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Restorative Yoga for the Low Back

What You'll Need

2 Blocks


So today, we're going to learn how to use these blocks for what's called some restorative poses. These are some of my favorite restorative yoga poses for the lower back, we'll start out on our backs. Transition slowly onto your back bringing the blocks with us. So this is called restorative bridge pose. You can take either one or two blocks depending on how you want to stack them. I personally like to stack two blocks one on top of the other. But just for today, we'll start out with one block. So start out with the block at its lowest setting. Bring your feet in hip distance apart, walk the field as close as you can to your body. Lift your hips up. And you want to take the block and place this at the lower edge of the block aligned with your sacrum.

If you're unfamiliar with where your sacrum is, one you can Google it or to take your finger find the very top of you butt crack so the tip of your tailbone area a lie the lower edge of the block with that, and the the sacrum is that little triangular shaped fusion at the base of the spine. So here, so you've got to provide some relief in the sacrum.

If you have lower back issues, it's often due to stuff like this sitting on the sacrum and sitting for extended periods of time tightening up the hips. So we're going to loosen up the hips just by resting and focusing on the breath. So essentially, this movement creates what's called some traction for the lower back. I once went to the chiropractor and I saw that they had this machine that essentially just lifted you up and down like you were doing Bridge Pose.

So here in restorative bridge, the block is supporting the sacrum is gently allowing it to hover off the floor, you're allowing this area here to release and decompress this area of lower back.

Option 1

So option one is to stay here with the knees bent feet on the floor as long as you like maybe three to five minutes. From here. You can take the block, make it a little bit taller if you'd like if that feels good to your body. Again, the lower edge aligns with the sacrum. If you want to make it even taller, you have the option to lift the hips up support and here, or like I said earlier, taken two blocks for a wider base of support. Stacking the one on top of the other, lift the hips. And again supporting the sacrum for higher bridge pose. This feels lovely if you have some lower back issues can you just allow them all this to decompress. breathe slowly and deeply. Deeper the breath the deeper the stretch when it comes to restorative poses. Because restorative poses release and let go of all muscular effort.

So this is what we would call more of a yin style practice as opposed to yang style where I will actively be holding myself up engaging my muscles in Bridge Pose. Here, there's no muscular effort on my behalf so I can stay in for extended periods of time and allow the muscles in the lower back to relax.

Option 2

Now option two, if you're feeling really tight in the front of your hips, you can take the legs extended straight heels rests on the floor, maybe the feet fall open. I personally like to rest of my hands on my hips here and give a little massage in that space in the hip creases on the sides. This is one of the muscles in what we call the hip flexors, groups of muscles. So holding here, either gently massaging or letting the arms rest down in silence. If you don't like the way it feels with the blocks tall, maybe you walk the feedback and make the block shorter. Release it down and then extend the legs back out. Again you have to play with it to see what feels best for your body. This is your yoga practice is you practicing you find what works best for you at any given moment. Or arms extended downsize. Take a few deep breaths again with each exhale and try to relax, release and let go more so your body's thinking more to the floor, surrendering the weight of your body, letting go one breath at a time letting go of anything have any need to do anything, letting go and no need to be anywhere else except right here right now resting into this pose

Option 3

Our last option for this restoring bridge pose is to walk the feet back in for what's called waterfall pose. So we'll take the legs extend both legs straight up into the sky. I like to point flex the feet here a few times just to release the ankles, the feet. If you've been on your feet all day, this feels lovely. Another way to do this pose is to do it up against the wall and let the legs be completely supported by the wall. If you rotate the ankles a few times clockwise, two times counterclockwise. Shake it out a bit. And again, just find stillness here. Maybe the knees want to bend slightly, that's okay, listen to your body. Or maybe you can keep them completely straight and that's okay. Whenever you're ready to come out of the pose. Exhale, slowly bend the knees, release both feet back down to the floor.

Whenever you're ready, come out of the restorative Bridge Pose. Inhale, press the feet into the floor, lift the hips, exhale, releasing the blog and slowly lowering down vertebra by vertebra back down to the back so that you found length that you created here in the lower back. Option to keep the knees bent, feet flat on the floor. I personally like to walk feet out a little bit wider towards the edges of the mat. I feel this helps to release to the sacrum.

So after doing that pose, so releasing, relax into the sacrum, lower back. One more deep breath, bring the knees into the chest, hold on just below the knees on the backs of the legs. Deep breath in. Exhale gently hug the thighs in towards the body. rock side to massage the lower back across the floor. Massaging across the sacrum and taking soft circles, then going in the opposite direction with those circles.

Preparing to make our way back up to sitting, slowly roll over onto your right side. Use your right elbow and your left hand to help you press up. So keeping the head heavy, slowly press yourself up. Back to a comfortable cross leg seat position. Take a moment or two here just to acknowledge the shift and the difference that you feel in your lower back against this part of our lower back series for taking care of your lower back and your whole spine in that manner.

Thank you all again for tuning in being present anywhere in the world. Today. We chose to be here. Namaste.


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Peace & Pineapples!


Image by Matt Flores
Image by Juno Jo
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