These simple movements can help mobilize your spine, stretch your tight muscles and begin to build abdominal strength. When practiced regularly, these three principles can help ward off regular bouts of discomfort.#exerciseforbackpain.
What You'll Need for This Sequence:
1) Enough floor space to lay down with your legs straight and arms spread wide from your body.
2) Thin cushion or blanket for your head to keep your neck relaxed.
3) Cushions or Yoga bolster to provide support for pleasurable stretching.
4) Yoga block.
Warming up the Lower Back
1) Pull your legs towards your chest and breathe into your side lower ribs. When exhaling pull your navel towards your spine and zip-up the lower abdomen. Try to apply this breathing technique throughout the whole practice.
2) Move your hands to your knee caps, keep the knees together and move the knees in circles 3 x each way.
Tail Tucks and Arches
Place your feet on the floor and a block (if you have one) between your knees making sure your heels are under your knees and your toes are facing straight forwards.
2) As you exhale use your lower abdominal muscles (zip-up) to tuck your tail-bone towards the ceiling and your waste band presses gently into the floor.
3) As you inhale into your side ribs arch your lower back while maintaining gentle abdominal engagement.
4) Repeat x 5
1) I recommend using a Yoga bolster or stack of cushions for this stretch.
2) Begin by hugging the right leg towards the body and straightening the left leg along the floor.
3) From your hips twist left only as far as the right shoulder can stay on the floor. More support under your knee is sometimes necessary and the right hip will not be fully stacked on top of the left.
4) Breath into your lower side ribs and use your breath to help soften tension.
5) After 5 - 10 breaths repeat on the other side.
Lifting One Vertebrae at a Time
Move the blanket away from under your head before moving onto the next sequence.
Begin with a neutral pelvis where the pelvis is in neither a tuck nor an arch. To find this place your palms on your front hip bones and your finger tips on your pubic bone then adjust your pelvis until these three landmarks are level.
1) As you exhale use your lower abdominal muscles (zip-up) to tuck the tail bone towards the ceiling, continue to slowly lift the pelvis and then one vertebrae at a time.
2) Pause as you inhale aiming to keep the back lower ribs on the floor.
3) As you exhale reach the pelvis forwards and with your abdominal muscles drawn towards your spine slowly lower down one vertebrae at a time.
4) Inhale to rest in neutral pelvis.
5) Repeat x 5
1) Begin with a neutral pelvis and stack your knees over your hip sockets with your shins parallel to the floor.
2) The torso should remain steady the whole time, placing your thumbs on your lower ribs and finger tips on your hip bones are a helpful reminder.
3) As you exhale (navel to spine) stretch the right foot forwards. As you inhale (into your side ribs) bring the leg to starting position.
4) Repeat with the left leg.
5) Keep alternating sides x 5 - 10.
1) In a kneeling or crossed leg position begin sitting tall on the tips of your sit bones.
2) Exhale navel towards your spine and inhale to reach your right arm up and over to the left and the left hand to the floor. Stay there breathing deeply into your right side ribs.
3) After about five breaths, exhale to draw your navel towards your spine and inhale to move to the other side.
I hope you enjoy the practice and I'd love to receive comments and questions. Here's a link to my sequence of Simple Hip Stretches and don't forget to check-out my trainings and retreats!