People who have back problems often come to my practice. They do really need to stretch and/or strengthen back muscles. Simple exercises/asanas in Hatha yoga can help them.
In this article I want to recommend a practical set of simple exercises aimed at stretching your back. Below is given an algorithm for performing various asanas:
1) Tadasana. Start the complex with the mountain pose (Tadasana).
Technique: my faithful assistant PinkyYogi has already been engaged in performance and alignment of the mountain pose :) Take at least 5 deep breaths in the mountain pose.
2) Uttanasana. On the exhalation perform a forward bend (Uttanasana) from a standing position. "Ut" - slowness, balance, " tan" - "stretch","lengthen".
Technique: on the exhalation, lean forward and lower your fingers to the floor, then move your hands and press your palms to the Mat on the sides of your feet. Do not bend your knees.
As you inhale try to lift your head up and lengthen your spine. Pelvis should be slightly applied to the head so that the legs are perpendicular to the floor. Kneecaps are pulled up.
As you exhale lower your head to your knees. Breathe in this asana for 5 deep breaths.
Simplified version: you can perform a forward bend using a belt. To do this take the belt and pass it under your feet, thereby pinning the belt. Take the ends of the belt with your hands and help yourself to lower your head down.
3) Table pose. The "table" pose is an intermediate pose for performing the cat – cow pose sequence.
Technique: Sit down on the mat with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Toes should be pressed into the mat. Palms are placed strictly under the shoulders, and knees are above the hips. The fingers are spread wide and pressed into the mat. Elbows look back.
Pelvis is in a neutral position: there is no deflection in the lower back, and the pelvis is not lowered to the floor.
4) Bitilasana. From the table pose (point 3) on the inhale start performing the cow pose.
Technique: when inhaling pull the chest forward and make a bend in the back, raising the sciatic bones to the ceiling. The sight in front of you.
5) Marjaryana. From the cow pose (point 4), move to the cat position on the exhalation.
Technique: Lower your head down, while rounding your back to the ceiling and drawing your stomach into your back. Look either down or at the navel.
6) A link of cow pose-cat pose (points 3 and 4). Perform this combination at least 5 times.
7) Paschimottanasana. Lean forward from a sitting position. It stretches the back of the body from the back of the head to the heels.
Technique: sit down with your butt on the mat, stretch your legs straight in front of you, feet together, pull your toes on, knees straight and taut.
The back is straight. As you inhale raise your hands up parallel to each other. On an exhalation with a straight back bend forward and grab feet with hands by the sides. Spread your elbows to the sides or down, try to lower your chin to your knees, lengthen your neck and body, and keep your knees pressed to the floor. Take 5 deep breaths in and out in this position. As you inhale, raise your arms parallel to each other extending your spine.
Simplified version: you can perform a forward bend from a sitting position using a belt. To do this take a belt and throw its center over your feet. Take the ends of the belt with your hands and help yourself to lower the body down to your feet.
8) Salamba Sarvangasana. The pose "birches" is familiar to us from physical education lessons. Sarvangasana - "body with support", "sarva" - all, whole, and "Anga" - a limb or body. This asana is useful for the whole body, its value is difficult to overestimate. Sarvangasana is the mother of all asanas.
Technique: Lie on your back. Stretch your legs and pull up your knees, arms along your body, palms down.
Take a deep breath and lift your legs 90 degrees as you exhale. Take a breath, gently press your palms to the floor, and lift your pelvis and back off the floor as you exhale.
Pull your legs behind your head parallel to the floor, place your hands on your back ribs, press your shoulders to the floor and do not spread your elbows wider than your shoulders.
The pressure of the palms in the back will bring the body and legs to an upright position.
Press the chin against the sternum.
The back of the head, back of the neck and shoulders as well as elbows are on the floor.
Stretch the entire body in a single line, vertically to the floor.
Stay in the asana for at least 3 minutes.
Release your back, slide down, stretch out on the floor and relax.
9) Halasana. The plow pose.
Technique: Lie down on the floor, arms along the body, shoulders and lower back pressed to the floor, palms down, and raise your legs 90 degrees as you inhale.
On the exhalation, tighten the muscles of the back of the thighs and knees, point the body at yourself.
Place your palms on your middle back and press them down, pull your legs further behind your head, and straighten and tighten your knees.
Straighten your arms along the floor in the opposite direction from your feet.
Close your fingers, extend your elbows and move away from your shoulders.
Stretch your arms and legs in opposite directions, this will lengthen the spine as much as possible.
Close your eyes and direct your inner gaze to the tip of your nose.
Stay in the asana for 1 to 5 minutes. Breathe evenly.
Release your hands, gently lower your legs, and stretch out along the floor. Relax.
10) Jathara Parivrriti. Twisting of the spine while lying down.
Technique: Lie down on the floor, bend your knees over your chest. Stretch your arms out to the sides in the shape of the letter "T", press your palms to the floor.
Throw your legs bent in the knees to the right side. Keep your knees on the floor with your right hand.
Twist the upper part of the spine to the left side. Turn your head to the left. Close your eyes or look away from your left hand. Take 5 deep breaths.
Return your bent legs to the center.
Follow the twist instructions above for the opposite side.
11) Balasana. The child's pose is a great position for relaxing and stretching the spine. Performed at the end of the complex or if you need just to relax .
Technique: Perform the "table" pose (point 3). Put your big toes together and leave your knees hip-width apart. Lower your buttocks to your heels, and extend your body and lean forward so that your stomach is on your thighs. Round your shoulders forward and place your forehead on the floor. Stretch your arms back to the sides of your legs with the back side up. Take 10 deep breaths.
You can perform the complex above sequentially or choose the poses you like separately and do them.
The main thing to remember is that healthy back and beautiful posture are not natures gift, but is a daily disciplined practice!