Welcome to parenthood.
As soon as that little bundle of joy arrives, you can expect your body to be contorted into so many different directions that even the most flexible parent will have back pain.
Your back is involved in every movement you do. If your body alignment is shifted even just slightly, you are putting more stress than necessary on your back. Proper posture while standing and sitting is the first way to help with back pain. Yoga, however, is a more proactive approach to managing back pain.
These 10 yoga poses stretch and strengthen the back to help ease pain.
Downward Facing Dog1 of 11
Feel the tension melt away from your shoulders as you push your hands into the floor. You'll also find relief from tight calves and hamstrings.
To do this pose: Come to the floor on your hands and knees. Push with your hands and straighten your legs till you are in the shape of an inverted 'V'. Extend your pelvic bones up and heels down. Let your head hang freely, stretching your waist. Heels are slightly off the floor.
Upward Facing Dog2 of 11
Upward facing dog is the natural compliment to downward facing dog and stretches the chest and spine, while strengthening the wrists, arms, and shoulders.
To do this pose: Start in the prone position with the tops of your feet on the floor and your hands palm down at the sides of your waist. On an inhale, push away from the floor with your hands so that you maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your wrists. Do not over arch your back.
Standing Forward Fold3 of 11
This pose is great for relieving headaches but also relieving tension in the shoulders and lower back.
To do this pose: Standing tall, fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine, straightening your legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground or grasp opposite elbows for a Rag Doll position.
Extended Triangle Pose4 of 11
To do this pose: Step your feel wide apart with right foot out at 90 degrees and left food is at a 45 degree angle. Raise your arms parallel to the floor. Extend your torso to the right directly over the right leg, bending from the hip joint, not the waist. Let the left hip come slightly forward and lengthen the tailbone toward the back heel. Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle, whatever is possible. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling. Keep your head in a neutral position or turn it to the left, eyes gazing softly at the left thumb.
Child's Pose5 of 11
The perfect pose for resting and relaxing as you rest your forehead on the ground.
To do this pose: Kneel on your mat with your knees wide and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lay your torso over your thighs. Extend your arms out in front of you, reaching forward with each breath.
Cat Pose6 of 11
To do this pose: Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position with your knees directly below your hips and wrists, elbows and shoulders are perpendicular to the floor. Your head is a neutral position, looking at the floor. Exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, like a hissing cat. Inhale, coming back to tabletop position.
Cow Pose7 of 11
Cow pose is the perfect complement to Cat Pose.
To do this pose: From tabletop position, inhale and lift your sit bones and chest towards the ceiling while your belly sinks to the floor. Lift your head to look forward.
Thread the Needle8 of 11
To do this pose: From tabletop position, slide your right arm underneath your left arm with your palm facing up. Let your right shoulder come all the way down to the mat. Rest your right ear and cheek on the mat, then gaze toward your left. Hold this pose for one minute or longer before returning to tabletop position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Bridge Pose9 of 11
Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. You should be able to touch the backs of your heels with your hands. Place your arms on the floor alongside your body, palms down, and as you inhale, lift your hips off the floor and press them to the ceiling. Keep your knees directly over your heels. Hold.
Legs up the wall10 of 11
Stay in this pose for 3-5 minutes to allow the blood to rush back to the heart rather than pool in your lower extremities.
To do this pose: Sit close to a wall, lie back onto the ground, then scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible and send your legs up. Rest with your arms by your sides.