Chickadee Says: Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain

Hello Darlings!

In each of the yoga classes I teach I really try to focus on bringing balance to both the front and back sides of our bodies. So often we tend to ignore what we can’t see, and thus even in a yoga class we breathe only to fill our chests and bellies, not the back sides of our ribs. Or when we engage our abs we tighten up that ‘six pack’ and ignore the corset of muscles that circles the backside of our torsos as well. We hold children, sit at a desk typing, cook, and so many other tings using the muscles in the front side of our body and that leads to a bit of back pain if we don’t regularly work and stretch our backs as well.

Our bodies are connected, so chances are if you’re feeling low back pain you might have tight hips and hamstrings as well, so be sure to check out some of my other yoga posts to work on your body as a whole (Hip Opening Yoga Poses is a great place to start!)

I teach from the Five Foundational Yoga Poses and am wearing an outfit (capris, sports bra, and tank) from one of my favorite places to shop for workout gear, Fabletics! They are incredibly affordable (your first monthly outfit is only $25!) and every piece I own from them  is beautiful- you can’t go wrong with anything Kate Hudson designs!

Cat and Cow Pose (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana)

Each and every class I teach starts out with a bit of cat/cow within the first ten minutes. It is a wonderful way to start warming up your entire body, especially your spine, and gently ease out any tightness or creaks. For those suffering from lower back pain or tightness really focus on breathing and moving one vertebra at a time as you transition from one pose to the next.

Start on all fours in a ‘tabletop’ position. Make sure that your arms are ‘stacked’ meaning that your shoulders, elbows, and wrists are all in line and perpendicular to your mat (or the floor) and that your knees are placed directly under your hips. From this neutral position inhale deeply and round your spine towards the sky, (aka a scared cat!) as you exhale shine your chest forward, bring your head to look in front of you, and send your sit bones to the ceiling, this will allow your belly to drift towards the floor (cow pose!). Repeat this motion a few times, allowing your body to loosen up.

Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Start in Mountain pose, step your feet out just wider than hips width, then depending on how comfortable you feel you can walk your feet out wider (the longer your legs the wider they should be!). Inhale and let your body grow long, giving yourself space to breathe, and exhale hinge at the hips. Keep your torso long as you let your hands drift towards the floor or towards your ankles or a block. Instead of bending your back aim to keep it long, moving from your hips instead of your waist, creating length and helping to deeply stretch the backs of your legs.

I love the lines of Fabletics gear, how awesome are those straps?!

Sphinx Pose

Begin by lying with your belly on the floor. Legs are stretched long behind you, hip creases grounded into your mat, tops of the feet flush with the earth. Place your forearms flat on your mat, elbows directly under your shoulders. Exhale and ground your entire body into the floor, and inhale, lift the chest off the mat. Collarbones open towards the front of your mat, shoulder blades engage back and down your back, and keeping your lower ribs tucked in expand your torso. Remain here for a few breaths and release back down to the floor.

Reclining Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

Start by lying on your back on your mat with your legs extended. Keep your left leg pressed into your mat, left foot engaged, toes pulling up towards your body. Bring your right knee into your chest, hug the thigh in and depending on your flexibility either use your arms to garb your foot and extend the leg long, right foot engaged, or use a strap to loop around your foot for a longer reach. Aim for your foot to be perpendicular to your body for a great stretch, depending on your flexibility you might be able to let your leg drift back a bit more. Hold for a few breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.

Plow Pose (Halasana)

Plow pose is an advanced yoga asana. Please do not attempt if a stable shoulder stand is not in your practice. From a supported shoulder stand position hinge at your hips so that your legs drift, controlled, over your head toes reaching for the floor. Maintain engagement in your core and legs, breathing deeply as to not collapse your torso. Your shoulders should be flat and the floor and you should feel no neck pain.

Tinkerbelle Loves the psychedelic-esque yoga pants too! 
So, whether you are a new mother with a sore back from holding baby or a hardcore athlete that tends to over exert yourself, these poses are great for your lower back pain!

Do you have a request for a yoga post? Let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to pop over to Fabletics to check out this month’s collection!

I was compensated with product, payment or both in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. Also, I am not a doctor (I am, however, a certified yoga instructor) so make sure you okay yoga with your doctor before practicing.
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