the lower back or other parts of the spine for certain period.
The patient is asked to lie face down on the bed, and is applied medicated oil locally around the lumbo-sacral region. Then, a reservoir made of black gram dough is built around the lumbo-sacral area. Ensuring leak-proof, a lukewarm medicinal oil around 200-300ml is slowly poured into it.
The temperature of oil is maintained reheating and continuously adding more oil. The oil is kept on for 30-40 minutes.
Once this part of the treatment is over, the affected area may be gently massaged, followed by a steaming for 10-15 minutes for better absorption of the medicine. It is usually done in a course of 5 to 7 days as required according to Ayurveda practitioner.
Benefits of Kati Vasti:
1. Alleviates numbness due to Sciatic nerve compression & most types of low-back pain.
2. Strengthens back muscles which maintain normal curvature of the spine the bone tissues.
3. Effective treatment for any type of back pain & spinal disorders, stiffness and other back concerns related to spinal disc problems.
4. Increases the circulation in the region & highly effective in inflammatory conditions.
5. Kati Vasti alleviates lower back conditions like Lumber Spondylosis, Inter vertebral disc prolapses, Lumbago (low back ache), and Sciatica.
6. Alleviates pain associated with fracture, dislocation, spinal tuberculosis and tumors.
7. Strengthens the joints, muscles and soft tissues around and enables you to resume back your work and activities.
Kati Vasti can be taken as a preventive treatment also. It helps avoid problems related to back and keeps your spine healthy. As medicated oil gets deeply absorbed into the skin it both nourishes and strengthens the muscles and nerves. This is the one of the best treatment for healthy bone, muscle, vertebrae, spine, and nerves of lower back.
Dr Nitesh Khonde is an Ayurveda Specialist, Ayurveda doctor, Holistic healer, writer and consultant based in Nagpur, Maharashtra. parijatak.com0