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Wednesday, 21 August 2013 13:54

Yoga Postures For The Low Back

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Does your low back give you grief more often than not? Millions of people suffer from low back pain daily and default to medications to solve the problem. For most medically uncompromised back pain, the solution is rather simple, and yoga can play a huge part. Common back pain can result from a number of things ranging from sitting for long periods of time to constant involvement with high impact activities (i.e. running, tennis). The following yoga postures can help with strengthening and lengthening your low back. Remember to keep a steady breath pattern in all postures. I highly recommend doing these postures everyday ... before you leave for work and when you come home.

Strengthening Postures

All Fours

Come to an all fours position on your mat. Shoulders over the wrists and hips over the knees. Extend your right arm forward, the level of your shoulder. Kick your left leg straight back, the level of your hip. Flex your back ankle, toes pointing toward the mat. Hold this balance for 4-6 breaths on each side.

all-fours

Bridge

Lay on your back and bend your knees, heels drawn toward your butt. Let your arms rest along your sides, fingertips grazing the heels. Keep the feet hips distance apart, toes pointing forward. Lift your hips off the ground and interlace your hands under the back. Walk the shoulders underneath the upper back. Try to also relax the butt muscles. Hold this pose for 8-10 breaths.

bridge

Locust

Lay on your belly, forehead kisses the mat, toes touch, arms by your side, and palms face up. On your inhale lift your chest, legs, and arms to hover over the ground. Keep this balance on your belly space, flexing the entire spine. Gaze toward the mat to keep the back of your neck long. Hold for 3-6 breaths.

locust

Lengthening Postures

Forward Fold

Stand hips distance on your mat. Place your hands on your heart and bow forward, hinging from your hips. Allow your arms to release and let them dangle. Another arm variation is to hold opposite elbows and let your arms continue to hang. Bend your knees if your hamstrings feel tight. Allow the back to decompress. Shake your head no and yes to lengthen the neck. Relax the face and let everything hang loose. Stay in this posture for 6-8 breaths.

forward-fold

Legs Up The Wall

Sit your butt up against a wall and allow the legs to extend up it (straighter knees preferable. Scoot your butt as close as you can to the wall and let your arms relax to your sides. Another variation is to place a yoga sand bag on top of your feet to help sink the low back to the floor. Stay here for 3 minutes or more!

legs-up-the-wall

Happy Baby

Lay on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Keeping the knees bent, just lift the soles of the feet to the sky. Grab the outside edges of your feet and widen the knees the distance of your armpits, or wider. Allow your head to fall onto the mat and pull the feet in a downward direction. As you do this, your thighs will sink toward your ribs. Continue to draw your tailbone toward the ground and chin toward your chest (without lifting the head off the ground!) Keep the knees at a 90 degree bend, ankles over the knees. Stay here for 6-10 breaths.

happy-baby

Twist

Lay on your back and hug the right knee into your chest. Drop your knee over to your left, taking a twist. The left hand can press the knee towards the ground. Then extend your right arm down the floor and turn your head to the right, looking over your fingertips. Use your breath to continually drop the right shoulder towards the ground. Stay here for 6-10 breaths and then switch sides.

twist

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