Modern lifestyle lends itself to several problems. The aching back is fast becoming one of the most common complaints. Practically everyone has faced this problem in their lives. And most health practitioners are in agreement that our sitting postures, lack of exercise and long hours at the desk are all to blame for this ailment.
So, is there a cure, considering that none of those three things are going to change in the near future? Yoga is one of the most highly recommended alternative therapy for several physical and emotional (not to mention spiritual) ailments.
According to Delhi-based Yoga practitioner, Shri Anant, “Yoga can cure most diseases, if performed in the right way and one is guided by the right guru”. He meets several people who complain of back-aches. He insists that each individual person has a separate and unique need, and with the help of a trained yoga instructor, develop a yoga regimen to suit their individual need, but there are some common easy exercises that everyone can try.
For back aches, Shri Anant recommends the bhujangasana or the Cobra pose (in Sanskrit bhujanga means snake). Here’s how to do it right: First, lie flat on your stomach, keeping your hands level with your chest and your elbows pointing upwards. Inhale slowly and deeply as you hoist your body upwards, arching your back and lifting the front of your body upwards from the abdomen, until your arms are straightened out. Raise your head as much as possible. Hold the pose and your breath and count to ten. Now slowly lower your body and return to the initial pose as you slowly exhale. Repeat and gradually increase the count.
Another exercise that Shri Anant recommends is the brahma mudra in padmasana. This is a simple breathing exercise while rotating the head to help relieve the pain in the back. Sitting in the basic lotus pose with the back straight (no slouching), rest your hands on the thighs. Inhale deeply and slowly as you rotate your head gradually to the left. Go as far as you can without much effort. Hold the pose and your breath. Then slowly return to the initial position as you gradually exhale. Repeat the same thing as you turn our head to the right, and then upwards, and then downwards until your chin touches your chest. Repeat a few times.
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