|Baby Get Back! Page 2
|These Poses May Do Your Back Good
Here are some simple poses to try. Just about anyone can do these - they're easy and should make your back
feel good. If they don't, then don't do them. And don't feel like you have to do all of them, either! Also,
keep in mind that you need a balance - building back strength requires that you also pay some attention to
your abdominals, too. And tight hamstrings also contribute to poor back health so focus on stretching the
backs of your legs, too. There are many, many more postures, of course - this is just a sampling. For poses
that are more specific to your own back, consult an in-person teacher.
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This is either a good way to start your day or a nice movement after you've done some other back
poses - actually it feels good any time during the day when you want to give your back a break.
Wind-Releasing Posture (Pavana-muktasana)
This Asana isn't just for gas relief - it's also a gentle back relaxer. Another movement to use to start
off the day or end a series of back poses. In fact, if you skip the part about raising your neck and shoulders
and just hug your knees to your chest (or as close as you can without straining), you can do this in bed right
after you wake up.
Seated Side Twist (Bharadvajasana)
Here's a simple move to add flexibility to your spine. Remember to follow the directions - form here
is the key.
Cat-Cow Pose (Bidalasana)
This brings oxygen to your spine and stretches it out. It is important to synchronize the breathing
to the movements.
Cobra Pose (Nagasana)
This one is easier than it looks, mainly because you don't have to do the full version to benefit from it!
Keep your arms bent, your palms flat on the floor and lift your torso up just a little bit - once again, don't
force. When you are done, just lay there and relax for a moment, turning your head to one side for a few
moments, then to the other side. Allow your back to readjust.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandasana)
This is another pose which can grow with you - you don't need to hold it forever or arch your back to the
extreme for your spine to benefit.
This pose strengthens your abdominals, and this time around, it's harder than it looks! It's
important to remember to keep your body in as straight a line as possible - if you can, you may want to check
your form in a mirror the first few times you do it to make sure your back isn't arching or your butt isn't
pointing in the air.
Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
Here's another pose for your abdominals and, of course, you don't have to do the full version. You can
keep your legs bent so that your shins are parallel to the floor. You can hold onto your legs by catching
your hands just under your knees. Just remember to keep your back straight and do the best you can with the
rest. The more abdominal strength you have, the easier this pose becomes.
Staff Pose (Dandasana)
This foundation pose teaches you a lot about posture and keeping your back straight while sitting. Those
who have tight hamstrings can sit on a folded blanket for help - in fact, unless you already have flexibility
in your hamstrings, you will probably feel a stretch in the back of your legs from this posture alone.
Supine Big Toe Pose, or Leg Extension (Supta Padangusthasana)
If you cannot do this pose with the lying leg stretched out along the floor, just bend your knee up and
keep your foot on the floor. Raise your other leg until you feel a gentle stretch - don't over do it, you will
progress with time and practice. Remember to keep your shoulders on the floor and your hips even.
No matter what Asanas you choose to do, end your practice -- as always -- with the Corpse Pose (Shavasana).
And if you do have a weak back, put a bolster or rolled up blanket under your knees, or keep them bent up in
A DVD you'll want to check out is Yoga Journal's Yoga for Back Care.
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