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Yoga for Back Pain

2. Wrong muscles are overworked.

Bad postures during standing or sitting (sloppy chairs) or sleeping (cushiony beds) are responsible for allowing the spine to go crooked as the supporting muscles are already weak. Wrong postures and curvatures of spine alter the line of weight transmission. This poses greater demands on some muscles that fall in this wrong line of weight transmission. These muscles are now subjected to long durations of activity in that they are made to remain in a state of partial contraction which they are not trained for. A muscle when held in a state of contraction for unused duration of time gets tired and when pushed beyond its capacity triggers off pain sensors resulting in back pain.

3. Repeated injuries due to unused exercise

After working hard all round the year in your office, you are looking forward to your long holiday away from hometown. where you would love to do your favorite sporting activity. The strain on the back starts even during your preparation for the holiday. The packing, loading, winding up the back log of office and house work , carrying travel kits are a bit too much for your untrained muscles. After reaching the holiday site you want to enjoy your sports. You are now prone to multiple sprains and strains, muscle pulls and small injuries. These soft tissue injures are most common in the neck and the lumbar spine. Whenever there is an underlying soft tissue or bony injury in the spine, the nature's way is to protect the part by not allowing that part to move, by spasm of the long para spinal muscles.

Thus any pain in the spine due to underlying injuries has almost a 50% contribution by the super-added postural muscle spasm. Acute injuries with even severe degree of pain would vanish with rest, local heat, painkillers etc. within one to four weeks. But the problem of recurrent and chronic pain is the major concern. This happens when you return to the same life style of sedentary working in wrong postures full of psychological tensions.


STAGE-I (Setubandha-sana breathing) 

Sthiti (initial) Supine Posture 


  • Lie supine with your legs together and hands by the side of the body.

  • Fold both the legs placing the heels on the ground near to the buttocks

  • While inhaling raise the buttocks and the trunk up as far as you can.

  • While exhaling slowly lower them down to the floor.

  • This is one round repeat five rounds.


  • Keep the hands on the ground all the time.

  • Feel the stretch in the lumbar region while going up and release of the stretch while coming down

  • Synchronize the breathing with the movement.

STAGE-II (Setubandhasana Stretch)

Sthiti(initial) Supine Posture

  Same as in Stage-I


  • While inhaling slowly raise the buttocks and trunk up and place the hands under the waist to support the body well.

  • Then as you exhale, slowly stretch the legs forward by sliding the feet inch by inch.

  • Next, while inhaling slowly bend the knees again moving the feet backward inch by inch.

  • Finally, while exhaling slowly lower the buttocks and the trunk on the floor.

  • This is one round.

  • Repeat 5 times.


  • You must have firm support of your waist in order to be able to maintain the balance.

  • Initially you may feel the pain in the elbows because of the weight of the body but gradually you will get used to it.

  • If you find it difficult to practice "Setubandhasana stretch" practice Setubandhasana breathing only.

This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
and Arogyadhama

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