The stress of everyday life and have a serious impact on our physical and mental health. Most of the times, the body gathers tension in the shoulders and back, forcing us into a crunched posture which then affects the spine and upper body health.
Thankfully, the practice of yoga is something which can help mend the problem. Yoga, centuries-old practice, has become one of the best techniques to get physically active and strong, while also taking care of your mental health.
Yoga is suitable for both children and adults and delivers immense benefits to the physical and emotional health.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
Some of the key benefits of yoga include:
- Boosted flexibility
- Greater muscle mass and strength
- Alleviated respiration and vitality
- Increased energy levels
- Metabolism balance
- Weight loss
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Expanded athletic strength
- Injury protection
- Stress relief
- Increased mental strength
- Acquiring a more positive outlook on life.
Effective Yoga Poses to Practice at Home
If you are looking for beneficial yoga exercises to help you relieve back and shoulder pain, here are a few ideas as provided by Natalie Nevins, an osteopathic doctor, and Kundalini Yoga trainer.
1. Low Lunge Twist
Start in a high lunge, placing the right foot between the palms. Keep the knee over your lower leg, and place back knee on the floor, toes pointing backward.
Use a yoga block to support your frame with the left hand. Extend the right hand over your head and take 5 deep breaths before switching and repeating in the other side.
2. Supine Twists
Begin flat on the back, extending the legs fully. Hug right knee into the chest and begin twisting it over the left, extended leg. Breathe deeply as you gently press the twisted leg into the ground. Hold for 8 breaths before switching legs and repeating the same.
3. Cow Face Arms
Take a sit on your yoga block and raise the right arm up, twisting it backward and holding one end of a towel. Twist the left arm from the waist up to the back, gripping the other end of the towel. Now, lift up the chest and hold for 8 breaths. Switch sides and repeat.
4. Double V
Lay flat on the back, placing the arms under the chest. Extend the right arm beneath the chest and over the left arm, while doing the same with the left arm.
Support the temple on your yoga block and hold for 8 breaths. Switch sides and repeat.
5. Thread the Needle
Get settled in a tabletop position and raise the right arm until you feel a stretch. Slide the right arm under the shoulder, towards the left side of the body. Extend the left hand forward on the mat. Hold posture for 8 breaths, and then switch and repeat.
6. Supported Fish
Lay on the back, placing one yoga block between the shoulder blades and another under the neck. Ease your body over the blocks and extend hands to the side, palms open outwards. Hold for eight breaths, trying to get a good shoulder and back stretch.
7. Bound Locust Pose
Lie on your tummy and keep the arms straight on each side. Extend the toes and keep the feet apart. Reach out with the arms backward, locking in the fingers behind your back.
Begin lifting the chest off the floor, arching the back straight and raising the shins and feet as well. Once in a semi-floating posture, hold for 5 breaths and release fingers with caution.
8. Child’s Pose
Get into a tabletop position and bring the thumbs of both feet to touch in the center of the mat. Extend your arms forward as you lean over your knees and folding forward towards the ground.
After getting into a full backstretch, relax for 8 long breaths. Use a yoga block to support your hands in you cannot fold all the way down to the ground.
9. Supported Puppy Pose
Begin in a tabletop position. Keep the feet flat on the ground, toes pointing outwards. Begin lowering the upper body to the floor and use two blocks as support for each elbow.
Once placing the elbows, intertwine the fingers behind your back, with your forehead resting between the blocks. Keep the neck straight and extend the upper arms against the blocks. Hold for 8 breaths and slowly go back to initial posture.