Can Yoga Help With Low Back Pain?

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Is yoga a cure for low back pain? As a sufferer, and long-time yoga practitioner, I can tell you that yoga exercises can in fact provide back pain relief.

The first time I experienced low back pain was about 6 years ago. I can remember the moment vividly. I was about to purchase a long-coveted table from a assemble-your-own furniture store and I had the hand cart situated near the low shelf. Even though I knew I should lift with my legs, I was using one foot to keep the cart in place as I awkwardly heaved the box onto the cart. That’s when I felt a sensation I had never felt before, an odd electric ripple across my low back. I stood up carefully, and felt a noticeable and unfamiliar sense of weakness in that area. Ever since that moment, occasional low back pain has been a part of my life.

At the time I was already practicing yoga regularly, and happened to have a Kundalini yoga book with a set of exercises specifically focused on back strengthening. I practiced that set daily for a few weeks and was as good as new, well, almost. I find that that area is still a weak spot. If I am exercising regularly, including a healthy dose of yoga, then the back stays healthy and happy. If I succumb to the “life is so hectic, I just don’t have time to do yoga” excuse mentality, it’s inevitable that something will trigger the old familiar pain. That’s when its time to pull out the trusty Kundalini book and practice the exercises again.

The yoga back exercises are fairly gentle and can be done even when the low back pain is intense or the back is very stiff. It still surprises me how effective the exercises are, and that I can feel relief after doing the set one time. The exercises aren’t even time-consuming. I can do them in as little as 20 minutes.

So, relief is just one more thing to add to my list of reasons to do yoga daily. Like with so many other things, consistency is the key. Yoga can do so much for you in this area, as long as you are consistent in your practice. The benefits of this practice, like all of the other mind and body benefits of yoga practice, cannot be expected to last forever without a consistent practice of the yoga exercises. The back, like the rest of the body, does need maintenance, and yoga is a great maintenance program

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