In this August series, each post will cover yoga poses for different pains, aches, etc.
Let us start with low back pain because I’m finding this more common than not, with a lot of people I run into.
- Mama’s who lift babies.
- Those who work behind a desk all day.
- Those who stand behind the chair all day.
- Those that run routes & deliver all our Amazon goodies!
- Truck drivers.
- Old age.
*always start by warming up, slowly!*
- Cow & Cat – provides gentle massage to spine & belly organs
Start by stacking your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders. With each inhale, drop your belly and lift the chest for Cow. For Cat, which feels AHHHH-MAZING after a long day, round your spine as you EXHALE, release your head toward the floor but don’t force your chin to your chest.
- Downward Facing Dog -rejuvenating!
From your last Cow, push back into “down dog”. An awesome cue I heard to avoid hand slippage & shoulder strain is: start by planking, shoulders and wrists stacked under one another and then reach the tailbone high to the sky, making an upside down V. This ensures good form!
- Extended Triangle Pose & Extended Side Angle – I love these when my side body feels tight, you can create a flow to warm up before progressing to more challenging asanas.
Foot placement for these are very similar. Take a wide stance on the long side of your mat and turn one foot to face forward and the other stays pointing to the side. You want to think reaching UP and OUT before you ‘hinge’.
Shift your ribs to the knee that is extended, but not locked (foot is facing front of mat) and open palms wide. Pretend you’re holding a platter and hinge at the hip. *use a block behind the ankle for modification if you’re unable to reach the floor or your shin*
Come up, facing outward, keep feet in same place & bend front knee, hinge forward with your platter, looking UP for more of a challenge!
- Reclining Hand to Big Toe – achy back & tight hamstrings
Laying flat on your back with a strap nearby, keep hips on floor and lift right leg into chest and with an exhale, extend toward the sky with toes flexed, pushing actively through the heel.
Use the strap around the arch of your foot and pull taught with your hands, giving as much resistance and tension as you need.
Place strap into right hand and with an exhale, open to the right, bottom leg may bend.
Switch hands and exhale the right leg across the body – What’s so great about yoga is this: everyone bodies are built different, bone structure is not the same for everyone and what feels good to me may not feel good to you! There is no right and there is no wrong. Take your stretch as far as you can without pain but it should feel uncomfortable.
- Legs up the Wall – this one works to improve the mood too!
Feeling crabby? Find a chunk of wall, scoot your bottom as close to the wall as you can by sitting to the side and with a windshield wiper motion, swing your legs up onto the wall, extend straight, feet relaxed, and just breathe. Just be. Be blessed. Be calm. Be positive. Remind yourself that this time is yours and you are taking care of your body.
Up next: Yoga for Digestion
Resource: Yoga Journal