The lower back can be a sensitive spot for many people, which means lower back stretches should be an important part of the movements you need to perform. This is true whether you are looking to relieve lower back pain or have no pain but want gentle stretches to strengthen your lower back muscles. This is where yoga for the spine – and other parts of the back – comes in.
While the causes of low back pain can be multiple, core weakness and poor posture from sitting all day (which shortens the hip muscles, which pull on the lower back) are two contributing factors. very often to lower back pain and discomfort. Yoga is an exercise modality that can target both of these factors.
It is always important to determine the cause of the pain in order to remedy it and prevent it from happening again – in some cases, the best way to do this is to consult a doctor or physiotherapist.
Here are 5 Yoga exercises to soften the lower body
The posture of the child.
Kneel on the mat with your knees hip-width apart and your feet together behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lay your torso over your thighs.
Try to extend your neck and spine by pulling your ribs away from your tailbone and the top of your head away from your shoulders. Lay your forehead on the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you. Hold this pose for 1-2 minutes.
This position stretches the back of the legs and lengthens the spine, relieving the lower back. Modify this position by keeping your knees slightly bent if your back hurts when you straighten your legs.
Starting from the downward facing dog position, gradually move up your mat. In a standing position, with the feet spaced at equal distance from the shoulders. Extend your legs as far as possible, letting your torso hang down.
Tuck your chin into your chest, relax your shoulders, and reach the top of your head toward the floor to create a long spine. Hold this pose for 1-2 minutes.
Kneeling on the mat, slide the right foot to the front of the mat. The body is straight, and the pelvis is facing the front of the mat.
Place your hands on both sides of your right leg and keep your back flat. Hold this position for 10 breaths then gently release the position before switching sides.
In this position, the hamstring muscles are challenged to release any tension by breathing and maintaining the position.
The tilted pigeon pose.
This move, also known as a figure four, stretches the hips, buttocks, and inner thighs. Lie down on the ground. Cross the right foot over the left quadriceps and bend the left knee. Grab the back of your left leg and bring it gently towards your chest.
When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
Incline rotation of the back.
This move is a great stretch for your lower back and can relieve pain if you’re tight. For some people, however, the twisting motions can irritate the lower back. If this pose starts to hurt, stop doing it. To make this pose easier, also try placing a towel under your knees if you’re very tense.
Lie on your back.
Place your knees against the chest. Next, drop both knees to one side as you twist your torso in the opposite direction.
Try to keep your knees and hips aligned with each other as you pull them down to the floor, and keep your chest as straight as possible toward the ceiling. Do this movement for 30 to 60 seconds and then switch sides.
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Yoga: 5 exercises to soften the lower back
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