By: Emily Wallace, Owner of Midtown Yoga
Most of us at some point have suffered from a stiff back from a long flight or car ride, sore back from over lifting at the gym, or standing in line too long at the DMV. A weak core, tight hips, or tight hamstrings can all be common contributing factors with back discomfort. If you are experiencing this pain longer than 72 hours or have a history of disc issues or lower back injuries consult a PT before doing any of these exercises.
As a yoga teacher who is 28 and already suffering from lower back pain I wanted to fill you in on some of my favorites below! These poses can be done at the gym after a workout, at work in front of your desk, or even on your living room carpet when the kids are napping.
1. Cat Cow
Make your way into a table top position. Bring your shoulders over your wrists and hips over your knees. Take an inhale, lower your belly, arch your back, and look up toward the sky. On your exhale, tuck your chin, round your spine, and puff up your back like an angry cat. Repeat 4-5 times nice and slow.
2. Childs Pose
Come into a table top position. Spread your knees wide and lower your hips to your heels. Place your forehead on the mat and extend your arms out in front of you palms down. Let your belly rest in between your thighs and relax your elbows on your mat. If your hips are feeling tight place a block underneath your glutes. Hold for 1-3 minutes.
3. Downward Facing Dog
Come into a table top position. Curl your toes under and lift your hips up and back. Think of creating a upside down "V" shape with your body. Spread your fingers wide to the webbing and press firmly into your knuckle mounds. Relax your head and neck. Melt your chest toward the floor and your hips up to the sky. Press your thighs to the back wall and press your heels down toward the floor. Hold for long as comfortable. For more information on Downward Facing Dog, check out Downward Facing Dog 101 by Justin Anne Patterson.
4. Reclined Pigeon Pose (Figure 4 Stretch)
Lay on your back. Bend your knees placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Stack your left foot on top of your right thigh. Thread your left hand through the hole that you created and reach underneath the right thigh clasping hands. Gently pull your right thigh toward your face and press your left knee away from you. Take 5 deep slow inhales and exhales. Switch sides.
5. Forward Fold
Come into a standing position, feet shoulder width apart. Start to lower your head and torso down coming into a forward fold position. Relax your head and neck. Straighten your legs as much as you can but feel free to put a little bend in the knees if that takes pressure off the lower back. Let your arms hang heavy or you can reach for opposite elbows and gently sway back and forth.
We hope you've enjoyed this post and it helps release your lower back. If you live in Raleigh and are looking to meet new people around fitness and wellness, be sure to join our community, Raleigh Group Fitness Xclusive.
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