Are you struggling with lower back pain? The current predicament for many people lies in having to sit for long periods of time. This can cause the hamstrings to tighten, and when that is paired with the earth’s natural gravitational pull, then lower back pain arises. Proper stretching can help loosen the muscles and bring welcome relief. Below are four poses that can help your lower back. (I find that taking a hot bath or shower before or after performing these poses also helps in softening up that area).
Note: If you have a back injury please alert your doctor and make sure you get approval before trying any new exercises.
This is my all time favorite pose for lower back pain. It also stretches out your hips, chest, arms, neck and the entire spine. To get into this pose, lie flat on your back. Hug your knees into your chest, shift your hips over to the left and drop your knees to the right. Your knees should rest on the ground higher than your hips, to protect the lower back. Open your arms out like a “T,” relaxing both shoulders to the ground and take your gaze over the left arm to stretch the neck. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 breaths then switch sides.
Many times our lower back begins to hurt when the hamstrings are very tight. A very gentle, yet effective way to remedy this is by taking the position of a seated forward fold. Sit up with your legs fully extended out in front of you. Make sure your feet are flexed so that the legs muscles are engaged. With a straight spine, shoulders pulled back away from the head and your chin slightly lifted, take a deep breath in. As you exhale, walk the hands down the sides of your body and fold yourself forward over the legs. Engage your stomach muscles to aid in folding the torso closer to the legs. Hold this pose for 10 to 12 breaths.
Cat/ Cow Pose
Sometimes the cure for stiffness is simply to get moving. This pose is an easy way to soften up the entire spine. So if you have any upper, middle or lower back pain, then this yoga pose is for you. Begin the pose on your hands and knees, fingers spread wide, palms pressed down, shoulders over your wrists. Knees hip distance apart and directly under your hips, toes curled under. When you take a breath in, drop your belly, lift your tailbone, and look up to the sky with your head (this is cow pose). When you take a breath out tuck your chin and look between your knees, tuck your tailbone in rounding the spine. Take ten deep breaths oscillating from cow to cat.
This restorative pose is quite healing to the body. It stretches out your hips and entire back. It increases blood flow to the organs that sit in the pelvic cavity and lower back area. It also stretches the arms, chest and neck. Begin this pose on your hands and knees. Separate your knees a bit further than hip distance apart. Rest the top of the feet on the mat and bring them together so the big toes touch. Press your bottom back so that you are sitting on top of your heels. Rest your stomach between your legs and drop your forehead to the mat. Reach your arms out in front of you as far as you can, making sure your elbows are off the ground. Stay here for about a minute, you may find you love it so much you want to stay for 5 minutes.
Back pain is the pits; it can keep you awake at night and make you grumpy during the day. No need to fret, pain relief may be just a few yoga poses away. Try these poses out and comment below with your favorite back pain remedy.
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