Protect your low back when doing Yoga upward facing dog pose. These tips can help you if you suffer from low back pain and arching or extension causes you pain while doing yoga. Often hip joint, hip flexor tightness, upper and mid back stiffness can increase the stress on the low back. Resulting in more compression, pinching and pain. The recommendations in this video will help you protect your spine.
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and herbalist. So, today’s video, I’m going to show you a slight modification for the up dog position or upward facing dog position in yoga.
Some of you guys asked me that when you do the up dog position in yoga you tend to get some discomfort or pain in the low back because there is excessive compression taking place. This is often…well, you could have of course a pathology or some problem going on in the low back that you’re more flexion-biased – you don’t like extension arching which closes down to the joints and it irritates them.
But some of it can also be because you’re moving too much, hypermobility, in certain segments of the low back because you’re too stiff not moving enough in the front of the hip. Your hip flexors are tight maybe, your front hip capsule is tight, possibly lower thoracic is stiff, upper back is stiff, so you end up moving too much in that low back when you’re going in the up dog position. So I’ll show you a couple of modifications that you can do to want to protect your back, you won’t have pain, as well as to take some of the pressure off that low back so you can continue doing that pose.
So as I said, this is the upward facing dog in yoga. I’m going to do it on the table—it’s easier for you to see—and usually the position is where you come up into an arching position and you come up here. And a lot of times as people come up, they complain of pain in their low back in this region, and because they end up hinging at that spot and because they’re not moving enough or they’re too stiff in the front, they’re not getting that range from here, they’re not getting that range from their midback or upper back, so they end up hinging in their low back, causing compression of pain.
So what we’re going to do is, I recommend if that’s happening, you have a few options but one of the things you can do is you can right away tighten your glutes first. So if I tighten my glutes, it puts me in a little bit of posterior tilt, so that protects my low back, causes less compression. So I’m going to tighten my glutes lightly and I might pull in, and as I come up it takes away some of that pressure in my low back. And the second thing I can do is I can engage my lower abdominals a little bit, by pulling inand that again helps me avoid some of that compression. And then, I can work it as I arch up: I can squeeze my shoulder blades down and now I’m going to engage my upper back also. So that will really help relieve a lot of that compression in your low back.
Those are just two simple tips. There are many other things you could do also. And you can of course limit how high you go up in that position. So try engaging your glutes. Try engaging your lower abdominals, especially your glutes throughout the movement, and before you start the movement kick them on and maintain that through the movement as you’re extending it, holding that position.
So I hope you found that helpful. Make sure you subscribe to the channel. Leave a comment if you have questions. Thank you.