Get rid of back pain

A chronic back pain is the most common occurrence for all those sitting and working on their laptops or desktops through the day. BT More seeks expert advice on how to cure a bad back through four simple asanas.

Anumeha Chaturvedi        Print Edition: January 27, 2008

1. Marjari-Asana

Also called a Cat’s Pose, this asana is beneficial for strengthening spinal flexibility. Start in the four-point kneeling pose (knees under hips, hands under shoulders) and the spine in a neutral position.

Inhale, while raising your head and depressing the spine into a concave position. Allow your abdomen to expand, as the lower lungs fill with air.

Exhale, contracting the abdomen, while lowering the head, and curving the spine upwards. Emphasise on synchronising your breath with the extension of the spine from the neck to the tip of the tailbone.

2. Parvat and Bhujangasan

For strength and flexibility
A combination of Parvat and Bhujangasan is great for improving the strength and flexibility of the back.

Sit in padmasana. Raise both hands over your head and join them together.

Stay for 30 seconds and return to original position. For Bhujangasan, start by lying on your stomach.

Place your hands below your shoulders and raise your upper body off the ground by using your back muscles.

Raise yourself until your head is upright. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

3. Merudandasan

This one’s for relieving backache and stress.

Hold on to each foot. Inhale and lean backwards and lift both heels an inch off the floor. Keep the shoulders down with the chest pressing forward.

Slowly inhale and stretch the legs with your hands, straightening and lifting them up.

Breathe and hold for three breaths. To release: exhale, bending the knees and bringing the feet back on the floor.

4. Salabhasana

Lie face down, hands stretched backwards, close to your body and your legs straight. Bring your hands together beneath the thighs. Inhale.

Holding your breath, straighten your head; tighten both legs and lift them.

Do not bend the knees. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Exhale and lower the legs. By the time the legs touch the floor, you should finish exhaling.

(These asanas should be practised under expert supervision. Asanas recommended by yoga exponent Usha Chengappa. For maximum benefit, practise them in the above mentioned order)

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