In a recent post I talked about how yoga cured my lower back pain.
Well, here are some of the poses that helped me get rid of one of the most common complaints in the USA.
Cat and Cow Pose :
Starting in an all-fours position, move into cat pose by slowly pressing your spine up, arching your back. Hold for a few seconds, take the time to feel the stretch and then move to cow by scooping your spine in, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your head. Moving back and forth from cat to cow helps move your spine onto a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension. Repeat 10 times, flowing smoothly from cat into cow, and cow back into cat. Repeat the sequence as needed.
Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees away from the floor and lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling. I recommend adding a hamstring stretch by gently pushing your heels toward the floor, bending one leg at a time and taking the time to feel the stretch in the other leg. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat the pose five to seven times.
Start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your glutes aka butt muscles and come to rest just above your heels. Take the time to feel the stretch. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as many times as needed.
Start in downward-facing dog. Then draw your left knee forward and turn it out to the left so your left leg is bent and near-perpendicular to your right one; lower both legs to the ground. Simply keep your back right leg extended straight behind you. Take the time to feel the stretch. Hold the position for 5 to 10 deep breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as often as needed.
Start standing straight with your feet together. Next, lunge your left foot back three to four feet, and point your left foot out at a 45-degree angle. Turn your chest to the side and open up the pose by stretching your right arm toward the ground and the left arm toward the ceiling, keeping both your right and left legs straight. Take the time to feel the stretch in your outer hip. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.
Forward Bend Pose:
Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees loose, not locked. While you exhale, hinge at your waist and bend forward, reaching toward the floor. Take the time to feel the stretch. Don’t worry if you can’t reach all the way to the floor, just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a nice stretch. Hold the position for a few breaths and repeat as needed.
I recommend attending yoga classes at first to get some insights from a certified yoga instructor and get the idea of how long each pose should be and how deep you should go. Once you get used to the poses and rotations you can more easily follow the routine stated above (or go with the one you worked with at the yoga studio) at home.