Blog Mental Health Yoga Sofa Yoga: The Easy Routine For Back Pain Relief

Sofa Yoga: The Easy Routine For Back Pain Relief

Hours spent hunched over laptops, driving in cars, and sitting at desks can wreak havoc on our posture and lead to back pain. But there’s a simple solution: yoga. Just a few minutes of yoga each day can help improve your posture, relieve back pain, and increase your flexibility and range of motion. But when you’re just too tired or too busy to make it to a yoga class, don’t worry. You can still reap the benefits of yoga with this easy sofa yoga routine. All you need is a sofa and a few minutes to yourself. Sofa yoga works not just for the busy person, but also for those with limited mobility. Seniors, pregnant women, and people with injuries can all benefit from the gentle stretching and strengthening of yoga.

BetterMe

Here’s everything you need to know to get started with sofa yoga:

Who Needs Sofa Yoga?

Truthfully, just about everyone can benefit from doing some form of yoga on a regular basis. However, there are certain groups of people who may find sofa yoga to be particularly helpful.

This includes people who:

  • Sit for long periods of time (i.e. office workers, truck drivers, etc.)
  • Suffer from back pain or other chronic pain conditions
  • Are pregnant or have just given birth
  • Have limited mobility due to age or are recovering from an injury
  • Need a low-impact form of exercise
  • Want to grasp the basic yoga poses before moving on to a more advanced practice

Read More: The Ultimate Chair Yoga Guide For Beginners

Is Sofa Yoga Effective?

Yes. Sofa yoga offers similar benefits to traditional yoga, with the added benefit of being accessible to just about everyone. It’s a great way to ease into a yoga practice, or to maintain your yoga practice when you can’t make it to a class. With time, you’ll enjoy:

See also
Intermediate Yoga Poses: Putting A Fun Yet Challenging Spin On Your Yoga Routine

Increased Flexibility

If you think that bending, twisting, and stretching are best left to contortionists who can tie themselves into pretzels, think again. These movements are actually part of the basic human repertoire and are crucial for maintaining our range of motion as we age.

Yoga helps stretch and lengthen our muscles, improving our flexibility (2). Good flexibility translates into a more active lifestyle as you’re better able to perform everyday activities with ease.

sofa yoga

Improved Posture

It’s no secret that our modern lifestyles involve a lot of sitting. Whether it’s at a desk, in the car, or on the couch, all this sitting can lead to poor posture and back pain.

Yoga helps counterbalance all the sitting we do by stretching out our chest and shoulders and lengthening our spine (2). Over time, you’ll notice an improvement in your posture as your muscles become stronger and more flexible.

Relief From Back Pain

According to the National Institute of Health, exercise is one of the most effective treatments for chronic low back pain (3).

Yoga, in particular, can help alleviate back pain by strengthening the muscles that support the spine and improving our range of motion (1). The gentle movements of sofa yoga are particularly helpful as they don’t jar or jolt the spine like some other forms of exercise.

When it comes to different types of yoga, the BetterMe platform is ready to work for you. Eliminate back pain and improve overall being with more sofa yoga exercises on the fitness application.

Reduced Stress Levels

In our fast-paced, always-on world, stress is unfortunately a common condition. But chronic stress can lead to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Yoga has been shown to help reduce stress by encouraging deep breathing. In turn, the deep breathing of yoga helps to oxygenate our blood and promote a sense of calm (1).

See also
Office Yoga: An Effortless Way To Work On Flexibility Throughout The Day

Improved Digestion

Poor digestion is a common problem and one that can be exacerbated by stress. The good news is that the deep breathing and twists of yoga can help improve our digestion. In particular, the twists help massage our internal organs and stimulate the digestive process (4).

sofa yoga

Protection From Injury

Even the most advanced athletes take time off their sport to stretch and strengthen their muscles. That’s because taking care of our bodies helps to prevent injuries both on and off the playing field. The same is true for yoga. By building strength and flexibility, we help protect our bodies from injury in everyday life (2).

Benefits For Heart Health

Yoga has also been shown to improve heart health (1). One study found that people who practiced yoga for one year had lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease. Other research has shown that yoga can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve circulation. 

Benefits For Mental Health

Inner peace may seem like a lofty goal, but yoga can actually help improve our mental health. Yoga has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and it can also help improve cognitive function. What’s more, yoga can help increase feelings of self-esteem and body satisfaction (2).

Will Sofa Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

In general, yoga is not a particularly strenuous form of exercise, so it’s unlikely that you’ll burn a lot of calories doing yoga on the couch. However, sofa yoga can help improve your mental and physical capacity for more strenuous exercise, which could help you lose weight in the long run.

For example, sofa yoga will:

  • Improve your joints’ range of motion: you’ll move with more ease, lift heavier weights, and avoid injury.
  • Strengthen your core muscles: these muscles are involved in almost all forms of exercise, so a strong core will help you perform better in any activity.
  • Reduce stress: chronic stress can lead to weight gain, so reducing stress with yoga can help prevent this.
  • Improve your mood: a positive attitude makes it easier to engage in healthy behaviors like eating right and exercising.
  • Improve your sleep quality and quantity: good sleep is essential for weight loss (and for overall health).
See also
5 Chair Yoga Poses For Strength And Flexibility

sofa yoga

Can You Do Sofa Yoga Every Day?

Yes, you can do sofa yoga every day! It places minimal strain on your muscles. In fact, the more often you practice, the greater the benefits. However, if you’re new to yoga, it’s best to start slowly and build up your practice gradually. For example, you might want to start with just 10 minutes of sofa yoga per day and then increase your practice time as you feel ready.

Read More: Should You Do Chair Yoga Every Day?

What Do You Need To Do Sofa Yoga?

All you need for sofa yoga is a comfortable spot on your couch (or another piece of furniture) and some loose-fitting clothing. You might also want to have a blanket or towel handy to use as props. If you’re new to yoga, it can also be helpful to practice in front of a mirror so that you can check your alignment.

You’ll need a guide to lead you through the sofa yoga routine. This can be an online video, a book, or even a smartphone app. The BetterMe app, for example, has a sofa yoga section that includes illustrated guides to over 30 different yoga poses.

Once you’ve found a guide, simply follow along and practice at your own pace. Remember to focus on your breath and to listen to your body. If a particular pose feels uncomfortable, try modification or skip it altogether. The most important thing is that you feel relaxed and comfortable during your practice.

See also
Chair Yoga: Why And How To Get The Benefits Of Seated Exercise

Which Sofa Yoga Routine Is Best For Back Pain Relief?

If you’re looking for a sofa yoga routine that will help to relieve back pain, there are a few poses that are particularly helpful. The Bye-Bye Back Pain sofa yoga set in the BetterMe app includes some of these poses, as well as a few others that will help to ease back pain and improve your overall flexibility.

Sofa Cat-Cow Stretch

The cat-cow stretch is a simple, yet effective, pose that can help to ease back pain. It stretches and strengthens the muscles in the back, neck, and shoulders.

To do the cat-cow stretch:

  1. Start on your hands and knees on the sofa with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. As you inhale, arch your back and tilt your head up to the ceiling, letting your belly sink toward the floor. This is the cow pose.
  3. As you exhale, round your back and tuck your chin to your chest, drawing your belly up toward your spine. This is the cat pose.
  4. Continue alternating between the cow and cat poses for 10-20 breaths.

sofa yoga

Sofa Cobra Pose

The cobra pose is another great stretch for the muscles in the back, neck, and shoulders. It also helps open up the chest and improve your posture.

To do the cobra pose:

  1. Lie on your stomach on the sofa with your legs straight behind you and your hands on the floor next to your shoulders.
  2. As you inhale, press down into your hands and lift your head, chest, and upper back off the floor. Keep your lower back pressed into the sofa.
  3. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then exhale and release back down to the starting position.
See also
Yoga Poses For Weight Loss: Get In Shape And Lose Belly Fat With These Simple Asanas

Sofa Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a restorative pose that can help to ease back pain by stretching the muscles in the back and shoulders. It’s also a great pose to do if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.

To do child’s pose:

  1. Start on your hands and knees on the sofa with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. As you exhale, sink your hips back toward your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you, resting your forehead on the sofa.
  3. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then inhale and press back up to the starting position.

Supported Bridge Pose

The supported bridge pose is a great way to stretch the muscles in the back, buttocks, and thighs. It can also help ease back pain.

To do the supported bridge pose:

  1. Sit on the floor with your back against the sofa and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. 
  2. As you exhale, press down into your feet and lift your hips off the floor. The goal is to create a straight line from your knees to your chest. If your hips are not high enough, place a pillow or blanket under your buttocks for support.
  3. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then exhale and release back down to the starting position.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an easy and effective way to relieve back pain, sofa yoga is a great option. The poses in this article are just a few of the many that can help to ease back pain. For more ideas, check out the sofa yoga section in the BetterMe app.

BetterMe

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. 9 Benefits of Yoga (n.d., hopkinsmedicine.org)
  2. Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life (2011, nih.gov)
  3. Exercise therapy for chronic low back pain (2021, nih.gov)
  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Yoga as Remedial Therapy (2015, nih.gov)
Get started