Modern lifestyles aren't entirely conducive to pain-free backs. Stress, ill-advised sleeping positions, and such poor postures as forward slouching have all played their part in increasing instances of backache. However, by regularly practicing yoga, you can alleviate the anguish. Severe pain may necessitate medical attention, but here are some yoga poses recommended for mild backache.

Downward facing dog

The best-known yoga pose, downward dog works through elongating the cervical spine and strengthening the hamstrings, core, and - obviously vitally - lower back. To adopt this pose, you need to get down on your hands and knees, tuck the toes, lift the hips, and then take your heels closer to the ground. This pose should be held for five breaths at a time.

Upward facing dog

You can shift to this pose once you've got the hang of downward dog. To make this move, which improves your back's stretching ability, you need to start in the downward dog position and move forward into a plank pose. Loosen the toes and look up while your knees are kept above the ground. Hold that pose for three breaths. Upward dog also opens your chest while enhancing abdominal stretch.

Lower back clasp

This is a simple one to understand, making it particularly suited to yoga beginners. Start by lying on your stomach with your face down. Hold your hands at your back before lifting your chest. This stretch makes the lower back stronger but will do so especially effectively when the palms are kept together. If that isn't initially possible, try bending the elbows. Hold the final pose for three breaths.

Sphinx

This name alone could give you a good idea of what this pose involves. It can lengthen your spine despite the pressure it will put on your back. Begin on your hands and feet and lower the stomach towards the ground while extending the forearms before you and raising the chest. The back can be even further opened when you slightly drag the body forward. Stay in position for three breaths.

Bow

This isn't one for yoga novices due to its intensity; however, the bow pose will help to strengthen your upper back. Lie on your face and stomach before using your hands to grip your heels, which you then lift up. The back will join you for the journey, if that's the right expression. Three breaths are what you should hold this pose for - and you can look forward to stronger shoulders, too.

Cat/cow

Get on your hands and knees in a tabletop position before switching between arching and rounding your back. As you do that, use the hands and tops of the feet to put downward force on the floor. These back-stretching postures will assist in massaging your spine. They will enable you to maintain a limber back - and hey, who doesn't like cats, anyway? Ahem...


Child

Your complete back - as well as the hips - can be stretched when you adopt the child's pose, to use its full name. From an all-fours position, you should have your arms extended forward as you sit back to leave your rear resting slightly above the heels. Hold and deeply breathe. That breath should go right to the hips – and the further you extend yourself either way, the more relief will be brought.

Locust pose

Lie on the stomach with palm-exposing arms at either side. Also, make sure that your forehead is on the floor. Slowly bring the head, arms, and - as much as you can - legs and torso off the floor. Doing this should make the thighs slightly rotate. Aim for your body to feel more elongated from head to toe. The pose you have reached should be maintained for 30 seconds to a full minute.

Triangle

Stand with your parallel-positioned feet separated by roughly three feet. Rotate the right foot to line your right heel with your left foot's arch. Have the arms sideways extended as, at the hip, you tilt to bring the right hand nearer the floor. Rotate the body sideward before reaching your left hand's fingers skyward. Look at the left hand - provided you don't hurt your neck in the process - before holding the position for five to seven breaths. Then, switch sides.

Palm tree

Stand straight with a drawn-in chin, your shoulders separated by shoulder width, and your hands at your sides. Bring up both arms and heels simultaneously and inhale for a couple of seconds. Keep this pose as you spend four seconds holding your breath. Then, backward and downward rotate the arm while lowering heels and, for two seconds, exhaling as you return to the starting position.


Whatever posture you choose, you shouldn’t force it if doing so could risk injury. Also, we would urge you to remember the adage that prevention is better than cure. These poses can help to stop back pain even emerging in the first place.