Asanas for the back and spine
Pregnancy is a time of ever-increasing strain on the back. The center of gravity in the body shifts, and at the end of the term the sagging of the spine in the lumbar spine is especially palpable. In order to maintain posture, the muscles of the back are strained many times more than in normal life. Often during the waiting period, especially at the end of the second and third trimester, women suffer from back and lower back pain. Worsens the situation by the impossibility of full-fledged rest on the back, quality unloading of the spine. Yoga for the spine in this situation is simply necessary. In hatha yoga there is a whole complex of asanas, the performance of which is beneficial for pregnant women. Some special poses give rest to the spine and relax the back, while others strengthen the back muscles so that they help the spine to be in the right position.
Since yoga for the spine and back is very important – let’s understand this topic in more detail. Our website offers various sets of asanas for strengthening, stretching and relaxing the back. Below we offer examples of individual exercises.
Tadasana – mountain pose. A simple upright pose: stand with your feet together, shoulders back, shoulder blades together, chest out, arms hanging relaxed, palms facing inward. Your top should be pulled up and your breathing should be even through your nose. Asana strengthens the muscles of the back and improves posture.
Utkanasana is the pose of energy. Feet are at a hip width. Put your hands on your knees and make a little squat, as if you were sitting on a chair: the knees are pulled forward and the pelvis is deflected back. Head goes up, arms are also stretched upward, palms folded in namaste. Your back archs in the thoracic region and the lower back. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Asana perfectly strengthens the muscles of the back, gives relief to the lower back, and has a toning effect on the legs and hips.
Janu shirshasana is the head pose on the knee. It stretches and strengthens the spine, but should be performed with caution during late pregnancy. The initial pose is dandasana. While in it, bend the right knee and pull the right heel to the groin. The left leg is straight. With the back straight, bend forward and put the toe of the left foot around. The spine is pulled in a straight line, with the head down. At later terms, simplified versions of the pose are possible. The straight leg can be slightly bent for the convenience of being in the asana. In addition, to facilitate the performance of exercises in the third trimester, a folded blanket or mat is placed under the buttocks, so that the pelvis is higher than the legs. This makes the pose easier for those with poorly stretched legs and back, as well as making comfortable bends with a large belly.
Pashimottanasana is a bend toward the legs while seated. Another asana that is beneficial for the spine. The initial pose is also dandasana. Up to the second trimester of pregnancy, a forward bend with big toe embrace is possible, provided that this asana has been performed before pregnancy and that there are no contraindications. From the fourth month, a simplified performance of asana with auxiliary objects is recommended. Put your shoulder blades together and keep the spine straight, leave your hands behind the body, push off the floor in a downward bend, trying to touch the floor with your belly. It is also possible to use a wide elastic belt, which is thrown over the middle of the feet, and holding on to its ends with straight arms, stretching the back and legs at the same time. The pose relieves back pain by stretching the spine.
Marichiasana is the pose of the sage Marichi. The popular asana is good for pregnant women because the twisting is good for the spine. However, the pose is performed in the “open” version. If we pull up the left leg to the body, then we put the right hand behind the back and do the twisting to the right – and vice versa. That’s how the spine works, and it doesn’t involve the diaphragm.
Katuspadasana is the pose of the cat. This asana helps to reduce stress on the spine and makes the back muscles more elastic. The pose is very simple in performance: while kneeling on the floor, one should alternate between arching the back and “rounding” it. In this asana, the emphasis in pregnancy is on the thoracic region – the lower back itself goes to the right position. In a bend the thorax is opened and stretches to the floor, while on an exhalation the thorax is rounded and stretches to the ceiling. It is worth repeating this exercise several times.
Safety measures and recommendations:
– Perform all asanas for the back should be done slowly, carefully and evenly as long as being in the pose is comfortable. With increasing gestation, you can make the legs a little wider than the asana stipulates. Stability is important during practice, so before each pose you can rock around to find your balance point.
– Don’t lie down on your stomach, don’t squeeze it, and listen to the sensations.
– Pay special attention to breathing. If you don’t have much experience in yoga, try to spend a little time in a pose.
– Put pillows, blankets under the legs, back, under the forehead (if necessary).
– If necessary, you can put a special pillow for pregnant women or a blanket folded several times under the knee.
– In order to make it easier to perform some asanas, you can use wide and soft straps in order to catch your feet or pull them up to you during some poses.
Performing special asanas at least 3 times a week will greatly alleviate discomfort and back pain or get rid of them altogether.
– Threat of pregnancy termination,
– High uterine tonus,
– high blood pressure.
If you have not practiced yoga before pregnancy, work out the correctness of the exercises with the help of the website video lessons (yoga for the spine is also presented in video lessons).