Back Pain – How Yoga Helped

tranquil tree in magical forest

newgrounds.com/art/view/theprisoner/tranquil

Eleven poses with video and descriptions.
I have had a blessed life with very little pain, that wasn’t self induce anyway. But at the age of 50, my back has started to give me a few issues. Vertebrates popping out and just an irritating back pain, that would come and go. I would get someone to pop it back in and everything would be good for a while.

Then came the magic Sunday, I planned to work, had to finish a job to get the check. Well, my back started hurting. Not just an irritating issue, but a painful tightening from the bottom of my ribcage to my tailbone. I was afraid that it would put me in bed, it has done it before. And I cannot afford to be bedridden, I have to work.

You can see where this is going. I ran a search query (yoga for back pain) and ran across a women magazine article with 11 poses, that worked. The name of the magazine is womenshealthmag.com/

Quick Navigation to Videos
Cobra PoseCat-Cow PoseDownward Facing Dog PosePlank PoseMountain PoseWarrior II PoseExtended Side Angle PoseThe Bridge PoseThread the NeedleReclining TwistCorpse pose

How I Found the Yoga Poses,Images, and Discriptions

If you go to the article you will see that I have change the sequence and the images of the poses (except for the first one) and add a brief description of the pose. Now, for the images I use a search engine. This search engine searches multiple search engine for the licence, of your search query. The title of the search engine is cc search. Using this will (hopefully) keep the lawyers, from getting a hold of me, for infringing on someone’s copyrights.

None of this is mine. I got all of this off other sites and have different videos. I think that I did this right, but am not sure. These work and everything is on one page. I hope it helps

Yoga Poses for Back Pain

The Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

The Cobra pose

Photographs by Joshua Kessler; poses by Rama Nina Patella, certified anusara teacher

Etymology
The name comes from the Sanskrit words bhujanga meaning “snake” or “serpent” and asana (आसन) meaning “posture” or “seat”.

Benefits
Bhujangasana may strengthen the spine, stretch the chest, shoulders, and abdomen, firm the buttocks, and relieve stress and fatigue. Traditional texts say that Bhujangasana increases body heat, destroys disease, and awakens kundalini

The Cobra Pose Video

Cobra Pose, Yoga with Sandra Carson (video)
A well explained Cobra Pose, Yoga with Sandra Carson.


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The Cobra Pose Explained

From WikiHow
The cobra pose, or bhujangasana, is a back bend that stretches muscles on the front of the torso and strengthens your arms and shoulders. The cobra also warms up the torso and you perform the cobra pose as part of the sun salutation sequence at the beginning of a yoga routine.

  1. Lie face down on the floor on a yoga mat with your palms flat, placed beneath your shoulders. The tops of your feet should be flat on the floor.
  2. Engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and drawing your belly button toward your spine. You want to engage your abs to protect your lower back.
  3. Spread your fingers and press your palms into the floor. Rotate your shoulders back and down away from your ears.
  4. Push your upper body off the floor and straighten your arms as much as is comfortable while keeping your hips, legs and feet planted on the mat. Tilt your chin upward and lift your chest toward the ceiling.
  5. Hold for 5 full breaths then release.

The Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-Cow Sequence-

Cat Pose — Marjaryasana (mahr-jahr-ee-AHS-uh-nuh) — is often paired with Cow Pose — Bitilasana (bee-tee-LAHS-uh-nuh) — for a gentle warm-up sequence. When practiced together, the poses help to stretch the body and prepare it for other activity.

Benefits of Cat-Cow
Cat-Cow is a gentle flow between two poses that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine. It stretches the back torso and neck, and softly stimulates and strengthens the abdominal organs. It also open the chest, encouraging the breath to become slow and deep. The spinal movement of the two poses stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands. Coordinating this movement with your breathing relieves stress and calms the mind.

This sequence also helps to develop postural awareness and balance throughout the body. It brings the spine into correct alignment and can help prevent back pain when practiced regularly.

The Cat-Cow Yoga Pose Video

Yoga Basics: Cat-Cow Sequence–Master Basic Yoga Poses in 2 Minutes!
YOGA BASICS SERIES: Master basic yoga poses to set a strong foundation for your yoga practice. Visit yogadrienne.com for simple tips on stress-free yoga, and find more great videos, articles, and yoga-related resources!


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The Cat-Cow Pose Explained

From yoga.about.com
The cat-cow stretch is a yoga classic, and with good reason. It consists of moving the spine from a rounded position (flexion) to an arched one (extension). It’s a simple motion, but one that is enormously beneficial in preventing back pain and maintaining a healthy spine.

Each movement is done in conjunction with either an inhalation or exhalation of the breath, making this a simple vinyasa. If you already have back pain, check with your doctor before beginning to make sure these movements are appropriate for your condition.

Benefits:
Improves spinal flexibility and abdominal strength.

Also Know As:
Chakravakasana

Instructions:

  1. Start on all fours, bringing the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips.
  2. Think of the spine as a straight line connecting the shoulders to the hips. Try visualizing the line extending forward through the crown of the head and backwards through the tail bone. This is the position of a neutral spine.
  3. Keep the neck long, as the natural extension of the spine.

On an inhale:

  1. Curl your toes under.
  2. Drop your belly, but keep your abdominal muscles hugging your spine.
  3. Take your gaze up toward the ceiling.
  4. Let the movement in the spine start from your tailbone, so that your neck is the last part to move.

On the next exhale:

  1. Release the tops of your feet to the floor.
  2. Round your spine.
  3. Drop your head.
  4. Take your gaze to your navel.

Repeat the cat-cow stretch on each inhale and exhale, matching the movement to your own breath.

Continue for 5-10 breaths, moving the whole spine. After your final exhale, come back to a neutral spine.

Cat-Cow in a Chair
If you have trouble coming to your hands and knees or if you want to sneak in a few stretches at work, you can adapt cat-cow into a chair yoga pose. The movements are pretty much the same as they are on the floor.
Begin by sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your knees.

Inhale:
Push your belly forward and your shoulder back. Look up toward the ceiling.

Exhale:
Round your spine, draw the shoulders forward and take your gaze towards your belly.

The Downward Facing Dog

The downward facing dog and the Plank are done in conjunction with one another. You go from the downward facing dog to the plank and then back again.(5x)

downward facing dog
Downward facing dog is done many times during most yoga classes. It is a transitional pose, a resting pose and a great strengthener in its own right. It may be the first yoga pose you encounter as you begin a yoga practice.

Benefits of Downward Facing Dog
The role of downward facing dog is vast. Done properly and consistently, the most noticeable benefits include:

  • Decrease in back pain by strengthening the entire back and shoulder girdle
  • Elongated shoulders and shoulder blade area
  • Deepened respiration
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Increased full-body circulation
  • Elongates and releases tension from your spine
  • Stretches your hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthens your arms, shoulders, and back
  • Improves mobility of your digestive system
  • Relieves back pain, headaches, insomnia and fatique
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Downward-Facing Dog is a mild inversion that calms the nervous system and helps relieve stress

Downward Facing Dog Video

Downward Facing Dog pose / Adho Mukha Svanasana Yoga
EkhartYoga.com One of the most practiced Yoga Poses, Downward Facing Dog Pose / Adho Mukha Svanasana, learn what to do and what not to do in this online yoga video tutorial.


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Downward Facing Dog Explained

From yoga.about.com/od/yogaposes/a/downdog.htm
Downward facing dog is done many times during most yoga classes. It is a transitional pose, a resting pose and a great strengthener in its own right. It may be the first yoga pose you encounter as you begin a yoga practice.

Instructions:

  1. Come to your hands and knees with the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips.
  2. Curl the toes under and push back raising the hips and straightening the legs.
  3. Spread the fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips.
  4. Outwardly rotate the upper arms broadening the collarbones.
  5. Let the head hang, move the shoulder blades away from the ears towards the hips.
  6. Engage the quadriceps strongly to take the weight off the arms, making this a resting pose.
  7. Rotate the thighs inward, keep the tail high and sink your heels towards the floor.
  8. Check that the distance between your hands and feet is correct by coming forward to a plank position. The distance between the hands and feet should be the same in these two poses. Do not step the feet toward the hands in Down Dog in order the get the heels to the floor. This will happen eventually as the muscles lengthen.

Beginners:
Try bending your knees, coming up onto the balls of your feet, bringing the belly to rest on the thighs and the sit bones up high. Then sink your heels, straightening the legs keeping the high upward rotation of the sit bones. Also try bending the arms slightly out to the side, drawing the chest towards the thighs. Then re-straighten the arms.

If you are very flexible, try not to let the rib cage sink towards the floor creating a sinking spine. Draw the ribs in to maintain a flat back. Try holding the pose for five minutes, placing a block under your head for support.

The Plank Pose

full plank pose and modified plank pose
From yogaoutlet.com
Plank Pose — Kumbhakasana (koom-bahk-AHS-uh-nuh) — is an arm balancing yoga pose that tones the abdominal muscles while strengthening the arms and spine. Its name comes from the Sanskrit words “kumbhak,” which means “breath retention,” and “asana,” which means “pose.”

In the traditional practice of this pose, you would hold your breath for a brief moment before lowering your body into the low push-up position (either Chaturanga Dandasana or Ashtanga Namaskara). Plank is an essential component of Sun Salutations and is often used as a transitional pose, in which the breath is not held. It can also be practiced on its own to build strength and stamina.

Benefits of Plank Pose
Plank Pose tones all of the core muscles of the body, including the abdomen, chest, and low back. It strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders, and is often used to prepare the body for more challenging arm balances. Plank also strengthens the muscles surrounding the spine, which improves posture.

Practicing Plank Pose for several minutes builds endurance and stamina, while toning the nervous system. As part of the Sun Salutation sequence, it is often practiced many times during Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Power Yoga classes.

The Plank Pose Video

Plank Pose Explained, Yoga with Marlene
Advanced: EkhartYoga.com How to work in plank pose? Not an easy pose. Marlene explains here how to do this pose safe, and how to get the most out of it by applying the core muscles.


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Plank Pose Explained

Instructions

  1. Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Breathe smoothly and evenly through your nose. Bring your thoughts to focus on the present moment.
  2. Spread your fingers and press down through your forearms and hands. Do not let your chest collapse.
  3. Gaze down between your hands, lengthening the back of your neck and drawing your abdominal muscles toward your spine.
  4. Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line.
  5. Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. If your butt sticks up in the air, realign your body so your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
  6. Draw your pelvic floor muscles toward your spine as you contract your abdominal muscles. Keep your head in line with your spine. Broaden across your shoulder blades and across your collarbones.
  7. Drawdown through the bases of your index fingers — do not let your hands roll open toward the pinkie fingers.
  8. Press the front of your thighs (quadriceps) up toward the ceiling while lengthening your tailbone toward your heels.
  9. Hold the pose while breathing smoothly for five breaths. If you are using the pose to build strength and stamina, hold for up to five minutes. To release, slowly lower onto your knees, then press back into Child’s Pose and rest.

Those practicing Sun Salutations should move directly from Plank into Chaturanga or Knees-Chest-Chin Pose.

Modifications & Variations
Plank Pose can be an excellent core and arm strengthener when practiced correctly. It can take some time to build up enough strength to hold the pose for more than a breath or two. Take it slowly and be careful not to over-stress your arms and shoulders. To deepen or lighten the pose, try these simple changes to find the variation that works best for you:

If your arms or abdominals are not yet strong enough to support your full body weight, you can lower your knees to the floor (this is called Half Plank Pose). Be sure to keep your head and spine in a straight line.

To deepen the pose, try lifting one leg at a time. Hold the lifted leg for five breaths. Then, repeat with the opposite leg for the same amount of time.

If your wrists get sore, roll the top edge of your mat a few times. Place the base of the palms of your hands on the rolled portion of the mat, with your fingers gently curling. Press down through the base of your index fingers.

Tips
Plank Pose can build a lot of strength and stamina throughout the body when it’s done with the correct alignment. Keep the following information in mind when practicing it:

Do not allow your hips and butt to sag too low or poke too high — it’s important to keep your body in one straight line, from shoulders to heels.

Keep your shoulders aligned directly over your wrists.

The distance between your hands and feet should be the same in both Plank Pose and Downward-Facing Dog. Move back and forth between the two to get a feel for the correct distance.

Keep the space between your shoulder blades wide while broadening across your collar bones. This action helps to prepare you for deeper arm balances, like Crow Pose.

Never lock your elbows in the pose — doing so can lead to hyperextension and injury. Instead, keep them soft by engaging your biceps and triceps, creating a “micro-bend” in the joint.

Lengthen & Strengthen
Practicing Plank Pose will strengthen your core and arms in no time. Holding it for extended periods will build endurance and determination. Find a variation or modification that works best for you, and then watch as your power increases!

The Mountain Pose

From down dog, keep the hands planted on the floor, but walk the feet towards the hands. Hold for 5 breaths. 
2. Then, start at the tailbone and move to standing by rolling up the back vertebrae by vertebrae. Keep the feet pressing into the floor and come to a standing position with feet hip-distance apart and pointing forward.

Woman practicing the mountain pose with backdrop of mountains

From yogaoutlet.com
It might look like you’re just standing there, but Mountain Pose — Tadasana (tah-DAHS-uh-nuh) — is an active pose that helps improve posture, balance, and calm focus. Its name comes from the Sanskrit words “tada” (meaning “mountain”) and “asana” (meaning “pose”). Tadasana is the foundational pose for all standing yoga postures and full inversions, such as Handstand and Headstand.

It is the pose from which every other standing pose in your practice is born! The alignment, muscle movements, and mindset you learn in Tadasana are applied every time you do a standing yoga pose. So, it’s important to learn how to do it correctly. Once you understand the proper form of Mountain Pose, it will be easier to gain and maintain the alignment for all other standing poses and inversions.

Benefits of Mountain Pose
A correctly executed Tadasana will use every muscle in the body. It improves posture and, when practiced regularly, can help reduce back pain. This pose strengthens the thighs, knees, ankles, abdomen, and buttocks. It is also helpful for relieving sciatica and for reducing the affects of flat feet.

Tadasana steadies the mind and body, bringing a calm focus to the practitioner. Practicing the pose with steady and smooth breath will help relieve stress and improve concentration.

Cautions
Due to the balancing nature of the posture, do not practice Mountain Pose if you are currently experiencing headaches, insomnia, low blood pressure, or if you are lightheaded and/or dizzy. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.

Mountain Pose Video

Mountain Pose or Tadasana, Yoga Asana
EkhartYoga.com The Mountain pose looks easy but there is more to it, and you can practice it everywhere. This yoga pose helps to strengthen the legs and prepares the body for all other standing yoga poses. The Mountain pose is known as Tadasana in Sanskrit.


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Mountain Pose Explained

Instructions

  1. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Press your weight evenly across the balls and arches of your feet. Breathe steadily and rhythmically. Draw your awareness inward. Focus on the present moment, letting all worries and concerns fade away.
  2. Press your big toes together (separate your heels if you need to). Lift your toes and spread them apart. Then, place them back down on the mat, one at a time.
  3. If you have trouble balancing, stand with your feet six inches apart (or wider).
  4. Drawdown through your heels and straighten your legs. Ground your feet firmly into the earth, pressing evenly across all four corners of both feet.
  5. Then, lift your ankles and the arches of your feet. Squeeze your outer shins toward each other.
  6. Draw the top of your thighs up and back, engaging the quadriceps. Rotate your thighs slightly inward, widening your sit bones.
    Tuck in your tailbone slightly, but don’t round your lower back. Lift the back of your thighs, but release your buttocks. Keep your hips even with the center line of your body.
  7. Bring your pelvis to its neutral position. Do not let your front hip bones point down or up; instead, point them straight forward. Draw your belly in slightly.
  8. As you inhale, elongate through your torso. Exhale and release your shoulder blades away from your head, toward the back of your waist.
  9. Broaden across your collarbones, keeping your shoulders in line with the sides of your body.
  10. Press your shoulder blades toward the back ribs, but don’t squeeze them together. Keep your arms straight, fingers extended, and triceps firm. Allow your inner arms to rotate slightly outward.
  11. Elongate your neck. Your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles should all be in one line.
  12. Keep your breathing smooth and even. With each exhalation, feel your spine elongating. Softly gaze forward toward the horizon line. Hold the pose for up to one minute.

Modifications & Variations
Since Mountain Pose is the foundation for all other standing poses and inversions, it’s important to learn the correct alignment. Often, this means changing habitual patterns of alignment in your body. Standing up properly can take some getting used to! Try these simple changes to learn the pose correctly:

If it’s difficult to balance with your feet together, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Gradually step your feet closer together as you gain balance in the pose.
Women who are pregnant should widen their stances as much as necessary to feel stable.

Beginners can practice the pose backed up against a wall. There will be a slight curve in your lower back, but your heels, buttocks, and shoulders should gently touch the wall. Keep your head away from the wall, keeping your ears in line with your shoulders.

For a greater challenge, close your eyes in the pose.
Your arms and hands can be placed in a variety of positions. To learn the correct alignment, keep the palms facing inward. To open the chest and shoulders more, turn your palms forward. To calm your mind and find center and balance, place your palms together in prayer position at your chest (this is called Anjali Mudra).

Tips
In order for the alignment of Tadasana to translate to the rest of your standing and inverted yoga postures, it’s vital to get this basic pose right. Here are a couple of tips to help you stand up straight:

Work the pose from the ground up. Notice and align your feet, heels, arches, and toes. Then, bring your awareness to your ankles. Continue upward to your shins, calves, and thighs. Find alignment in your tailbone, pelvis, and belly; and then in your collarbones, shoulder blades, arms, and neck. Finally, extend the pose through the crown of your head.

To find your center of balance, slightly lean your whole body forward, then backward; then to the left, and then to the right. Realign yourself so that your ears, shoulders, hips, and heels are in a straight line with your weight even across both feet.
To find the neutral balance of your pelvis, imagine your pelvis is a bowl filled with water. Tip your front hip bones forward (your butt will stick out) and the water will spill over your front thighs. Tuck your tailbone and round your low back and the water will spill over your back thighs. Practice tipping and tucking a few times to find the neutral balance of your pelvis — where the “water” will remain steady and not spill.

Check and correct your alignment every time you come into the pose throughout class.

To learn the lift and inner rotation of the thighs, place a block between your thighs, above the knees. Squeeze the block and roll it slightly backward, engaging and rotating your thighs.

Stand Up Tall
You can practice Mountain Pose many times throughout your normal day: While brushing your teeth, standing in line, or riding the elevator. You can even practice it while walking, running, or doing the dishes! Once you have a hang of the correct alignment, you may find yourself standing and sitting straighter throughout your day with reduced back pain and a calm, clear mind.

Warrior II Pose

breakdown of the warrior II poseFrom lindsayfields.com/
Creation of the Hindu Lord, Shiva, images and mythology portray Virabhadra as having raging, fiery hair and three burning eyes.  He wore a garland of skulls and wielded terrible weapons in each of his one thousand arms.  However, he was not simply a murderous demon. Just as Shiva and destruction are an important part of the Hindu Trilogy (Brahma/Creator, Vishnu/Sustainer, and Shiva/Destroyer), Virabhadra, the Great Warrior, symbolizes that within ourselves which has the power to overcome the prideful ego (symbolized in stories by king Daksha) for the sake of the heart (symbolized by Sati, Daksha’s daughter and first wife of Lord Shiva).  Thus, Virabhadra destroys in order to save.

Here is the Wikipedia article where you can read more about the Origin of Virabhadra

Benefits:

  • Increases the strength and flexibility of the legs, ankles and feet.
  • Therapeutic for flat feet, sciatica, backaches and osteoporosis.
  • Stretches the groin, hip muscles and connective tissue of the hips.
  • Opens the chest, lungs and shoulders.
  • Builds stamina.

Warrior II Video

Introduction to Yoga: Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
Named after the mythic warrior-sage Virabhadra, this pose strengthens the entire body and energizes the mind. For more info please visit zoyayoga.com


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Warrior II Explained

Many of the mistakes we see beginners make are as follows:

1. Torso leaning to far over the front leg (if you energize your back arm it tends to mitigate the tendency to lean over the front leg).

2. The front knee placement is often not in line with the second toe (buckling inwards) as well as the knee extending beyond the ankle (this is sometimes caused by the stance being to narrow – focus on widening the stance and making a right angle with your front knee and ankle)

3. The buttocks protruding back – we often see beginners poking their but out instead of firming the buttock of the front leg and pulling it underneath the body.

Warrior 2 is a pose that shows up in both beginners and advanced sequences. Learning the important movements will help you focus, feel grounded, calm, and more confident in your practice.

Warrior II Pose Instructions:

  • Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Lift your arms over head and bring your hands in prayer position. Step 4-5 ft to the right bringing your arms parallel to the floor, palms facing down. Heels are in line from the side and feet are parallel to each other at this point. Scoop your tailbone under slightly, bringing your hips into a neutral position. Arms move back, chest lifted out in front, shoulders roll down and imagine them sliding down your back.
  • Pivot on the right heel 90 degrees (heels still in the same line). Bend the right knee until the right underside of the thigh is parallel with the floor and continue to sit down, softening in the hips until you have a 90 degree angle with the right shin and thigh. The knee might have a tendency to move inward and if this is the case, soften your right inner thigh and you can use the right hand to externally rotate the right thigh so that the knee is centered directly over the right ankle.
  • Your weight should be evenly distributed in both feet and you want to make sure, especially, that you have the outside edge of your left foot in contact with the mat and some weight in that area as well.
  • If your upper body begins to lean forward, draw the left arm back in order to bring the upper body centered over your hips.
  • Shift your eye gaze to look out over you right arm across the right middle finger.

Extended Side Angle Pose – Utthita Parsvakonasana

showing how to do the pose
Extended Side Angle Pose or Utthita Parsvakonasana is a pose that helps to stretch parts of the body that do not usually get stretched. The name of Extended Side Angle Pose yoga translates into extended, flank and angle. This pose is also considered one of the beginner poses where you slowly help your body get accustomed to stretching and contorting which is yoga.

One of the frequent fall outs of this pose when not done correctly is that your bent front leg takes a lot of weight. Tips for Extended Side Angle Pose tell you that balancing the weight on your ribs can be done by resting your forearms on your thighs while you take this starting pose.

Beginner’s Tips :
Beginners could have some trouble while doing this pose. Here are some beginners’ tips for Extended Side Angle Pose. Till you get used to it, you might not be able to balance on your heels and touch one ankle while extending the other side. Try using a wall to steady you. Initially you might not be able to even touch your ankle or the floor easily. Use your thigh for support or keep a block next to your foot and touch that as you start off. Once you get flexible you will be able to do the pose as required.

Benefits To Body Parts :
It stretches out many parts, helping the legs, groin, chest, lungs, ankles, spine, shoulders and abdomen.

This pose strengthens the knees, ankles and legs while stretching muscles in the groin, abdomen, lungs, chest and waist.

It increases stamina but stimulating the abdominal organs.

Therapeutic Applications :
It is known to help in infertility, constipation, osteoporosis, weak backs and chronic back pain, discomfort during menstruation and even a remedy to the very painful sciatica nerve inflammation.

The aim of any pose in yoga is slowly balance out all bodily systems including removing toxins and stiffness.

The asana or pose aims to improve that body part to its full working capability so in this pose with all this stretching, all strong muscles holding the hips and spine also get stretched.

Ordinarily these muscles do not get stretched so this deep stretching is very beneficial for good muscle health.

The Extended Side Angle Pose Video

Extended Side Angle Pose
Extended Side-Angle Pose stretches and lengthens the entire side body, from ankle up through shoulders, and the inner thighs, and strengthens the legs. Watch this demonstration from Yoga Journal’s Pose Encyclopedia to learn to do it correctly.


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The Extended Side Angle Pose Explained

From myhealthylivingcoach.com
How to do Extended Side Angle
There are numerous postures that lead into Extended Side Angle Pose – Triangle Pose, Paddotanasna (Wide-legged Forward Bend), Tadasana, Warrior II, etc. – all of which make it a pose that’s relatively easy to incorporate into a flow practice.

If you’re starting at the top of your mat in Tadasana, standing with your feet together, on the inhale take a wide step with your right foot – about 3 or 4 feet – to the back of your mat with your toes facing the back wall. Pivot your left foot so it’s parallel to the short side of your mat and the heel of your right foot is in line with the arch of your left foot.

Exhale and bend your right knee to bring your thigh parallel to the floor. At the same time, reach your right hand for the floor on the outside of your leg and your left hand straight up to the sky or over your ear reaching for the wall. Gaze up to the sky.

That’s the gist of the pose, but slight adjustments will allow you to feel it even more.

  • Think of your straight leg as the support. Ground the outside of your foot and keep the leg engaged.
  • Keep your hips lifted and open to face the side wall with your tailbone tucked under.
  • Rotate and open your torso to the sky while expanding your sides.
  • Press the earth away with the palm that’s planted as you lengthen through the fingertips of the raised arm.
  • Make sure the bent leg is not collapsing in. Energetically drawing your thigh into your hip joint will help.
  • Lengthen your spine from your tailbone to the top of your head.

The Bridge Pose

the bridge pose
From drweil.com
“You can practice the Bridge Pose to both strengthen and stretch your back. This pose also lengthens and loosens the hamstrings, improving circulation and promoting overall relaxation.” – Andrew Weil, M.D.

Description & History
The yoga pose known in English as the Bridge Pose is called Setu Bandha Sarvangasana in Sanskrit, which translates literally as “construction of a bridge.” The pose name comes from the words setu meaning bridge, bandha meaning lock, sarvanga meaning limb, and asana meaning posture. The Bridge Pose is commonly used to stretch and strengthen the back and abdominal muscles as well as open the lungs and chest.

Potential Health Benefits

  • Stretches the back and can alleviate low back pain
  • Opens chest and hip flexors
  • Strengthens abdominals and core muscles
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves flexibility of the spine and hips

Yoga poses that focus on the lower back such as the Bridge Pose have been shown to alleviate back pain. Investigators compared the effects of yoga and physical exercise on patients who experience chronic lower back pain. During a seven-day period, investigators found the patients who engaged in yoga had a greater improvement in spinal flexibility and a reduction in lower back pain than those patients who engaged only in physical exercise. The study was published in the June 2012 edition of the Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Modifications & Variations
Beginners must keep the shoulders rolled under to prevent overstretching the neck. Lift the top of the shoulders toward the ears and push the shoulder blades away from the spine.

Beginners should also start with a yoga block under the sacrum (also known as the “tailbone,” the small triangular bone at the base of the spine) to alleviate pressure on the back. Start with the yoga block to the side of the body and move it under the sacrum once the body is in the Bridge Pose. Once the yoga block is in place, the body can return to the start position and rest atop the block.

Advanced practitioners can perform two extra movements to “deepen” the Bridge Pose. One is to extend the arms and place them above the head with the backs of the hands and arms on the floor. This movement engages the muscles of the body by reducing stability the arms provided. Advanced practitioners can also lift the heels off the floor and lift the hips higher.

Precautions
People with knee, back, or neck pain should avoid performing the Bridge Pose without consulting a doctor. It is important to ensure your shoulder blades are supporting your full weight and not your neck. It is recommended that you place a folded towel or yoga mat under the shoulders to prevent slipping on the floor and to reduce pressure on the neck and shoulders. As you do bridge pose, you can also interlace your fingers, place them under your buttocks and press them down into the mat. This will increase stability.

The Bridge Pose Video

Introduction to Yoga: Bridge Pose (Setubandhasana) for beginners
An explanation on how to perform Rolling Bridge vinyasa and static Bridge pose (Setubandhasana). Building this bridge strengthens the back, buttocks and legs, and nourishes the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands.


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The Bridge Pose Explained

How to Perform the Bridge Pose

  • Begin in supine position on floor. If necessary, place a folded blanket or yoga mat under shoulders to protect upper back and neck. With bent knees, place feet flat on the floor and parallel, no more than hip-width apart. Keep arms to the side of your body with palms on the floor for stability.
  • Exhale and slowly lift hips toward the ceiling, keeping the knees and thighs parallel. Engage the muscles of your lower back, buttocks, thighs and abdomen to keep the body taut and firm. Lift the hips until the body is flat from chest to knees.
  • Keep the neck loose by lifting the chin away from the body. This movement will help you to avoid placing too much strain on the neck.
  • Maintain the pose for 30 seconds to one minute. Once you are ready to release, exhale and slowly roll the spine down starting from the neck and ending at the hips, one vertebra at a time. Repeat the pose once more if your body feels comfortable.

Thread the Needle

what thread the needle looks like
From health.com/
This pose gets its name because it looks like you’re taking your arms through the eye of a needle. Carter loves teaching this pose to beginners and it’s great for tighter students. The back is supported, and for extra neck support you can put a pillow behind the neck.

Thread the Needle Video

Yoga for Lower Back Pain : Thread Needle Yoga Pose for Back Pain
Learn how to do the thread the needle pose when using yoga poses for lower back pain relief in this free exercise video from a hatha yoga instructor.


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Thread the Needle Explained

How to do it:
Lie on your back and bring your knees up so they form a 90 degree angle with the knees pointing toward your head. Cross your right ankle over the left thigh. Clasp the hands behind your left knee and pull the left leg toward you. This will stretch the right buttocks and the left hip. Then, repeat on the other side.

Reclining Twist

The reclining twist

Reclining Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana in Sanskrit) is used in many types of yoga classes, including hatha yoga, classes for toning and weight loss and restorative yoga practices.
This one, relatively simple, pose offers a broad range of benefits for the body. Reclining twist squeezes and stretches all the muscles and organs of the torso and tones the core. In addition, this pose is great for aiding digestion and detoxifying the entire body. This asana wrings the toxins out of the organs of the body and helps remove toxins.

Benefits

  • Encourages movement and mobility in your spine and vertebrae.
  • , stretches, and tones your internal organs.
  • Improves your digestion.
  • Stretches your chest, shoulders, lower back, hips, middle spine and your upper back.
  • Alleviates pain or stiffness in your lower back, spine and hips.

Reclining Twist Video

Yoga for Lupus & Chronic Pain – Part 7 – Reclining twist
The seventh in a series of videos illustrating 8 different poses beneficial for sufferers of Lupus and Arthritis.

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Reclining Twist Explained

From myyogaonline.com & yourdailydoseofchi.com
Steps

    1. Lie on your back in Corpse Pose / Savasana with your legs extended.
    2. Draw your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around your legs. Keep your knees and feet close together
    3. Release your arms and sweep your arms out to the sides like the letter ‘T’. Your palms are turned upwards.
    4. Engage your abdominal muscles, inhale, and allow your knees to fall over to the left as your gaze shifts to the right. Press your shoulders in o the floor and draw the shoulder blades onto your back.
    5. Hold for a few breaths. Inhale, engage your core muscles and bring your knees to the centerline of your body and allow knees to fall over to the right as your gaze shifts to the left.

There are several variations to a reclining spinal twist including having the top leg bent at 90 degrees and the bottom leg straight.

Modifications

  • If the knees do not rest easily on the ground, place your knees and feet on a large pillow.
  • If the twist feels too deep for your lower back, first try placing a pillow between your knees or move your knees below the height of your hips.
  • To deepen your twist, place your right hand on your left knee (closest hand) and press your knees down. To increase further, pull your knees up towards the under arm, but continue to keep your right shoulder from lifting off the ground.

Corpse Pose

The corpse pose
From wikipedia
Shavasana is perhaps the most important part of yoga practice. Lying on the back, the arms and legs are spread at about 45 degrees, the eyes are closed and the breath deep, using deergha (long) pranayama. The whole body is relaxed onto the floor with an awareness of the chest and abdomen rising and falling with each breath. All parts of the body are scanned for muscular tension of any kind, which is consciously released as it is found, optionally with a small repetitive movement of the area. All control of the breath, the mind, and the body is then released for the duration of the asana, typically 20–30 minutes although often less in Western yoga classes.

The asana is released by slowly deepening the breath, flexing the fingers and toes, reaching the arms above the head, stretching the whole body, exhaling, bringing the knees to the chest and rolling over to the side in a fetal position. After a short time and a slow inhalation, the practitioner takes a seated position.

Corpse Pose Video

Corpse Pose – Yoga Journal Poses
The Yoga Journal Pose Encyclopedia provides a 360-degree view of each pose. You don’t just learn the poses correctly and safely – you gain a deeper understanding of each posture.


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Corpse Pose Explained

From abc-of-yoga.com/

  1. Rotate your legs in and out, and then let them fall gently out to the sides.
  2. Let your arms fall alongside your body, slightly separated from the body, palms facing upwards.
  3. Rotate the spine by turning your head from side to side to center it.
  4. Then start stretching yourself out, as though someone is pulling your head away from your feet, your shoulders down and away from your neck, your legs down and away from your pelvis.
  5. Breathe deeply and slowly from your abdomen.
  6. Hold the pose for several minutes. Make your mind still and concentrate on your breath or the body.
  7. After doing the pose, bend your knees. Using your legs, push yourself onto one side.
  8. Push yourself in a sitting position.

No Yoga Session is complete without the Corpse Pose. It is the body’s time to process information after a Yoga Exercise, and it is a must that you stay awake during the five to ten minute-duration of this pose.


Thank you for stopping by and read this post “Back Pain – How Yoga Helped”. Since you are here have a look at my most recent post and my sitemap (which I will update soon). You might find something that interest you.
Thanks again and Y’all come back now,

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Photo Sites

The Cobra:
aarp.org/health/fitness/info-01-2011/yoga_poses.html
Cat-Cow Sequence:
prenatalyogacenter.com/blog/tag/prenatal-yoga-2/
Downward Facing Dog:
yogalily.com/adho-mukha-svanasana-downward-facing-dog/
Plank Pose
yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-plank-pose-in-yoga
Mountain Pose
hathayoga.net/?p=1642
Warrior II Pose
myyogaworksblog.com/2013/06/24/breaking-down-the-pose-virabhadrasana-ii-warrior-2/
The Extended Side Angle Pose
myhealthylivingcoach.com/extended-side-angle-pose-or-parsvakonasana/
The Bridge Pose
dailyperricone.com/2011/03/building-strength-through-yoga-bridge-pose/
Thread the Needle
childsposefertility.com/blog/2011/07/24/pre-post-transfer-%E2%80%93-gentle-poses-to-open-and-calm/
Reclining Twist
rawfoodswitch.com/alternative-health/yoga/
Corpse Pose
stepbystep.com/top-10-yoga-exercises-with-benefits-103277/

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One Response to Back Pain – How Yoga Helped

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