When the all too familiar lower back pain hits, you know that simply ‘improving your posture’ like what your mom suggests does not work. How does one improve their posture overnight?!
Instead, pick up some gentle yoga poses. They’re perfect for some zen ‘me’ time in the morning, or you could do them in bed to unwind after a long day, right before you sleep! The stretches are especially great to stretch your muscles and relieve body tension.
Lie flat on the ground, and slide a hand under your lower back to make sure there is a gentle curve. The next part is where ‘the burn’ comes in so for starters, take a deep breath.
Level 1: Use an exercise strap or a towel around the arch of your right foot. Exhale to straighten your right leg, stacking your ankle over your hip, or bring your leg as high as possible and slackening the strap as needed. You should feel a gentle hamstring stretch. Take another breath and exhale to release and switch sides.
Take 5 deep breaths and hold for 30 seconds on each side.
Level 2: Ditch the towel and hook your index and middle finger around your big toe.
Level 3: Hold your ankle.
Start on your hands and knees in a ‘tabletop’ position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips. Make sure your back is straight and relaxed, with your head in a neutral position and your eyes to the floor. Inhale.
As you exhale, round your spine towards the ceiling like an angry cat— you’ll feel your chin tucking into your chest. Go back to neutral ‘tabletop’ position.
As you inhale, arch your back away from the ceiling.
Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Lying on your back, bend your knees into your chest and bring your arms out at a T. As you exhale lower your knees to ground on the right. Keep both shoulders pressing down firmly. If the left shoulder lifts, lower your knees further away from the right arm. Hold for 1-2 minutes each side.
Scoot your buttocks all the way against the wall and rest your legs up against the wall. You should feel your lower back muscles immediately relaxing. This pose is also excellent for draining the stagnant fluid from your feet and ankles. Hold for 5-10 minutes. Do this pose after a challenging workout and always after a flight.
Lying on your back, bend both knees with the feet flat on the ground. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on your left leg. Lift your left foot into the air, bringing your left calf parallel to the ground. Thread your right hand between the opening of the legs and interlace your hands behind your left thigh.
Hold 2-3 minutes and then repeat on the other side.