Numerous yoga practitioners are intuitively sentient that the primeval practice could assist in postural improvement, lowering stiffness and better management of an array of musculoskeletal disorders including arthritis.
Corroborating this was the result of Arthritis Research UK’s trial in association with the University of New York and several veteran yoga tutors. The trial spanning multiple centers uncovered that the participants following the twelve week long yoga sessions specially created for improving back functioning were able to assume day-to-day activities sans being restricted by back pains as compared to those who solely received care from general practitioners. Regular followers of yoga also relied lesser on analgesics for pain reprieve.
Handy Guide to Effective Back Arthritis Yoga Exercises
Cat Cow Pose (Marjariasana)
It is an amalgamation of duo poses in one which helps to stabilize muscles of your back and spinal column. Come on your knees and hands on an exercise mat. Ensure that your knees are under your hips and spaced slightly apart, parallel to each other. Your wrists are positioned beneath your shoulders and toes face the mat. In an innate spinal position one inhales and bends the chest towards the ground, shoulders moving back while slightly lifting the head for gazing ahead.
During exhalation, the abdomen is pulled upwards while rounding (arching) the back and then contracting the abdomen. One then inhales while reverting to a natural spine position and continue to draw the breastbone forwards. Deeply breathing throughout the exercise is recommended while not overly rounding the upper section of your back. Keep the arms limber yet in a straight line while performing the pose.
One should be going back & forth in a slow and fluid manner for 8 to twelve repetitions. The objective should be moving the lower back within a painless range for enhancing scope of movement.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This pose essentially involves backward arching of the spine whilst lying on the belly to promote spinal flexibility and strength. Begin by lying in a prone position, i.e., face-down body position with fore part of head to the exercise mat. The hands are positioned shoulder distance apart on the mat in close proximity to the thoracic cage with the elbows jutting inwards towards the waistline.
While inhaling begin rotational motion of the shoulders while slowly lifting them off the mat and drawing your elbows in the direction of the wall behind you. It is imperative to hoist your chest off the mat with the assistance of your lower back rather than exerting on the palms. While breathing out the back is then slowly lowered to the mat and during inhaling one lifts back up attaining the form of a risen hood (the snake posture). Redo the above steps for five times to condition the upper back.
Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
We initiate with the half locust pose and then eventually graduate to the full locust pose for opening the rib cage while improving back strength.
Lie down on your stomach over an exercise mat with arms flanking the body, palms faced up and brow faced downward. While breathing in, the chest along with hands are lifted off the mat. This position is held till a count of five while breathing and then gently lowering the upper body back down to the mat.
Subsequently, the legs are placed somewhat close to one another, toes pointed to the floor and hands positioned by the sides of your body with palms faced up. We now gaze at the mat, head not touching it, however, is in line with the rest of the body. The legs are hoisted up together while inhaling till an extent that there is some gap between your thighs and the mat. Hold the pose for a few seconds before lowering the body back down while breathing out.
We now perform the full locust pose during the next inhalation by hoisting the chest as well as the lower portion of the body in unison. Hold and breathe till a count of five. Exhale while you gradually come back to prone position.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose specifically works the extensor muscles which are joined to the back of your spine. Begin by placing palms and knees on the exercise mat. The palms ought to be positioned somewhat ahead of the shoulders.
The knees are then raised off the ground as one presses the back and points the coccyx (the tiny bone at the base of your backbone) in the direction of the roof. The posterior thigh muscles can be further stretched by slowly pushing the heels towards the mat. Do breathing for ten times while holding this inverted V position and redo the above steps for 5-7 times.