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Yoga for Computer Users | Relieve Low Back Pain | other postures | the triangle | Supported Side Stretches

Yoga for Computer Users | Relieve Low Back Pain | other postures | the triangle | Supported Side Stretches

Yoga for Computer Users | Relieve Low Back Pain | other postures | the triangle | Supported Side Stretches

Twenty percent of all those who undergo surgery for low back pain will not get relief. The remaining 80 percent will have problems ranging from mild to severe. All will have problems with spinal flexion.

Yoga for Computer Users: Relieve Low Back Pain

Twenty percent of all those who undergo surgery for low back pain will not get relief. The remaining 80 percent will have problems ranging from mild to severe. All will have problems with spinal flexion.

Yoga offers no cures. It simply promises that if you faithfully practice these asanas every day, there will be no pain and you will develop a strong and flexible spine, restructuring posture and body image. Once you have back problems, you must remain conscious throughout the day of how you stand, sit and lie down. Here are some guidelines:

Always sleep on a firm (not necessarily hard) bed, with a flat pillow under the head and a thicker pillow under the knees. This will help the spine to reposition and adjust.

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Do not wear high heels as this promotes lumbar lordosis and unbalances the spine.

Do not break dance, strenuous aerobic exercise, jogging, running or anything else where you need to bounce or move. Monitored activity is the key here.

For low back pain, sitting is the most painful. Sit on a firm seat, not soft cushions, and sit on your buttock bones. Do not lie on your tailbone or lower spine. Place a rolled towel or small cushion behind your back to keep you upright. Sit as often as possible in the diamond posture (Figure 1) to benefit the sciatic nerve and heal a convex or lateral curvature of the spine.

When the pain is acute and you cannot sit or stand comfortably, rest in bed, take anti-inflammatory or analgesic medications prescribed by your doctor and wait until the pain is milder before starting these postures.

All of these asanas have healing and curative properties. They will act as a form of gentle traction, gently stretching the spinal muscles in safe extension postures. Strength will gradually build in the paraspinal muscles and buttocks, tone and strengthen the abdominal organs, and stimulate pressure points along the spine. Practice each asana to the point where you feel mild pain. 

Yoga for computer users: other postures

Diamond Pose (Vajrasana)

Kneel on a thick mat or blanket with knees together. Sit on your heels and stretch from the hips, balancing your head well so that a line drawn through the ear, shoulder, elbow and hip is straight. You should sit in this posture for the greatest benefits.

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Locust (Salabhasana)

Most yoga students are familiar with this pose. Lie on your stomach, with your chin resting on the floor. Form fists with your hands and push them under your thighs to assist the lift, or place them along your body. Exhale and lift your legs up from your hips, tense your glutes and straighten your legs up and back. Hold the position as long as possible, exhale, return to the starting position and repeat.

Dog stretch (Adho mukha svanasana)

Lie on your stomach, legs straight back, buttocks taut and knees back. Place the hands just below the shoulders, exhale and lift the head, then the chest, shoulders and torso, pushing down from the pelvis and stretching the arms. From the back of the head to the tailbone, your body should be curved backward. Push the shoulders back and down. Push your head back further. Stay like this for as long as possible with normal breathing. Come down very slowly and relax.

Twist (Bhardwajasana)

Kneel on the floor and sit, bringing both feet to the right of your hips. Stretch your right arm, bring it across your body and twist to the left. Place your hand palm down under your left knee. Exhale, turn your body further to the left and hold your right elbow with your left hand, from behind. Turn your head and look over your right shoulder. Bend the position for a few breaths and then turn and look back over the left shoulder. The shoulders should be at right angles to the body. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. You should do this posture once every hour if you have low back pain.

Yoga for computer users: the triangle

Stand with your back against the wall. Place your feet two to three feet apart. Keeping your feet firmly on the floor and your weight balanced on your heels and toes, stretch your body upward, press your shoulders back and let your arms hang at your sides (Fig. 1). Inhale.

Exhale and slowly bend from the waist, sliding your right hand down the right side as far as you can. The shoulders should press back and the hips should remain level, pointing forward. The head should turn to one side so that it forms a right angle with the body. Hold the posture for 10 slow counts, inhale and come back up to the starting position. Exhale and repeat to the left. Inhale and come up to the starting position.

Exhale and rest for a moment. Inhale and slowly raise the arms to shoulder level, palms down. At the same time, point the right foot to the right at a 90-degree angle while keeping the left foot slightly turned inward. Exhale and lean to the right, sliding the hand toward the ankle or foot. If possible, touch the floor behind the foot. Pull the hip against the wall with the left hand and turn the head to look up.

Inhale and raise the left arm overhead so that the arms are in a straight line. Keep the hips and torso against the wall as both arms stretch, one down and one up, touching the wall. Hold the posture with smooth, even breathing as you slowly count to 10. Inhale, come up and repeat to the left.

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Benefits: Trikonasana helps produce excellent spinal flexibility. It stretches the legs, back and neck and helps to loosen the hips and make them strong and flexible. It is also, to some extent, a balancing pose; In yoga, it is believed that the skill developed in physical balance has a profound effect on the mind, calming unruly emotions and creating calm. It is one of the best postures for slimming waist, hips, arms and legs. Remember to inhale deeply when stretching upward and exhale deeply when bending the body downward.

Yoga for Computer Users: Supported Side Stretches

Many computer users around the world face the problem of back pain. Having your back against the wall usually means you're in trouble. But for certain yoga positions, having your back firmly against the wall will help your health.

In Hatha Yoga, the practitioner forms what Swami Gitananda calls body geometry: triangles, straight lines, circles and parallel lines. When doing a posture, always stretch your body to its maximum limit and then hold it there for a slow count of 10, gradually increasing the time, until each posture can be held for 30 seconds. Holding a posture is essential to yoga because it gives the body a chance to adapt to the stretch and relax. Then, each time you stretch, it will be a little further.

Many of the side or lateral stretches in Hatha Yoga require the body to face forward, with the hips level and the back and spine tilted neither forward nor backward. Beginners tend to lean forward to increase the stretch. But leaning forward is wrong and will actually detract from the benefits and possibly cause damage. To perform these stretches correctly, be sure to keep the spine firmly against the wall. The wall acts as a support. Even those who have practiced yoga may find that they cannot bend as much as they thought they could when doing the postures correctly. The extra time invested in training careful postures will pay off: your body will gain excellent flexibility and strength.

Yoga for Computer Users: The Side Angle Stretch

Stand up straight against the wall and stretch your feet three to four feet apart. Inhale and raise your arms to shoulder level, palms down. Point the right foot to the right and turn the left foot slightly. Bend the right knee to form a right angle, with the thigh parallel to the floor and the shin vertical. The knee should be directly above the ankle. Straighten the back leg and squeeze the knee.

Exhale and stretch the right hand down to rest on the floor behind the right foot. Turn the head to look up and press the left hip against the wall with the left hand. A strong pull should be felt along the left side. When comfortable, stretch the left arm up and press it against your ear so that from the left heel to the left hand the body stretches and extends. Hold this position while slowly counting to 10, making sure the top of the shoulder, hip and bent knee are pressed against the wall. Inhale and return to the starting position. Exhale and repeat to the left.

Benefits: this posture produces overall health. It tones all the muscles, tendons and joints of the body. The heart is revitalized and strengthened and, if twisted, the spine is stretched and realigned. The hip joints, which can weaken with age, become stronger and more flexible. The neck is stretched and becomes more flexible, which relieves pain from stiff, tight muscles and spondylosis. Thighs, hips and waist are firmed. Even digestion is improved.

Remember to lie down and relax after your yoga practice. Relaxation after exercise helps the body recover, regulates blood flow and calms and soothes the mind. That way you won't feel tired, but refreshed and invigorated.