Yoga Poses for Releasing Low Back Tension

Yoga Poses for Releasing Low Back Tension

Here are a few poses that can aid in releasing lower back tension.

1. cat/cow

These flexions and extensions help to gently mobilize the spine.
Position on all 4’s, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips.
Inhale for cow, exhale for cat.

2. Spinal twist w/ both legs

This restorative pose also helps to increase mobility in spine and hips while calming your nervous system.
Lie on your back, arms open to your sides, knees toward chest then let them fall to one side keeping shoulders rooted on the ground.
Props can be used to support under or between knees.

3. Cobra

This gentler back extension can aid in lengthening the abdomen and stretching shoulders and chest. This can help to introduce further extension in lumbar spine (our natural curve).
Lie on stomach, untuck toes, place wrists below elbows.
Inhale, look forward and lift your chest to bring your shoulders as high as your elbows, this should bring your upper arms parallel to the ground. Tops of feet and thighs softly press into the ground.
Stay here or inhale again lifting chest and straightening arms, opening you throat creating space between your chin and chest.
If there is any pain or discomfort in the low back, engage the legs and abdomen, and bend the elbows as much as necessary.

4. Lunge

This pose helps to lengthen the hip flexors. Tight hip flexors pull our low back into posterior tilt, flexing the lumbar spine.
Front knee stacked over ankle, think tailbone lengthening down and low ribs relaxed, belly slightly drawing inward.
Shift hips down and forward until back thigh is approximately at 45 degree angle.
Isometrically draw back knee and front heel toward each other midline for support.
Press back shin and foot into floor to activate glutes
To intensify stretch, reach hands to sky and grab hold of wrist of posterior leg (ex. Reach for Right wrist with Left leg forward, lean and pull wrist to the Left)

5. Wide leg forward fold

Forward folds bring strength and flexibility to the spine and hamstrings.
Open legs to 90 or further, anterior tilt pelvis (shifting pelvis forward, sit bones back).
Fold torso from the front of your hips, continue to lengthen your spine, avoid rounding in the low back.
Gently lift knee caps (press back of knee down) to engage quads and relax posterior chain.
Press tailbone down and lift low belly.
Use props to rest chest on.
If the low back rounds while seated upright with the legs apart or while reaching the hands to the feet, sit on one or more blankets and bring the legs slightly closer together

6. Childs pose

This relaxing and rejuvenating pose helps to releases tension throughout spine. Can also aid in stretching hips, thighs, and ankles.
Separate knees slightly wider than hips, send hips back toward heels, stretch arms forward rest forehead on floor or prop.
If the sit bones do not reach the heels, place one or more blankets between the calves and thighs.

These poses are intended to help aid in reducing low back tension and improving mobility and flexibility. If you have any injuries or these positions cause pain, consult your medical team.

Dr. Stephanie Beveridge