Chronic low back pain is surprisingly common and impacts most people at some time in their lives. This grows increasingly true with age. Common causes of back pain include problems with discs, poor posture, injury, sprains and strains. Low back pain can have a significant impact on quality of life. These 5 hip stretches show up regularly in yoga studios across the country. Move through each pose slowly, paying particular attention to your breath as it moves in and out of your body.
Lie on your back and bend both knees toward your arm pits. Grab the outside edge of your flexed feet with both hands. Hold the pose for several breaths. As you feel ready, continue breathing and gently rock from side to side.
Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart and toes turned outward. Bend your knees so that they are in line with your ankles. Keeping your spine straight, tuck your tush in and engage your core. Bring your hands together in the prayer position at your chest as you continue with your wide-legged squat. Hold for 10 slow, deep breaths and notice how the stretch feels in your hips and groin.
Wide-legged forward fold
Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart (about 3 to 4 feet apart). Feet should be parallel, like the number 11. Exhale and lean forward from your torso. Work to maintain length in your spine and keep breathing. You should look somewhat like the letter “W” from the front. Place palms flat on the floor if you have enough flexibility. If not, place hands on your calves or shins. Hold for 10 slow, deep breaths and notice sensations as they arise in your body.
Sit on the floor with knees bent and the soles of the feet touching. Extend knees toward the floor and grasp feet with both hands as you lean forward to bring torso toward your feet. Remember to watch your breath.
Fire log pose
Sit on the floor with spine straight and both cheeks of your bottom firmly planted. Instead of crossing your legs Indian style, stack your legs one on top of the other so that the right ankle is lined up with left knee and the left ankle is lined up with the right knee. Hold and breathe deeply for several seconds before switching sides.
Conquer low back pain with simple stretches and breath work. You will reduce stress and tension and feel yourself centering in the moment as back pain eases. Commit to daily practice for improved wellbeing in body and mind.