Therapeutic yoga practice for your back

When was the last time you placed your hand on your aching back? A strong back not only increases your height visually but supports the whole body while resting or even when at work. Find out how you can bring the back, back in action. Therapeutic yoga has earned its place in the world of yoga and works wonder. We bring you simple therapeutic yoga practice for chronic back pain.

Yoga need not be strenuous to have the desired effect in fact the simplest of postures can be the most profound. Here is a sequence almost anyone can practice effectively. This practice is a wonderful stress reliever. The best part of these yoga poses is that all you need to do them is to lie down on the floor. It does not take long to do, your body is supported so you can pay more attention to the breath, and the sequence takes care of the most fundamental workings of the body. The sanskrit chant introduces meditation to the practice.

Co-ordinate your breath with the movement of your body: The principle is as you expand the body inhale and as you contract the body exhale.

1. Lying on your back simply in corpse pose. For back pain you can bend your legs to relieve your lower back, another alternative is to keep one leg straight and the other bent. This you can experiment with to find the most comfortable position. Take 12 breaths, see if you can make your exhale longer than your inhale. When the exhale is longer than your inhale the effect is relaxation. When the inhale is longer than the exhale you are building energy. Use Ujjai breath if you are familiar with it otherwise natural breathing is fine. Observe your breath carefully, breathe as fully and comfortably as you can and feel the effect of your breath on your body.

2. Now change your arm position. Take your arms directly out to the side at shoulder height, palms facing to the sky, body remains in the same position either legs straight or bent and again take 12 breaths focusing on making your exhale longer than your inhale. Again observe closely the effect of your breath on your body.

3. Take your right knee in both hands and as you exhale draw it close to your abdomen. Do this 12 times with your exhale longer than your inhale.

4. Repeat this exercise using your left knee and again with the same breathing pattern. 12 breaths

5. Now draw both legs toward the abdomen as you exhale. Ensure you inhale fully and exhale completely. 12 breaths

6. Now keeping the upper body in a straight line, place your hands at shoulder height palms facing to the sky and move your right leg out to the right side keeping the leg on the floor. Move the left foot out to meet your right leg. Adjust so the legs are together and you can feel the stretch at your left side. This time breathe evenly. Bring your inhale and exhale to the same rhythm 12 breaths

7. Rest 10mins.

8. If you would like to move to meditation Roll over to your right side and come to a sitting position. Sit for 10mins.

9. Chant Om three times or if you have been taught any Sanskrit sloka or prayer use that as a way to further soften the mind and lead to meditation for 10mins.

10. The leg straight position puts the most pressure on your lower back, bent legs relieves, experiment until you can keep your legs straight. The practice need to be consistent to have a lasting effect. As you become more familiar with the breath you will the subtle effects of the breath gently expanding and contracting the lungs, ribcage and muscles. Take your time and enjoy the meditative effect of this yoga practice.

The whole premise here is to provide relief and relaxation of the body and the mind, so the healing process can begin.

Image: Art of living