All Too Common
The lower back is an area that often gets painful for many of us at some point in our lives and we have 3 yoga swing positions to help.
Your lower back supports the whole upper body, so taking care of it is kind of important.
Whether we have to sit a lot during the day or whether we move a lot, bending and picking up heavy or awkward items – the lumbar region can get affected.
Sitting less, moving more, stretching and strengthening the back goes a long way to preventing pains from developing.
Yoga Helps With Lower Back Issues
Degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine, including loss of disc space and disk herniation, facet arthrosis and general lumbar spondylosis are all quite common especially as we age.
Yoga is a great way to manage and reduce symptoms of these issues and in some cases help heal the affected area all together.
Even when other methods such as taking anti-inflammatory medications or seeking osteopathic treatments fail to help ease the pain, yoga often shows improvement over the short and long term.
We’ve found that using an aerial hammock or yoga swing can be extremely beneficial and can boost the effects of mat yoga in easing lower back pain and sciatica.
This is because the swing supports your body, essentially making the postures non-weight bearing, enabling a safe stretch.
Studies show that incorporating traction, flexion and passive mobility in non-weight bearing positions can do a lot toward easing your lower back pain.
For lower back pain relief, there is nothing better than hanging in a Yoga Swing!
Ultimate Home Traction Equipment
An important feature of the yoga swing is it allows for full or partial inversion, which makes it the ultimate lower back traction device.
As it elongates your spine and is incredibly effective at relieving spinal dysfunctions and back pain from a variety of sources.
It is an excellent device to help reduce sciatic nerve pain, especially if it is due to any type of compression issue or joint imbalance or muscular tension or postural fault.
Below are three of our favorite yoga swing positions that offer a great relief for the pain, as well as provide great preventative care for the future.
Your first pose is the perfect warmup as you gently mobilize the area. In fact this is a great stretch to do before getting out of bed in the mornings.
A twist to the spine offers a great tension reliever for the entire back, as well as the neck. You get to lay down, relax and let the gravity help you.
Lay on your back, bring your arms to a T-shape on the floor, and bring your knees towards your chest.
Place your lower legs into the swing and allow them to be supported. When taking legs to the side, bent legs are supported in the swing throughout the movement.
Slowly lower both knees to one side, keeping the neck neutral or turning the gaze away from the knees.
Try to keep both shoulders on the floor, and if the top knee lifts too much, you can place a block or a bolster between the knees.
Stay anywhere between 1-4 minutes, and repeat on the other side.
Downward Facing Dog is a great pose for lengthening and decompressing the entire spine.
It is especially good for stretching the hamstrings which is most helpful with easing lower back issues.
Usually you would start from the floor on your hands and knees then rise to Downward Facing Dog.
In this case, using the swing, stand straight with feet shoulder width apart, and align the swing with your hip bones.
Start with your knees bent, bend over forward allowing the swing to take your weight.
Place both hands on the ground, walk your hands out stretched in front of you, palms flat on the mat.
Back straight and long, tailbone towards the ceiling. Slowly straighten and stretch one leg at a time back bringing the heel closer towards the ground (you can use blocks under the heels).
Draw the shoulder blades towards the spine and actively try to lower them, rotating your upper arms outwards. Stay for 5 breaths. You can repeat this a few times as needed.
Yoga Swing Pelvic Traction / Inversion
For those new to inversion it is important to learn and practice gradually.
Please see our inversion safety page for contraindications and consult with your doctor first if you have any concerns.
Start with partial inversions low to the floor, with just enough angle between your upper body and the swing so that you feel a gentle tug on your hip joint and low back.
Both the level of inversion (height from the floor) and time spent in an inverted position can gradually be increased over time. When you are used to doing this, you can stay in inversion three to ten minutes for positive results.
To begin, lower your yoga swing about 6 inches off the ground and take a seat at the edge of the fabric.
While holding the handles, lean back and lower you upper back and head on the floor, simultaneously wrapping your legs around the swing and releasing your grip from the handles.
Adjust the swing as needed, either pushing it lower down the back or spreading it out wider over the hips. Shift yourself back away from the swing further to create more traction in the hip joint.
Close your eyes and relax. Of the 3 yoga swing positions, this is my favorite!
Gravity is pulling on your own body weight to gently realign the spine in this pose, allowing for spinal decompression as well as traction in the hip joint.
This sustained pull on the hip joint will allow surrounding muscles in the low back, abdomen, tops of the legs and lower glutes to relax and open.
Make It A Daily Practice!
Practice these three yoga swing positions every day for the next month and you´ll feel Amazing!
Chronic back pain builds up over time, so take it slow and dedicate yourself to these stretches.
Believe me, whenever I start to neglect my yoga swing exercises, I start to feel those back twinges, so make it a priority and you won’t regret it.
With a lifetime of consistent traction, flexion and mobility exercises such as the combination of these yoga swing positions, a healthy diet and strength training, anyone can ease low back pain!
All the best.