Your back supports you throughout the day, helping with posture, lifting and more. However, it also takes quite a beating! According to the U.K. Statistics Authority, back pain cost the economy over one billion pounds in 2014 due to 4.2 million employees being unable to go to work. In order to keep your back healthy and strong, start your day right with some of these helpful yoga poses.
1. The Cobra Pose
In order to stretch and strengthen your lower back, try the cobra pose. Lying on your stomach with your legs outstretched, place your palms near your chest and gently push up so that your chest lifts away from the floor. Push your shoulders back and your ribs forward while maintaining your bent arms, and breathe.
2. The Upward Facing Dog Pose
This pose begins like the cobra, but takes it one step further. Instead of keeping your arms bent at the elbow, straighten them until your chest is tall and your pelvis lifts slightly away from the floor. Look straight ahead or upward slightly for an extra stretch.
3. The Cat and Cow Pose
To keep your back happy, try the cat and cow routine. On all fours, push your stomach down toward the floor and lift your head to look up (cow). Then, round your spine, pull your stomach up, and drop your head (cat). Repeat.
4. The Half Lord of Fishes Pose
A nice, gentle twist can work wonders on a tired back. To do the half lord of the fishes pose, sit with your knees bent up and feet flat on the floor. Drop your left knee down and slide the foot under your right leg to the right buttocks, then place your right foot over your left knee. Twist to the right with your left elbow on your right knee and breathe.
5. The Knees-to-Chest Pose
What this pose lacks in a fancy name, it makes up for in comfort. Lie on your back and hug your knees to your chest, arms on top of your legs. Gently rock right and left for a nice massage.
6. The Bridge Pose
Slightly more challenging, the bridge poseis great for your back. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and hip-width apart. Rest your arms flat at your sides and push your pelvis up, clasping your hands together underneath. Press your chin to your chest and hold.