A short sequence for a healthy back

We all have different bodies, different needs, different issues and different yoga practices that suits us. Anyways there are some asanas that are super healthy for almost any back, and any back issue. I will present a short sequence that includes hip stability, core activation and release for the lower back. I hope you like it! Enjoy 🙂

Cat cow. Do the movements like shown in the illustration and align the movements with your breath After cat cow, come back to a neutral spine. Suck in your tummy and lift your chest. Hands placed shoulder width apart and knees placed hip width apart. Elbows in. And now: hip stability. Stretch out one leg and the opposite arm. The clue here, is to keep your hips level during the whole movement. Easy version is to stretch out your arm and leg and then place them on the ground. Advanced version is to stretch out your leg and arm and then bending your knee and elbow and bend get them to touch. Bend your spine to do so, as in cat, and let your hips be stable. Do both sides and then get back to a neutral spine.

Unknown-1.jpegDown dog.  Place your toes on the mat and lift your knees, push your body backwards with your hands. Keep your back straight. Keep bending your knees to make
sure your spine doesn’t round.

Plank. From down dog, come forward to a plank. Apply the same alignment principles as in a box: suck in your tummy while lifting your
chest. Stay here to strengthen your core.

d8fe9706348689bf6230ebc1643fed64.jpgSide plank. Make sure to keep your chest open (shoulders rolled back) when you do side plank. Do  an easy version with both feet on the ground if you like, or place them on top of each other. lift your hips and keep them perpendicular to the wall. Make sure to also keep your head up so that your whole spine is  straight. Stay for some breaths (example five or ten) to strengthen your obliques. Come back to plank and do the other side.

Unknown-2.jpegCobra.From side plank come back to plank and lower down. Lift your spine with your spine. Hands are only resting on the floor. Tail bone tucks in to protect your
lower back. This is an important alignment cue to learn for any healthy back bend practice. Keep your chin in. Cobra done in this way both strengthens and lengthens your upper back.

Stellung-des-Kindes-2-400x151.jpgChilds pose.Excellent pose to release the lower back. Also a mild hip opener.

Ardha_urdhwa_bhujangasana.jpgAnjaneyasana. The psoas, is one of the most important muscles to release. Tuck your tail bone and squeeze your but a little to get the most out of the stretch.
Remember to keep your knee in alignment with your ankle as to protect your knee. Stay in this pose as long as comfortable. Hip openers can be a bit intense. Counter pose in down dog and raise your leg up to a three limbed dog. Do the other side.

yoga-squat-malasana.jpgSquat. Squats are super hip openers and lower back releasers. Place your feet mat width apart (assuming you have a yoga mat) or adjust them to fit your squat. Feet can point a little bit outwards. lower your body, and place your elbows between your knees to keep them in alignment with your feet and also to open your hips. Lift your chest for an active squat or rest your forehead in your hands or on a bolster for a more relaxing version (yin version). Stay here for as long as you like. Get out of the pose slowly and release your hips by rotating your hips from side to side in
a sitting position.

Unknown.jpegTable top. From sitting place your feet hip width apart or even further apart. Place your hands behind your body, fingers pointing towards your back. Tuck your tailbone, and press your heals to the ground to lift your body up. You should be using your glutes for this asana, not your hamstrings.  This pose can be done either dynamically or statically. Or you can start dynamically and then hold for five or ten breaths. To counter pose, come back to childs pose.

You can do this practice in your own home. Anyways ,if you have never practiced with a certified teacher, I highly recommend doing so. I refer to the disclaimer.

The practice includes a short warm up and counter poses, but if you like, you can add your favorite warm up and cool down. Do shavasana to rest for five or so minutes after the practice.

Happy Easter holiday!