Many people in today’s world will go through life and never be able to say they never had lower back pain. In fact, most of us will at some time in our lives experience lower back pain and there are some that will experience constant lower back pain or what the medical professionals would call chronic pain. Most back pain is the result of today’s lazy way of life. Used to back in the good ole days, people would work out on their homesteads or farm and people would do things manually that today we have machines to do for us.
We have computers today, and as a result, more and more people are becoming lazy and weak compared to our ancestors and our family members that were alive in our grandmother’s days. An increasing number of people are sitting rather than standing for long periods of time and when they are standing for those long periods of time they are still doing lazy work compared to times past. Machines have made us fat, lazy, and weak and our backs are not happy with us.
Lower back pain results from weakened muscles that are not being worked like they are supposed to, therefore they become weak. Then when it is time to use them for something like standing, walking running, or similar actions we suffer in pain. But thankfully there are a few exercises that we can do to fix that at home and without a doctor’s prescription or the huge bill that comes with it. It has been in use for centuries by the Asian people and as we can see, traditional Asian cultures do not suffer from certain things we here in lazy America do.
That fix is called Hatha Yoga, and there are two specific exercises that we can do to strengthen our backs. One is called the Cat Pose and one is called the Cow Pose. Paired together they form a flowing exercise that when done every day has the ability to strengthen the lower back specifically. To do the cat pose follow this sequence:
*Start on all fours, which are your hands and knees. Hold your back level to the floor and your head looking straight ahead. Inhale a deep breath and exhale as you arch your back up like a cat when it is scared or angry. Your back will round out; allow your head to drop slowly but do not force your chin to your chest or it will create tension on your neck. Hold this for a moment and then inhale another deep breath and exhale as you relax your back. Bring your head back to where they started.
*To do the Cow Pose you go the opposite way, inhale deeply, and exhale as you arch your back down creating a saddle in your back. Allow your head to look straight ahead and your sitting bones arch towards the sky. Hold this pose for a moment and then release those muscles to again come back to the way you started. Now that you have learned the cat and cow poses you can do them together from this one position and they will become your new Hatha Yoga lower back strengthening exercises.
Do the poses for a repetition of 10-20 times once or twice a day and in a week or so you will begin to see noticeable results. In a few days, you will know that you are actually feeling better inside, maybe you will notice more of a resistance to stress and illness and that you are feeling better in the mornings when you get out of bed. That is because practicing Yoga has a lasting effect on your health overall as well. This is why the breathing that is associated with the exercises is very important.
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