Yoga poses for your back: 4 ways to keep it safe

Yoga is an amazing practice that keeps your back muscles strong, thereby improving or helping to maintain good posture.

Yoga asana can also be a great way to keep your spine supple, mobile, and healthy. It will help you combat degenerative disc diseases that occur with age.

You may think of back-bending poses like Wheel or Upward Facing Dog when you consider keeping your back safe. But we also strive to keep our backs safe in poses such as Warrior II, Mountain Pose, and more.

Four General Tips

Four general tips to help you keep your back healthy and safe, plus some poses to try.

Your abdominal core should be engaged.

The spine should be lengthened. Zip up your spine and stack it from the bottom to the top.

Engage your gluteus muscles.

Warm up properly (especially before attempting poses that require deep back bends like a Wheel).

Chair Pose – Utkatasana

In chair pose, it is common to focus on other things than your back. It could be that Wheeler is trying to reach your arms higher and further or strengthening your glutes and quads by sitting back farther and lower in your chair.

Engage your core to protect your lower back and lumbar spine. When you let your belly fall forward, it will cause your lower back to be strained.

Teachers will sometimes give directions like “tuck the tail,” and it can be confusing to try to determine which direction “tuck” is referring to. I asked my students and myself to imagine what they would do if I poked them in the abdomen. The idea is that the poke finds engaged muscles, but if it doesn’t

Wheel Pose Urdhva Daurasana

It’s not always about your back when you struggle to bend forward or remain in a bending position.

This can be caused by tight hips in the front, computer slouch, or tightly formed facet joint (between two vertebrae). It could also be due to a weak abdominal core. To keep your back in good shape when you do wheel pose, ensure that you have warmed up properly. It would be best if you did some poses, such as the cat and cow pose, sWheellutations, and hip opening poses, like the half-pigeon.

Keep your lower back from straining by engaging your glutes in the wheel pose. To avoid crunching your spine, you can also lengthen it by pushing your feet toward your head.

Upward Facing Dog (or Cobra) – Urdvha Mukha Svanasana

Warm-up again to the upward-facing dog pose. If this is your first vinyasa, I suggest starting with Cobra or baby Cobra. Let your spine get used to the power of Upward Facing Dog.

While you raise your chest and bring your heart forward, extend your spine. Do not simply bend it up. In this pose, you should also engage your glutes to protect your lower back. If you don’t do so, it can cause compression.

Remember that the body functions in harmony. As the skeletal and muscular systems are interconnected, backache may be caused by muscle pain, weakness, or spinal functionality.

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