If you suffer from lower back pain, you have most likely been told that stretching is very important. Stretching the hamstrings can help to expand the motion in the pelvis. This decreases stress across the lower back. Stretching with yoga helps to increase the blood flow which allows the good to flow in and the bad to flow out. The increased blood flow improves the nourishment of the muscles and soft tissues in the lower back. Many yoga poses help to strengthen the muscles in the back and the abdomen. These muscles help the body maintain proper upright posture and movement. When the muscles are healthy, back pain can be reduced or even avoided.

Downward Facing Dog

  • Start on your hand and knees.
  • Your hands will be slightly in front of your shoulders.
  • Pressing your back, raise your knees away from the floor.
  • Lift your tailbone up towards the ceiling.
  • To stretch your hamstrings even more, gently push heels toward the floor.
  • Hold the position for 8-10 breaths.
  • Repeat 7-10 times.

Child’s Pose

  • Starting on all fours, have your arms stretched out straight in front of you.
  • Sit back so your butt muscles rest just about (not touching) your heels.
  • Hold the position for 8-10 breaths.
  • Repeat 12-15 times.

Sphynx

  • Lying on your stomach, prop yourself up on forearms.
  • Align elbows directly under your shoulders.
  • Firmly press through your palms and tops of your feet.
  • Press pubic bone forward.
  • You may feel a strange feeling in your lower back, blood is flowing into the lower back.
  • Hold for 1 minute.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

Forward Fold

  • Starting from the downward facing dog, walk feet up to hands.
  • Keep a bend in knees as much as hamstrings allow.
  • Allow torso to hang heavy over legs.
  • Now hold opposite elbows with hands and gently sway from side to side.
  • Make sure core is well engaged.
  • Hold for 5-7 breaths.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

Bird Dog

  • Start on all fours.  
  • Extend your right leg directly behind you with toes and hips pointing downward.
  • Keep the spine long.
  • Gently extend your left arm in front of you with thumb pointing to the sky.
  • Inhale deeply.
  • When you exhale, round your back and touch opposite elbow to knee.
  • Inhale and extend arm and leg out long.
  • Repeat 5-7 times.
  • Switch to other side.