All of these postures should be adapted for your own body & situation – if you are in pain then start small & slow and work up to comfortable movements. Try some today and then go again tomorrow. And of course, stop if you feel any increase in discomfort. This is Yoga for Back CARE after all!.
Mat, 3 x blankets, eye pillow, chair, belt
Elevate your seat bones if needed, layer up blocks and blankets until you feel comfortable. Place your bolster in front of you and add blocks underneath until it is at a height where you can comfortably rest your head. While holding the bolster, let your head rest for 10-15 breaths.
All 4s position – moving to child’s pose
Move to an all fours position, with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips (add a folded blanket under the knees if you require extra cushioning). Moving backwards, place your seat bones on your heels and let your forehead rest on the floor or else add props under the head until it feels comfortable to rest.
Back or neck pain isn’t much fun – but that doesn’t mean that our practice and exercises shouldn’t be joyous. Arm swings can be done anytime, any place – in the park, the kitchen, at the office – and they are a fab way to release tension & unlock your upper back. In my experience, arm swings can improve neck & back stiffness. Stand comfortably and wiggle your arms around and give them a little shake. Then start to swing the arms forward and back – one in each direction. Keep going, allow the arms to come higher and higher in a comfortable swing. No need to rotate the low back, just allow your upper body to rotate IF it wants to. Once you get the hang of things, and if the shoulders allow – then let the arms go as much as you want – they might even go over your head! Have fun for a few minutes – and then repeat in the other direction!
Back Stretch – hands on the back of a chair or a table
Savasana legs on chair
This is one of my patient’s favourite way to relax – it can really take the load off the lower back. Take 3 blankets, a chair, a belt & an eye bag. (You can also place your legs on a sofa or bed). Make sure you are going to be warm enough and turn down the lights. Fold 2 blankets and place them under the pelvis and one under the head. Maneuver yourself into place and swing your legs up onto the chair. Then – tie your thighs together with a belt – not too tight or loose – a comfortable hip-width distance. Check you are comfortable – this is a relaxing posture after all – if it’s not working then adjust as needed. Then, the hard work – JUST REST. Listen to the radio, breathe, chat – however you can bring this posture into your day – just do it! Stay here for 5-10mins. Remember – if you have an episode of pain – don’t stay too long, try the posture out the first few times. Come out the same way, and once you’re out – have a gentle stretch and sit for a few breaths.