If you are one of the many with a constant achey or stiff back then this is for you.
This kind of back pain is often caused by bad posture, long periods of sitting, tight hamstrings, tight hips or a combination of the above.
However, before we go any further let’s do the sensible bit…
Before you attempt any postures here, these suggestions are not aimed at people recovering from surgery and anyone with a back injury must consult a doctor before undertaking any form of exercise.
Just common sense really.
Ok let’s move on…
1. Start by lying on your back. Draw your knees in towards your chest then drop them over to floor on the right, arms come out the the side either straight or bent at the elbows and your head turns to the left. Try to keep the right shoulder in contact with the floor but don’t worry if this doesn’t happen for you. Close your eyes, take at least five deep breaths here.
Now repeat going in the opposite direction.
Roll up to seated along your spine or roll on to your side to push yourself up.
2. Next we’re going to take a seated twist. Sit with both legs straight out, feet flexed. Make sure you are on your sitting bones and the spine is lifting up.
Bend your right knee bringing the heel as close to the right buttock as is comfortable making sure your back doesn’t curve making you collapse onto your tailbone.
The right hand goes onto the floor behind you and the left arm can wrap round the right thigh. Turn to look over your right shoulder.
Take five deep breaths here.
On an inhale rotate to look forward, straighten out your right leg and repeat on the left side.
Now bring yourself into your hands and knees.
3. Leading with the pelvis, tipping it so the bottom sticks in the air, drop the mid back and gently raise the head, all done on an INHALE.
As you EXHALE tip the pelvis under, arch the back upwards and drop the head. Press firmly through the palms to get an extra stretch between the shoulder blades that feels amazing!
4. From all fours draw your buttocks back down to your heels into child’s pose. Don’t worry if your buttocks don’t meet the heels, this will come with practise. You can make a pillow with your hands or rest your forehead in the floor.
Take AT LEAST ten deep breaths here paying particular attention to the expansion of the ribs on your back as you inhale.
5. Stretch your arms forward spread your fingers wide, tuck your toes under and bring yourself up into downward dog.
The priority here is the back and NOT whether your legs are straight. Try to avoid any curves in the back and aim for a straight line from the buttocks to the crown of the head. It’s very important to bend your legs as much as you need to.
Walk your feet forward and sit down. Roll onto your back and bend your knees bringing the soles of your feet to the floor and your heels in towards your buttocks.
6. Bridge – tuck the pelvis under and roll the spine up off the floor as if you were lifting up one vertebrae at a time.
If you are able to, tuck you shoulders under slightly and clasp your hands pushing the arms down into the floor.
Aim for five breaths here and then til the spine down with control.
So, if you were ever worried about farting during a yoga class then this is the pose that it’s going to happen in – ‘happy baby’…
7. Staying on your back, lift your legs into the air, bend them at the knee and draw the knees down as if trying to plug them into the armpits. You may be able to hold behind the knees like so…
Or, you might be able to grab the feet…
Now there’s a photo just waiting for a ‘parp’ to be written on it if ever I saw one.
Last of all, and if you have no time to do the others then just skip to the end and do this one…
8. Lie on your back and put your feet up the wall, or on the sofa – the latter is a little gentler. As well as helping out with back pain this helps with high blood pressure, lymphatic drainage, anxiety and depression.