Yoga for Back Care

1.) Breathing Exercise: As you lie on your back, place a small light block or box on your tummy, and close your eyes and slowly breathe, focusing on elevating as you inhale, and lowering the block as you exhale. Find a comfortable rhythm of breathing as the Block rhythmically elevates and lowers.

2.) Preparatory Arm Stretch: Lie on your back with one knee flexed. Concentrate on calm breathing, with the lower part of your back in contact with the floor.

3.) Arm Swings: As you inhale, slowly raise your arms by your sides over your head as if you were reaching over your head. As you inhale, slowly bring your hands back to your sides by your waist.

4.) Preparation for Leg Bends: Now turn around and lie completely face down.

5.) Leg Bends: You inhale from this position, slowly band your leg towards your buttocks. As you exhale, lower your leg back to the ground. As you do this exercise, you may feel a stretching sensation across your quadriceps muscle.
Repeat this 6 times alternating legs.

6.) Preparation for Lifted Leg Stretch: From this, same prone position (lying face down), place your hands in a” push up” position. Your elbows should be bent but relaxed with your palms face down on the floor.

7.) Cobra Pose with Leg Bend: From the lying Cobra position with palms facing down, slowly band one leg up while lifting the head and neck up simultaneously. Then slowly release the pose back to a lying cobra.
Do this for 4 times, and then switch sides.

8.) Relaxation: Distribute your weight evenly, allowing your hands, shoulder blades, pelvis, hips, all symmetrically contact the ground. Feel the sense of your natural curves, noting where you naturally contact the ground and where you naturally don’t. Those with lower back pain frequently are unable to have the low back contact the ground.
Rest and observe for a minimum of two minutes.

9.) Lateral Leg Bend: Lie on one side with your lower leg bent slightly behind you, and the upper leg straight over on top. Focus on aligning your body straight so that your hip bones are on top of each other, and not tilted. Your lower arm should be relaxed straight out over your head, while the upper armrest in front of your body.

10.) Lateral Leg Raise: From this same position with your arm stabilizing your torso, inhale and raise the upper leg slightly towards the air. Feel the stretch of your upper leg as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly drop your lower leg back to the starting position.
Repeat 6 times alternating legs.

11.) Repeat Relaxation Pose for another 2 minutes.

12.) Sitting Meditation: With your legs crossed, alternate crossing one shin over another. Bring your knees close enough together so that your legs form a square. Make sure that you are comfortable enough for your hands to fall on your thighs with the palms face up. Feel a release down the back of your shoulder blades and close your eyes as you concentrate on the motion of each breath.

13.) Preparation for Twist and Stretch: Sit with the lower leg crossed under and the upper leg crossed over. Place the sole of one foot passed over the knee of the lower crossed leg. While doing this, place your hands on your knee pulling the leg back into a compressed position.

14.) Twist and Stretch: As you exhale, rotate your upper body away from the cross legs, utilizing one hand to support your back, and the other arm to push the upper leg away from the twist. You should feel a gentle releasing feeling with a twist as the lower leg and the upper quadriceps stretch.
As with sitting meditation, if you have difficulty stretching, try sitting on a blanket or a block. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.

15.) Advanced Twist and Stretch: If you are daring enough, reach your crossed arm underneath your thigh and pull your back arm around you to increase the amount of stretch.