Pain in the joints and especially the back is a common ailment that affects hundreds of thousands of people worldwide when they reach a certain age, but because of the modern lifestyle a lot of young people are affected by it as well. Sitting at an office table for extended periods of time, sleeping on uncomfortable furniture which isn’t able to adequately support your spine and many other things are all factors that contribute to this sort of chronic pain.
But I want to be honest with you here for a second. The first thing you have to realize is that, if you want this pain to go away for good, you’re really going to have to change your lifetsyle a bit, because chances are that your lifestyle is the culprit here. Whether it’s spending too much time in a seated position, an inadequate diet or insufficient physical activity, you’re going to have to remedy it.
How Yoga Can Help
However, one activity that I guarantee can offer you instant pain relief (to one degree or another) is definitely yoga. Yoga is a fantastic choice for more than one reason. First off, it’s comprised mainly (if not completely) of static exercises. Put simply, the term “static” means that you don’t really move around too much. Instead, in yoga you often just assume a certain position (or “pose”) and try to maintain it for as long as it feels comfortable. This is good because there are no sudden movements, instead they all kind of flow into one another and there’s a much greater degree of control, making it almost impossible to injure yourself further.
And second, yoga isn’t just a discipline of the body, but also of the mind and the spirit. By utilizing specific breathing patterns, you use your mind to really relax your body and let go of all that extra tension, and this is often enough to provide significant pain relief. Most people aren’t even aware of how tense their muscles are, and when they finally learn how to relax them, the sheer amount of relief is astounding.
To help you start off, today I want to share just three of the easiest and most basic yoga poses with you, so you can start strenghening your body and getting rid of all that pain right away.
Upward Facing Dog
When we sit in an office chair, we’re either in a forward-hunched position or we’re laid back on the rest, and in both cases the lower back is doing most of the work at keeping us from essentially sliding off the chair. When you’re in this position for extended periods of time, tension really starts to accumulate in that area, and by utilizing this pose you can really keep that pain at bay.
Start by getting down on all fours, and then slowly bring your pelvis down to the floor, arching your back towards it and make sure that your fingers are pointing out. Your weight should be distributed between your hands and your knees, leaving your pelvis to king of “hang” in the air and letting gravity do most of the stretching. Take a couple of deep breaths, and as you breath out try to relax all the muscles in your pelvis.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose is easy to transition to from the one I just talked about. All you have to do is bring your pelvis up like you want to assume a plank position, and then keep lifting it up until your torso and your legs are at about a 45 degree angle, keeping your core and legs tight.
Ideally your feet should be flat on the ground, but if you’re not that flexible yet you can stay on your toes as well.
Seated Spinal Twist.
If you feel like your posture could do some work and are feeling some pain in your upper back, this one is definitely something you should try.
From a seated position, start by putting your left food on the outside of your right knee. Then position your right elbow on the inside of your left knee and start twisting your spine counter-clockwise. If you hear a few cracks go down your spine it’s nothing to worry about, in fact it means that you’re performing the right motion.