Yoga has many benefits for our bodies, it strengthens your muscles, correct your posture, and in some cases, it can even be considered as aerobic exercise. It will also help you improve your balance and release tensions. All of these benefits translate into a healthier life since your body is going to function better if muscles are doing their job correctly and holding everything in place.
Furthermore, releasing tension and relieving yourself from stress and pain automatically improves the quality of your life. A clearer mind can solve problems easier and make better choices than a mind full of stress and problems.
Some specific yoga poses bring great benefits to the muscles of your back and some other parts of your body:
1. Downward Facing Dog
This yoga position helps relieve stress and mild depression; it will also stretch your arms, legs and lower back. A partner can also be helpful when doing this pose to work the top thighs. You can also raise one leg parallel to the line of your torso and hold it for 30 seconds to challenge yourself. First, come onto the floor on your hands and knees, then lift your knees slowly from the floor, next push back and stretch your heels towards the floor, then lift your arms from your wrists to the top of your shoulders, your head should not hang.
2. Upward-Facing Dog
The first step is to lie on the floor and spread your palms beside your waist, then press your inner hands as if you were trying to push yourself from the floor and lift your torso and legs from the floor as you inhale. Your head can be straight or tipped a little to the back. Hold it for about 30 seconds. This position is part of the traditional sun salutation sequence. It will stretch your chest and lungs, and it will also stimulate your abdominal organs.
3. Childs Pose or Supported Childs Pose
The Child pose is a good transition between other poses that can be more challenging. Also known by its Sanskrit name, Balasana is a resting pose that can offer an opportunity to calm the brain and relieve stress or fatigue. It can also relieve the pain in the back, and it provides an opportunity to consciously and fully breathe, most of the times we do not realize how important breathing is for our healthcare. To do this yoga pose you have to kneel on the floor and lay your torso down between your thighs, then lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, you can hold this position for 30 seconds to a few minutes until you feel ready for the next pose.
4. Pigeon Pose
This pose is known for being a great hip opener, if you are not ready for it, try some other poses that will open your hips gradually until you can master the Pigeon Pose. This position lengthens the muscles of legs and hips in equal ways. To avoid getting hurt try to use a soft mat that takes care of the places where your body touches the floor. To get in this pose, you have to start from all fours, bring your knee forward and place your ankle to your left, then slide the other leg back and make sure your knee is straight. Then start to lower your body and walk your hand forward to lower your body. Remember to do this slowly and don't force your muscles too much, if you can't hold it; it means you may not be ready for the pose.
5. Triangle Pose
This pose engages all your body and even when many people think the goal is to be able to touch the floor the truth is that the Triangle Pose is about balance and alignment. Just as the Pigeon Pose, the Triangle also opens the hips and may be a good choice when working towards the Pigeon Pose. To do a perfect Triangle you must start from a standing position with your legs apart, inhale and slide both arms parallel to the floor, exhale and rotate the arms, the left arm should be raised and the right arm should be against the right leg, your arms should be now one straight line. Hold it for a few seconds and remember to breathe.
To sum up, yoga offers the opportunity of strengthening the muscles of your back, legs and torso, among others and also getting rid of stress, tension, and pain. It is a combination of benefits that can be accessed just with a few minutes of practice every day. Some poses are not to be done the first day, they required training and some level of flexibility that can only be achieved after some time of practice, but some other poses are great for beginners and can be a nice introduction to more challenging experiences.
Ryan Varela is the CEO of Boost Health Insurance which provides customized and affordable health care plans for thousands of customers across the United States. Ryan has nearly a decade of experience in the health care industry and continues to serve the greater need to educate and deliver access to affordable options to those who need health care the most.