4 yoga postures that are good for your back
by The Circle Team

As you probably know, the main scourge of our body is stress! It settles comfortably in your body through the mind, which gradually passes the baton to your organs, muscles and joints .... slowly and quietly. Except that when it is installed, it is installed and knows you by heart. Chronic back pain is one of the favourite victims of this stress and becomes the expression of many tensions that your body accumulates.

Our more sedentary lifestyle, repetitive sitting at work in addition to stress are factors that create moderate pain. As an athlete, bad posture can impact your entire back chain (cervical, back or lumbar areas) and have a real impact on the quality of your practice afterwards.

To avoid these pains and to relieve them, you need to restore mobility to your spine and strengthen your back. This will involve the deep muscles that are essential for good posture and a strong back. A large number of large-scale studies have shown the effectiveness of regular yoga practice in treating chronic pain. Indeed, by acting both on the physical pain through the postures (asanas) and mentally on the anxiety (meditation, breathing, concentration, letting go....), you have the ideal combo to progressively get rid of that cozy nest that stress has made in your back.

Myrtoa member of the Circle collective, yoga coach and above all osteopath, gives you 4 postures to help your back.

Focus on your breathing:

Your breathing will determine the quality of the postures on your body. Adopt a conscious and deep breathing because it will stretch the muscles of your rib cage and back! This will allow your diaphragm to move more freely to let air in and out of your lungs and release any muscular tension.



Standing pincer pose - UTTANASANA

Start standing with legs hip-width apart (or a little wider), arms at your side.

Inhale to raise the arms above the head, exhale to release the upper body to the ground.

Keep the knees slightly bent, the neck relaxed and long.

Catch the opposite elbows and body weight in the toes. Release the abdomen onto the thighs if necessary.

Do about 10 breaths here. This is a gentle, harmonious stretch of all the back muscles, using the force of gravity! To exit the posture, exhale one last time through the mouth, releasing the arms, and inhale as you bend the legs to unwind the spine and return to the initial posture.

If you feel a little dizzy, take your time.

Benefits of the posture: Relaxes the muscles of the back, shoulders, neck and arms. Improves blood circulation in the head and neck and maintains flexibility of the spine. Softens and strengthens the spine, stretches the legs, slims the waist, removes excess fat from the thighs and stomach, improves blood circulation and increases vitality.

Camel pose - USTRASANA

Start on the knees (pelvis width, or the width of a yoga brick lengthwise), chest up, arms at your sides. Inhale places the hands on the lower back, on the pelvis and pushes the pubic bone forward to try to maintain alignment with the knees. Exhale gently starts to lower the shoulders backwards, while pushing the pubis and sternum up and forward.

  • Option 1: stay here, maybe relax the head back if no neck pain
  • Option 2: Toes curled, hands on raised heels
  • Option 3: Kick loose on the ground, put your hands on your heels

Stay here for a few breaths, then inhale to straighten the head, then on the exhale come and sit gently on your heels. Stay here as long as you need to before bowing in child's pose - Balasana

Benefits of the posture: Opening of the heart. Stimulates the digestive functions, the reproductive organs in women and its practice is beneficial during menstruation. In case of pregnancy, only variations 1 and 2 can be practiced. Strengthens the thighs, hips and back muscles while stretching the abdominal muscles and hip joints.

Seated twisting posture - ARDA MATSYENDRASANA

Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Place the sole of your right foot flat on the floor outside your left knee.

Bend your left leg and place your left heel next to your right buttock. Both buttocks remain on the ground! Otherwise keep the left leg straight. The back is straight and relaxed.

Bring the left arm to the outside of the right knee. Turn your torso as far to the right as possible, without straining or cutting off your breath, place your right arm across your back and look over your right shoulder.

Hold for a few breaths, lengthening the spine on the inhale and turning the torso slightly more to the inhale (optional). On the next inhale straighten up, then exhale to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits of the posture: Internal stretching that improves the mobility of the spine and hips. Relieves tension in the deep layers of the back muscles. Stimulates kidney and pancreas functions. Improves the ability to concentrate.

Head to Knee Posture - PARIVRITTA JANU SISASANA

Sit on the floor with your spine straight and your legs apart. Bend your left knee and place your left heel against your left thigh.

Grab your right big toe with your middle and index fingers of your right hand if possible. If not, do as I did in the photo, with the back of your hand on the ground, inside your left calf.

And, press the back of your right shoulder against the inside of your right knee (bend the knee if necessary).

Extend the right side of your torso along the right thigh, bring the left arm overhead to open the left side a little more.

Stay here for a few breaths, and come back for a breath.

Do it again on the other side!

Benefits of the posture: Relieves moderate back pain. Relaxes the body and therefore helps to combat fatigue. Reduces anxiety and helps treat insomnia. Treats headaches and related symptoms.

Do you want to get your practice back on a sound footing? The easiest way is to consult a therapist. He or she will be able to guide you towards routine gestures that will help maintain the effectiveness of the manual treatment in the practice. Myrto receives consultations at the Somasana centre (Paris 8ème) and she will be able to perfectly accompany your athlete profile!

When to do these postures?

1. UPON AWAKENING

The perfect ritual to get your body going in the morning. You will gently wake up your spine and wring out your body after your night's sleep. Do these postures on an empty stomach so as not to rush your body.

2. IN A STRETCHING SESSION

A sequence that is sufficient in itself as a specific stretching session, but which can also be used as part of a longer, deeper practice to stretch the whole body.

3. AFTER A TRAINING SESSION

The pinch pose or seated twist are great for calming your heart rate and your body after a workout. Be careful not to hold the postures for too long.

4. DURING YOUR FLOW

All of these postures fit easily into a yoga flow whatever your practice and intention. The opportunity at each rehearsal to go up in strength on the options of the camel posture!