Wonderful poses to ease lower back pain and help a restful nights sleep...
1. Balasana, Childs Pose.
Spread the knees wide, make sure you ease forward with the breath and if possible rest your forehead on the ground. Pay attention to the breath in the back of the body and ribs. Allow the mind to trace the line of the spine and encourage a sense of elongating the spine.
2. Leg to the sky.
Allow the strap to hug into the top arch of your foot, shift you arms further down the straps so the backs of the arms are on the ground, allowing space to flow across the front of the chest and collar bones.
The lower leg can be bent or stretched.
Focus on drawing the belly in towards the spine, lengthening the legs, although the raised leg can be bend to ease into the hamstring.
This can feel intense, but I promise the lower back with thank you.
Hold for 10-20 breaths or 3-5 minutes for a more Yin inspired practice.
3. Baddha Konasana, Butterfly, Cobblers Pose.
In traditional yoga we bring the heels in towards the groin, but in a more restorative practice, allow the feet to move away from the groin, so the legs are forming a gentle diamond shape.
Fold over gently, using props and bolsters to support the head.
4. Melting Heart, Anahatasana.
Starting on all fours, walk the hands forward, keeping the hips over the knees and gently lower the chest down. Be mindful of how far to come down, the chin can come up or the forehead can rest on the mat.
5. Runners lunge.
Allowing the back hip and knee to be stacked, stretch the front leg out in front and fold over, blocks can be used for the hands to rest on, as this is a deep hamstring stretch. listen to your breath, and channel it to the back of the legs. A challenging pose, but worth it!
6. Saddle Pose, Supta Virasana.
This can be a strong opener for the whole of the front body, especially the quad. Be very aware of the lower back, I use a bolster and pillow, you might like to fold a blanket onto the bolster too.
Both legs can come back, or you can do it as a half pose on the right then left.
If you have any knee injuries, please proceed with caution, sometimes a blanket or strap between the calf and thigh can help.
Allow the arms to unfold wide, and focus on the heart space and sinking into the bolster.
7. Wide legged forward fold/ Upavistha Konasana.
Spread the legs wide into a V shape, to a position which suits you.
There can be a softness in the knees and fold forward between the legs. Use bolsters, pillows and anything you need to be comfortable.
Keep in mind that the toes should be pointing to the ceiling, try to not let the legs roll in.
focus the breath on the inner thighs, enjoy the decompression in the lower back, the expansion in the pelvis and ground and the support of the bolster.
8. Reclined Deer Pose.
This can be fiddly to get into but wonderful once you make it its great!
Cross the left leg in front and swing the right leg to the side, foot pointing back, so it looks like the corner of a square.
The bolster should be pointing away from the left hip, twist towards the bolster and fold over. Rest and enjoy the gentle twist.
9. Curl up in a supported Childs Pose.
Straddle the bolster and fold over, to keep warm wrap yourself in a blanket and breathe deeply.
10. Finish in Shavasana/Corpse pose.
Lying flat on your back, legs and arms out stretched and allow the body to take deep rest and enjoy the time and care you have taken for yourself.
This practice can be wonderful if you sit at a desk all day, do lots of driving, travelling or heavy lifting. Also if you are suffering from lack of direction, energy, creating and joy. This sequence can bring life back to your lower chakras.
Please note: Proceed with caution and awareness, if you have any worries or concerns consult a doctor or health care advisor.