5-Minute Yoga for Every Body: Yoga for the Low Back
You can do it!
I am a certified yoga instructor, massage therapist, and life coach. I want to help everyone achieve their best life, today. Using the tools I've learned in yoga, massage and life coaching, I want to help you improve your life from the inside out.
Yoga is an important component of a complete life, as it combines the essence of breath, movement and feeling. Practicing yoga daily will help with your peace of mind, as well as balance and flexibility.
As I get older, I realize that some things that I used to do are no longer comfortable, so I have adjusted my yoga practice to be realistic for every body type, regardless of age, size, fitness level or experience.
Join me on the journey, as we explore yoga and the benefits of breathing and feeling.
Yoga isn't just about stretching and flexibility. And it's not just about strength and balance. Sure, those are important components, but they aren't the only focus, and they shouldn't be the main focus of a yoga practice.
The most important aspect of yoga, in fact the essence of yoga, is the breath. Breathing deeply is the most important part of yoga, and if you are breathing deeply, then you are doing yoga.
The next most important part of yoga is to feel something. We focus on breath and sensation. Get connected to how you are feeling. Where do you feel the stretch? Does it feel good or uncomfortable?
Before you begin, remember that yoga should never hurt. If something hurts, back out of the pose until you feel a gentle stretch.
There is no such thing as a perfect pose. The perfect pose is the one that works for where you are today.
5 Minutes for Your Lower Back
Yoga for the low back
- Begin by sitting comfortably, on the floor, on a chair or on the edge of your bed.
- Gently walk the hands to the left thigh and feel a stretch in your right lower back. Take several deep breaths, noticing the sensation in your back.
- Now, walk the hands to the center, and place them on your legs or on the floor in front of you. Breathe deeply and notice the low back opening and stretching.
- Walk the hands to the right thigh, and feel the stretch down the left side of the back. Take several breaths here.
- Walk the hands back to the center one more time, and walk them further out. Breathe deeply, noticing the sensation in the back.
- For the second pose, extend the legs in front of the body.
- Cross the left leg over the right leg.
- Using the right arm, pull the left knee in toward the chest. Feel the stretch through the outer edge of the left thigh, the left hip and the left lower back, while you continue to breathe deeply.
- Release the knee and extend the legs in front of you.
- Cross the right leg over the left leg.
- Using the left arm, pull the right knee in toward the chest, noticing the stretch in the right hip, outer thigh and lower back.
- Roll onto the back.
- Press the knees together and walk the feet out wide.
- Gently drop both knees to the left and then to the right, like a windshield wiper. Repeat several times, gently stretching the low back.
- Lower both knees to the left. Extend the right arm past your head, reaching toward the wall behind you. Take several deep breaths, and notice the stretch down the right side of the body, into the right hip and lower back.
- Bring the right arm back in, press the knees together, and drop both knees gently to the right and left several times.
- Gently lower both knees to the right. Extend the left arm past your head, reaching toward the wall behind you. Breathing deeply, feel the stretch down the left side of the body.
- Return both knees to the center, and walk feet and knees apart, to hip width.
- Cross the right ankle over the left knee, and gently draw the left knee into the chest. Take several deep breaths, feeling the stretch in the right hip and lower back.
- Return the left foot to the floor and gently drop the left knee open to the left, feeling the stretch in the outer edge of the right hip. Gently stretch for several breaths.
- Return the left knee to center and release the right foot to the floor. Switch sides by crossing the left ankle over the right knee.
- Gently draw the right knee in toward the chest, stretching the left hip for several breaths.
- Return the right foot to the floor and slowly open the right hip to the right, stretching the left hip and lower back. Hold the pose for several breaths.
Do You Practice Yoga
Have you ever practiced yoga?
A regular yoga practice can be a great addition to any exercise regimen. Not only will you find your recovery time better, but you will be faster and stronger as a result of regular yoga.
In addition, flexibility and balance are leading indicators for healthy aging, As we get older, these are two aspects of our physical fitness that can rapidly decline. Lack of flexibility and balance can lead to falls, broken bones and overall poor health. A regular yoga practice can help improve your balance and flexibility, and your confidence as you grow older.
Finally, yoga emphasizes deep breathing. Deep breathing helps relax the body and reduces stress. A regular practice of deep, mindful breathing releases endorphins into the body, counteracting the negative effects of cortisone. When you breathe deeply, your bring the body out of "fight or flight" mode, and into "restore and relax" mode. In this calm place, the body feels safe and is able to function at a higher level.
And don't let the excuse, "I'm too stiff," to keep you from trying yoga. The point of doing yoga is to increase flexibility, not to begin by being flexible. You can start today, exactly where you are. Breathe deeply, tune in to how your body feels, and move slowly. You can do this. You can try yoga. It only takes five minutes!