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By Dani

Seven yoga poses that alleviate back pain

Back pain is a common issue that many experience and yoga is a great solution. The age-old practice originated in India centuries ago and is still widely practiced today. When trying to alleviate back aches or pains, a simple yoga pose can do the trick.

Seven poses for maintaining a healthy back:

  • Cat pose begins with coming to the floor on the hands and knees. Create a neutral spine making sure knees are hip width apart and shoulders are perpendicular to the floor. Take a deep breath in and drop the chin towards the chest. Curl the tailbone forward, arching the back as to mimic a cat who has just been spooked.

  • Cow pose is opposite to Cat. Just as in Cat, begin with hands and knees on the floor to create a neutral spine. Exhale and push the tailbone back into the air and bring the gaze up to look down the tip of the nose. Alternating between Cat and Cow is an efficient way to massage the spine.

  • Downward Facing Dog is one of the more common poses practiced in yoga. Starting out on hands and knees with a neutral spine, curl the toes under and press the tailbone up. Extend the arms keeping them shoulder width apart. Ideally the heels eventually lie flat on the floor. Downward Facing Dog stretches not only the back but the entire body as well.

  • Bridge pose does wonders for the back. Bridge is a less intense backbend pose that is both rejuvenating and calming. Lie on the back with knees bent. Bring the heels close to the tailbone so they are touching. Slowly raise the hips and bring the hands together by the tailbone. Holding the hands underneath the hips brings the shoulder blades together for a good stretch in the upper body.

  • Sphinx is another gentle backbend pose that also helps to open up the chest. Lie face down on the ground with both legs stretched long. Place the forearms on each side of the body next to the rib cage. Take a nice breath in and raise the torso up. Sphinx pose strengthens the spine and also helps relieve stress.

  • Marichi is a seated spinal twist that is re-energizing. Sit with one leg stretched out forward. Bend the the opposite knee, keeping the heel close to the tailbone. Begin to twist the body towards the bent knee. Take the opposite arm to opposite thigh and rest the elbow just below the knee. Marichi should only be done for minor back pain.

  • Eagle requires both balance and flexibility. Cross the legs and lower down as if sitting in a chair. Next, cross the opposite arms making sure that one hand is placed higher than the other and bend the elbows. If the balancing aspect of the pose is too tough, use a wall to support the back torso.

  • Most important, don't forget to breathe!

For more information about the benefits of a regular yoga practice, please visit

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