Are you looking for bedtime yoga to ease your back pain?
It’s no secret, our bodies are under a lot of stress. Whether we’re standing constantly or working in uncomfortable shoes, we are taking on stress.
Even as you’re reading this article, you may be sitting down with your shoulders hunched over and back sloped, feeling a little discomfort.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Many spend $50 billion each year to try to alleviate it.
While you shouldn’t put a cost to your health, it doesn’t have to be so expensive to help heal some issues. Yoga is one of the most effective ways to help relieve back pain and it can also ease potential stress on your wallet.
Just by staying in each pose for only a few breaths a day, you’re on way to help strengthen, stretch and improve circulation to the spine.
Here are some of the best poses that’ll help benefit your back.
Bedtime Yoga: Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Probably one of the most loved restorative poses, balasana stretches the muscles of the lower back, as well as the hips, thighs and ankles. It also promotes flexibility and stress relief, releasing lower back tension as your back returns to the small natural curve.
How to do:
Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position. Inhale and spread your knees hip-width distance apart as you bring your big toes to touch.
Exhale as you press back though your hands and send your hips to to rest on your heels.
Rest your forehead on your mat as you keep your arms long and extended to the front of your mat or lay your arms along your body with your hand facing palms up, resting your torso between your thighs. Keeping your eyes closed, with each inhale, broaden your back.
On your exhale, melt a little deeper into your mat and if your arms are extended, stretch your fingertips even more to the top of your mat. Hold for five to 10 deep breaths.
Bedtime Yoga: Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
This is yoga’s most ubiquitous pose and deservedly so.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana offers the ultimate, rejuvenating body stretch by strengthening and lengthening your hamstrings and entire spine.
How to do:
Start by lying on your stomach with your whole body flat on the floor.
Begin to inhale as you place your hands on the floor at the bottom of your ribs with fingertips facing forward and your elbows tucked in. Exhale as you engage your core, lift your hips off the floor, tuck your toes under and straighten your arms to create an upside-down V shape, with your hips up towards the sky.
Set your gaze at a point behind you. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and your feet should be in line with your with your hips.
Try to keep your legs straight while pressing your heels towards the floor. Inhale as you lengthen your spine, keeping your neck long and your shoulder blades down your back.
Exhale as you press through your chest, moving it towards your thighs. Hold for five to 10 breaths.
Bedtime Yoga: Supta Kapotasana (Reclined Pigeon Pose)
This relieving stretch is especially beneficial for those with sciatica. It opens the hips while stretching the lower back, hips and inner thighs. Since the muscles of the lower back, hips and glutes are connected to the pelvic girdle, stretching these areas help alleviate pressure on the lower back and reduces tight back pain.
How to do:
Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent, with your soles of the feet flat on the floor. Set you gaze towards the sky. Cross your right leg over your left, with your right knee sticking out to the side.
Clasp your hands together behind your left leg, gently pulling your legs towards your chest, while keeping your lower back flat. Hold for ten deep breaths. Repeat on opposite side.
Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose)
Sometimes referred to as the baby of backbends, this gentle pose helps reverse the hunched over position many experience after spending majority of their day sitting at desks or constantly looking down at their phones. It soothes the lower back, strengthens the spine and also opens the chest, lungs and shoulders.
How to do:
Start by lying down on your stomach with your legs hip-width distance apart. Keep your chin on your mat and your forearms flat by your sides with your finger tips facing forward.
Press the tops of your feet into the mat. On your inhale, press your forearms into the floor and lift your head and chest off the mat as your middle fingers point forward. Align your elbows under your shoulders and gaze at point in front of you.
Lengthen through your entire spine, keep your neck long and draw your shoulders blades down your back to keep your shoulders away from you ears. Hold for up to 10 breaths.
Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)
As mentioned earlier in this article, because the hip bones and glutes are connected to the pelvis, overly tight hips and hamstrings limits motion in that area. Essentially, stretching those body parts help ease stress on your lower back.
How to do:
Begin by lying down on your back with your knees bent, soles of the feet on the floor. Inhale and extend your right leg to your right arm, grabbing your foot, calf or thigh with you right hand (you can also use a strap to loop around the arch of your foot as you relax the the upper body).
If you feel comfortable here, exhale as you lengthen the bent knee, placing your left leg on the ground and pressing your left hand onto your leg as you ground your hips and keep your left foot actively flexed. Hold for up to 10 breaths. Repeat on opposite side.
During your practice, remember to take deep breaths while in the pose and while transitioning into the next pose. While yoga is known to have many physical and mental benefits, it’s always best to consult with your physician before starting any new exercise.
If you feel any strain while in a pose, listen to your body and go easy or skip the pose altogether.