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Back

1. Paschimottanasana (Forward bend) on chair

– Sit on the edge of the chair. Keeping your legs straight, curl your toes in so that it is pointing towards the ceiling.
– Raise the arms and stretch them up to extend your spine and lift your chest
– Move the chest forward and while maintaining a concave back, move the arms forwards. Catch the big toes if possible. If not, place your palms on your legs as farther as you can while keeping the back concave.
– Hold the pose for 4-5 breaths and release

2. Ardha matsyendrasana (Half spinal Twist) on chair

– Sit comfortably on chair keeping back straight. Ensure your feet is firmly resting on the floor
– Catch the back rest of the chair with your left arm. Raise the right arm up. Bring your right arm around the outside of your left leg. Turn your chest, head and eyes to the left. Pull with the left arm to allow the chest to turn farther. Use the right arm to push the spine farther into the twist.
– Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Release and repeat on the other side.

3. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) on chair

– Sit comfortably on chair keeping back straight. Ensure your feet is firmly resting on the floor
– Hold the back of the chair taking the arms behind you
– Raise the chest and shoulders to look up
– Hold the pose for 5-6 breaths and release

IMAGE CREDIT- GETTY

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English vocabulary has a term for people who lack strength and courage. They are referred to as SPINE-LESS. When you have someone who supports you always, you say he/ she is watching your BACK.

The first thing that is formed in a mother’s womb: The Spine is the source of all our energy. On a spiritual level, it is the seat of major energy chakras that determines the quality of our lives. On a physical level, it protects the spinal cord and transfers bodily stimuli via its nerves to the brain.

Spinal column consists of cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), lumbar (low back), sacrum and coccyx (tail bone).

The extreme lower tail bone area is supported by the pelvic girdle (the hip bone) and the middle back area by the rib cage. Hence, they are less prone to injury.

Having no support and a greater range of movement makes the neck (cervical) & lower back (lumbar) areas more susceptible to wear and tear.

It is hence crucial for everyone to strengthen, release and stretch the muscles in these areas. Strengthening the abdominal muscles is also very important as strong muscles in the abdominals will take the load off the lower back and greatly minimise back strain.

Below are few very simple exercises which can be practised to build up the tone, strength and flexibility in the back muscles-

Bhujangasana

1. Bhujangasana – For Cervical spine (neck)

a. Lie down on your stomach placing your palms close to the chest

b. Raise your upper body. Straighten your arms and throw your head back to arch your spine

Pawan muktasana

2. Pawan muktasana -For Lumbar spine (lower back)

a. Lie down on your back taking both your knees close to the chest

b. Keeping your hips down, use your hands to press the knees on your chest and stretch your spine.

c. Raise your head up and touch the knees

Elbow Plank

3. Elbow Plank – For Abdominals (abs)

a. Lie down on your stomach keeping elbows at shoulder level

b. Raise your body parallel to the floor and resting mainly on elbows and toes

c. Contract your abs to keep yourself up and prevent drooping

NOTE –

• You can hold all these poses as long as you can. Aim for 20-30 seconds in the beginning and work your way up to one minute, as you get stronger.
• Repeat three times.

So work it out and flaunt it fearlessly. ‘Strong’ is the new ‘Sexy’ after all!

Image Courtesy – Google Images

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