An ancient exercise which is popular for relieving joint pains, aiding weight loss, providing flexibility and stretching your whole body, yoga is no less than a wonder. Yoga has been practiced in the India sub continent for decades and has gained popularity all over the globe in recent years. Being a group of mental, spiritual and physical practices, yoga is known for its various health benefits. The wellbeing of the spine, and flexibility is of much importance for overall functioning of the body. Let's take a deep dive into this article and learn about 5 yoga exercises that will help you to improve the mobility of the spine, relieve back pain and provide flexibility to your body.
1. Head to knee
Popularly known as ‘janu sirsasana’ or heat to knee pose, this yoga exercise is known for its various health benefits. This yoga position essentially provides a scratch to your body and helps to improve the flexibility of spine, groins, shoulders and hamstrings. It also helps to reduce the pain in legs and waist. Apart from relieving pain and providing flexibility, janu sirsasana helps to reduce belly fat, improve digestion, eliminate mild depression and clears the mind by cleaning mental blocks.
Follow these steps to perform janu sirsasana and increase your spine mobility-
- Sit down with your right leg extended and your left foot pressing the right thigh.
- Reach out to your right ankle with the right hand.
- Search your left arm over your head while inhaling slowly.
- Bend your body forward while exhaling so that your head touches the right knee.
- Hold this position for 30-60 seconds .
- Bring your head back up by lifting your torso and taking your arm back in the similar motion.
- Relax for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
2. Low Lunge
An exercise that is usually practiced to work out the legs, low lunge or anjaneyasana is a yoga exercise that also helps to improve spine mobility. This yoga posture provides an excellent stretch to the hips and abdominal muscles while opening up the shoulders, lungs and chest. The benefits of anjaneyasana is not just limited to this as it also helps to improve the overall body balance and improve concentration as well.
Here is how you can improve your spine mobility by following anjaneyasana-
- Kneel down on the floor with your left knee.
- Bend your right knee in such a manner that your foot is placed flat on the ground.
- Straighten your spine, lift the torso and extend your arms to the sides so they are perpendicular to the floor.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.
3. Intense Side Stretch
Intense stretch pose also known as parsvottanasana in sanskrit which can be broken down into 3 parts where parsva means side, ut means intense and tan means to stretch. This yoga pose is basically a forward bend stretch which stretches out your legs, spine and hips. This exercise helps to improve posture, strengthen the legs, improve body balance and stimulate abdominal organs. The benefits of parsvottanasana are not just limited to this as it also helps to prevent issues like constipation by improving digestion.
Follow these steps to reap the health benefits of parsvottanasana-
- Stand straight with your left foot at front and toes pointing outwards.
- Place our hands on the hips and bend forward while tucking your chin into the chest.
- Slowly bring your hands down and touch the floor while your body is folded from your hips.
- Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds and then switch legs.
4. Bow Pose
Stretching muscles, stimulating digestion, improving posture, relieving back pain, you name it and the bow pose can do it all. Known as dhanurasana in sanskrit, this yoga posture is known for its varied health benefits and provides a nice stretch to your body. This exercise works the muscles of your chest, shoulders, legs, glutes and core, which helps to increase the flexibility of the body.
This is how you can practice the bow pose or dhanurasana to get rid of back pain, increase spine mobility and get a flexible body.
- Lie flat on your stomach with bist the arms on either side of your body.
- Bend your knees and stretch your arms towards the back to get a hold of your ankles.
- Slowly lift up your shoulders, chest and chin off the ground without stressing your neck.
- Stare at the object parallel to your eyes and hold for 30 seconds.
- Come back to your initial position and relax.
5. Wide angle seated forward bend
A forward bend yoga position which will not just help to increase the spine mobility but is packed with some other benefits as well. Upavistha konasana is an exercise that helps to open up the lower back and hips while increasing the flexibility of your calves and hamstrings.This yoga posture does not just provide mobility to your spines but strengthens it as well. Wide angle seated forward bend is an excellent yoga posture that would help you to stimulate your abdominal organs as well.
Follow this steps to practice this yoga asana effectively-
- Sit on the floor in such a position that your legs are as far from each other as possible.
- Raise your arms and stretch up your whole body.
- Bend your chest forward so that your fingers are pointing to the front.
- Touch the ground with your fingers and rest your head on the floor.
- Hold this position for a minute and then come back up.
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