Many people turn to yoga to help with back pain. But did you know that the practice is a great way to strengthen the whole body - including the back!
Incorporate these five poses into your next yoga practice to build a strong, healthy back!
Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees just underneath your hip points. Keeping your hands as they are, extend your legs out long one at a time, coming onto your toes. Create a long straight line with your body, from crown the crown of your head to the tip of your tailbone. Engage your core and inner thighs, and keep your hips lifted. You can also drop the knees for a modified plank.
Lie flat on your belly with the tops of your feet on the mat and your fingertips in line with your chest. Tuck your elbows in toward your body - make sure to maintain this throughout the pose. Lift your upper body (head, shoulders, chest) up and away from the mat. Slightly tuck your chin.
Upward Facing Dog
To go a step further, from Cobra, press into your palms to straighten your arms, and press into the tops of your feet to let your thighs hover.
Lie all the way on your belly, tops of the feet on your mat with your arms by your sides, palms facing in. Start by lifting the top half of your body, similar to Cobra, but with the arms lifted by your sides. Lower down and repeat with the legs. Lower down and repeat with the whole body.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat, legs about hips distance apart and arms by your sides to start. Press into your feet, lift your hips, and engage your inner thighs. To deepen, interlace your fingers behind your back and snuggle your shoulders underneath you a bit.