Back pain is an epidemic worldwide and people turn to many different resources to solve this trouble. And aerial yoga is one of them!
It’s often said that sitting is the new smoking and along with that comes a variety of posture issues from slumped shoulders to tight hamstrings and hip flexors, which can all contribute to back pain and spinal issues.
Additionally, others may suffer from slipped discs, sciatica, or scoliosis and are looking for symptomatic relief. In all of these cases, aerial yoga for back pain relief is a great option due to its stretching, strengthening, and decompressive nature.
So, what are the best aerial yoga poses for back pain? Let’s find out.
This is a restorative aerial pose that is great for the cervical spine, or neck area. Make sure the hammock is set up at a low height, preferably at knee height. Fold the hammock up neatly into a band two times so there are few creases in the fabric. Then simply lay down and place your head in the band of fabric. Make sure it supports your entire head, over your ears and occipital lobe so the head is supported and not hanging at all. Stay for 1 minute then gently come out by using your hands to help your head up.
Inversions are the most popular reason people come to aerial yoga! To begin, make a skirt with the hammock by folding it up twice with few creases in the aerial fabric. This variation allows for less pressure in the lower back while still reaping the benefits of the decompression aspects. Sit in the mini skirt and hold on by the hips. Begin to lean back as you open the legs around the fabric (not inside), moving the hands out of the way (upward) until eventually the feet hook onto the fabric in a butterfly shape. Then, you can release the hands down and be comfortable in the inversion.
This is particularly great for the lower back, so cases of sciatica and scoliosis and can feel relief here. Additional stretches in the shoulders, such as melting heart, can be great for correcting poor posture and stiffness in the upper back.
Now, just because you have back pain doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise! Most of the time, pain is a signal that something needs fixed. While a doctor is your best bet to pinpoint exact exercises, bridge pose is a strengthening pose that can be safely performed for the back muscles.
To perform this pose, lay on your back and place your feet into the hammock with the heels together and toes apart, with the fabric behind your ankles. Squeeze the inner thighs and place the arms down by the sides. On an inhale, slowly curl up through the spine one vertebrae at a time, hugging the navel to the spine for support. Squeeze the hips at the top as the back muscles work. Hold for a moment (or 5 breaths) then roll down slowly one vertebra at a time as you exhale. Repeat 5-10 times. Place the fabric behind the knees instead of behind the ankles for a more intense stretch, as pictured above.
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