I love pose #3 for when my back aches. Never tried yoga before? Give it a go! Easy-peasy
I often find that my lower back tightens up. Maybe it’s from an ongoing injury, or maybe it’s from the relentless “hold me, hold me” of toddlers.
Either way, I like to pop into these yoga poses to release that area.
With anything relating to the body, correct alignment should be our core objective. Differentiate between the experience of discomfort and pain. Discomfort is a new feeling that may challenge you. If you feel discomfort, then sit with it. Focus on that area, and try to BRING YOUR BREATH INTO IT. Breathe! Inhale. Exhale. Try to notice if your body becomes tense, and release it. Pain is the trigger of your body telling you to STOP and go no further. If you feel pain, please back off gently, and find an easier moderation or skip the pose completely.
My top 5 yoga poses to ease lower back pain:
1. Eagle Pose
This pose will open your lower and upper back and create more space for your body to move.
Stand up straight, and stare at wall ahead of you. Find a place that you can focus on.
As you bend from the hips (as if you are sitting in a seat), root down into your right foot. Lift and open up your chest.
Lift your left leg and cross over your right. Either wrap foot around leg, or keep leg crossed over top of right leg.
As you exhale, wrap your left arm UNDER and around your right arm. Bring fingertips of LEFT hand to palm of right hand. Lift elbows upwards a little bit.
Stay for five breaths and unwrap on an exhale.
Repeat on other side.
2. Open Lizard
This pose will help release your hips, which corresponds directly to lower back.
Start pose in a lunge by bringing your right foot forward.
Lower back left foot and leg to the ground (top of foot and knee). Make sure that foot is straight and not cockeyed.
Next, bring your eyes looking straight down with hands on the ground below shoulders.
Right foot should be on the OUTSIDE of hands.
Allow the weight on your right foot to shift to the OUTSIDE of the foot and gently release knee to the side.
This should stretch into your hips, and open them.
After five breaths, bring right foot back to meet left foot.
Repeat by bringing left foot forward into lunge.
3. Pigeon Pose
(Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
This pose will help release sciatic pain, and tension in groin and hips. Please move into this pose slowly and with caution not to strain knees or hips.
Start in downward dog.
Next, bring your right KNEE forward in between hands. Allow your weight to fall on the outside of your right leg and scoot right foot to left pelvic bone.
Your knee should point forward and create a triangle back to your hips, which should stay squared forward.
Open your chest and open your heart. Expand your crown of your head up toward the sky and follow your gaze upwards.
If you are comfortable, lean forward into ground in front of knee. Relax for five breaths.
Switch by bringing back (left) leg forward into double pigeon (read below).
4. Double Pigeon
This pose really releases hips and lower back, and I always notice a difference immediately.
As you come out of pigeon (above), bring one leg on top of the other. Try to “stack” knees on top of feet if you are feeling very flexible in the pose.
If that pose is too difficult, try to stack knees on top of knees while bringing feet close to body.
This creates another double triangle shape with knees pointing forward.
As you create length in your lower back, try to exhale deeply and extend forward. Release your hold by letting your head lead your body over your legs.
Stay for five breaths.
5. Legs up the Wall
(Viparita Karini )
This pose is restorative and relaxing and releases tension and stress.
Bring one of your hips close to the wall. As you lay on your back, twist your legs up onto the wall.
Fold a towel or small blanket, and put it under your back.
Allow your knees to have a slight bend (especially if this is not relaxing).
Relax your lumbar and allow your back to decompress.
Stay for five breaths (or longer).
I hope that you can enjoy these poses, and quickly experience release in your lower back. Please, let me reiterate that you should know the difference between discomfort (a new stretch) and pain (something you should stop immediately).
Feature image: crossfitaggieland.com
Aubrey Rissler is a part-time writer and full-time nanny. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a magazine journalism degree. She is passionate about travel, health, and yoga. Follow her on Instagram: @srqyoga