As adults we are always busy – on the go – driving here – driving there – working late – cleaning – cooking or grabbing food – and being all around exhausted most of the week. With all of this sitting and running around we do, we give little love to our back.

It aches,it yells at us, and it might give us the finger after a long day, so we try to ease its pain by temporary fixes like getting a massage, or finding a more comfortable shoe, or maybe sleeping a different way, and as all of these things DO help, the most long lasting relief you can create for a happy back is a happy core.

When your back AND core are in bad shape, additional pressure is placed on the spine, so not only does your spine support your entire body, but it is not not receiving any support from its surrounding walls of muscle. This creates a greater chance of injury do the simplest of tasks.

These twelve yoga postures can be done as a 20 minute sequence to place into your daily routine OR each pose can be taken out and played with solely when your back decides to tell you to eff off. 🙂

 


#1 


1

How To: 

  • Lay on your back on your mat & begin to breath through your nose – inhaling & exhaling – long, deep, diaphragmatic breaths (4-6 seconds). This breath helps expand your lungs, relaxes your muscles & lengthens your spine. Repeat this breath throughout the sequence.
  • Bring your knees into your chest as your giving yourself a BIG hug & begin to rock left to right – massaging our your lower back. You can also bring your shoulders off the mat & make small circles with your knees if that feels good to you.

 

 


#2


2

How To: 

  • Staying on your back, bring your arms out like a “T” or to “goal posts” (like shown above) & place your right leg over the left as you let your legs fall to the left side.
  • Your chin will come towards your right shoulder & you can tuck your left hip under your right to stack them – giving you a deeper lengthening through your back body.
  • Repeat on your left side, bringing your left leg over your right with your chin towards your left shoulder. Take a few deep inhales & exhales on each side.

Modification:

  • Instead of crossing your legs, bring your knees together, bent & let then let them fall to the left & right with the same arm & chin positions.

 


#3


3
Picture on left is described in “How To”

How To: 

  • Come to a seat on your mat. Bend your left knee (keeping your leg down on the mat) & bring your left leg under your right as your heel nears your right cheek.
  • Bend your right knee & place your right leg over your left (foot touching the outside of your left knee) with the bottom of your foot on the earth.
  • Take a big inhale & lift your arms up towards the sky. Exhaletwist your torso to the right & plant your right hand behind you. Your left elbow will then press into the outside of your right knee & move your chin toward your right shoulder.
  • Repeat on your left side.

Modification:

  • Instead of crossing one leg over the other, simply bring your legs into a seated posture (legs gently crossed)
  • Inhale – lift your arms up & lengthen your spine.
  • Exhale -bring your left hand to your right knee as you press into the knee, twisting your torso to the right – your right hand might plant behind or beside your right hip. Gaze is to your right if your neck allows.

 


#4


4

How To: 

  • Come to a tabletop position (rooted hands, knees & shins resting on the mat with un-tucked toes).
  • On your next inhale, drop the belly & shine your heart up as the crown of your head lifts.
  • Exhale, curl your spine in as your chin comes into your chest & your naval reaches inward toward your spine.
  • Repeat – flowing back & forth – slowly inhaling & slowly exhaling. You might even close your eyes. Closing your eyes is the first sign of relaxation.

Modification:

  • Instead of crossing one leg over the other, simply bring your legs into a seated posture (legs gently crossed) & bring your left hand to your right knee as you press into the knee, twisting your torso to the right – your right hand might plant behind or beside your right hip. Gaze is to your right if your neck allows.

 

 


#5


5

How To: 

  • Come to a neutral tabletop position (rooted hands, knees & shins resting on the mat with un-tucked toes).
  • Tuck your toespress into your palms, pull your hips up & back, & bring your naval towards your spine.
  • Descend your heels into your mat (if they don’t touch, that’s ok!). Get acquainted with this pose – peddle out your feetsway your hips side to side – Bend your knees – be gentle to your body!

Modification:

  • If downward does feel good in your body – come to a tabletop OR child’s pose instead.
  • Child’s Pose: bring your big toes to touch – knees out wide – press your hips back to your heels with your arms straight out in front of you – palms on the ground.

 

 


#6


6

How To: 

  • Come to a forward fold at the top of your mat – legs straight (or bent!) & hands reaching or touching the earth.
  • InhaleSLOWLY, vertebrae by vertebrae, roll up to standing with your arms over your head – fingertips or palms kissing.
  • Exhale – grab your left wrist with your right hand & pull your left arm towards the right side of the room – lengthening your left side body.
  • Inhale – come back up to standing, as your switch the grip of your hands (left hand grabbing right wrist) & exhale – bending towards the left – now feeling your right side body opening up & your lungs expanding.
  • Inhale – come back up to standing – arms still up, & exhale – forward fold over your legs.

Modification:

  • If grabbing your wrists do not feel good in your body, simply place your palms together & bend in each direction – following your breath.

 


#7


7
Top two photos are described in “How To”

How To: 

  • Come to a neutral tabletop position (rooted hands, knees & shins resting on the mat with un-tucked toes).
  • On your next inhale – extend your left arm & right leg in opposite directions. Engage your core (mula & uddiyana bunndha) & flex your fingertips & right foot. Feel the energy from the tips of your fingers all the way to the ends of your toes.
  • Exhalecurl in – chin to chest – while reaching your naval in towards your spine. Engage your core, once again, while bringing your left elbow & your right knee to touch together under your belly.
  • Repeat – extending out your right arm & left legfollowing your breath.

 

 


#8


9

How To: 

  • From a downward facing dogengage your core – shift your weight forward into your palms, staying on your tip toes.
  • Your rooted palms should be directly under your shoulders with your gaze toward the horizon.
  • Feel the straight line of energy from the crown of your head down to the heels of your feet.
  • Don’t forget to BREATH!! Inhaling & exhaling through your nose. When you find yourself breathing through your mouth, that is a sign of stress. Come back to your breath & slowly make your way to a child’s pose or a downward facing dog.

Modification:

  • If you begin to feel pain in your wrists, shoulder, or lower back, bring your knees down. You can always come back up when you feel like your body is ready.

 


#9


10

How To: 

  • From a high plank pose (#8), (keep that core engaged!!), slowly bring one elbow down, then the other, keeping your toes tucked.
  • Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders this time, with your palms down on your mat & crown of the head lifted – gaze toward the horizon.
  • Again, just like in the high plank pose – feel the straight line of energy from the crown of your head down to the heels of your feet & don’t forget your deep diaphragmatic breath through your nose.

Modification:

  • For more shoulder support, clasp your hands together making a triangle from your hands to each elbow. Press INTO forearms &  to lift your bum, torso, & core up to create that straight line.

 


#10


11
Top left photo is described in “How To”                              Bottom left photo described in “Modification”

How To: 

  • From a high plank pose (#8), shift your weight to your right palm as you come to the outside edge of that right foot – gently placing your left foot on top of your right.
  • Press into your right palm as you inhale your left arm up towards the sky – your chin comes towards your left shoulder.
  • If your hips are dipping down, engage your pelvic floor & your lower abdomen (mula bunndha & uddiyana bunndha) to bring your hips back up. You should be able to draw a straight line from the crown of your head to the heel of your foot.

Modification:

  • Follow direction above EXCEPT place your right knee down for  support. Instead of having weight on the outside edge of your right foot, your weight should now be evenly distributed throughout your right knee, shin & the top of the right foot – with the bottom of the left foot down for extra balance.

 


#11


12

How To: 

  • Come to laying on your belly, on the tops of your feet, with arms by your side.
  • Engage your triceps, core, back, glutes, quadriceps & feet!! LIFT your chest & the crown of your head up while shooting your fingertips back & lifting your shins & the tops of your feet off the mat.

Modification:

  • If your back needs more support, follow the instructions above EXCEPT bring your arms in front of you – elbows down, & push just your fingertips into your mat. Keep your chest puffed, head lifted & legs up – making a smiling arch with your spine. : )

 


#12


13

How To: 

  • Come to laying on your back, feet planted on the ground with your knees bent.
  • Clasp your hands underneath your lower back & “shimmy” your shoulders underneath you.
  • Inhalepress into your shoulders & clasped hands & lift your hips up toward the sky – bringing your chin to your chest.
  • Take a few breaths here – reminding your muscles to stay engaged!
  • Exhale – release your hips back down to the ground – take a few breaths & repeat two more times. If full wheel is in your practice, please feel free to take that. If you don’t know what full wheel is, then don’t do it! 😉

Modification:

  • This pose should feel GOOD. This technically IS the modification from full wheel pose.

Conclusion


 

Give your back a little more LOVE & become aware of your body when its telling to you to be gentle. When we become more aware of our body, breath & movement, we can help prevent injury before it happens. 

01758f6c298875f8102578a7e6855aa7f61f0591ea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: