Do you suffer from lower back pain and wonder what yoga poses would be good to try? Yoga instructor and Reiki master Esme Lopez walks you through a simple yoga routine created especially to strengthen the lower back and help alleviate lower back pain.
Video: Yoga for lower back pain
Strengthen your lower back – Step by step
Step 1: Lie on your back, with your lower back flat on the floor, and using a foam block or towel that you roll into a little sausage, place it in between your thighs and squash in your thighs to hold it in place – you are working your hip abductor muscles.
Lift up your heels and then lift your toes off the floor. Keep your feet quite low, but if you feel your lower back is starting to lift up you can raise your legs slightly higher.
Hold for about 10 counts. After 10, release and you this 3 times.
Step 2: This is another one for the core, in the same position as before and again using the foam block. This time bring up your legs to a position as if you are sitting in an invisible chair. Squash in your thighs and put your hands on your knees.
You want to create resistance as your knees push towards your hands and your hands push towards your knees. Then flex the toes, keeping your lower back on the ground and hold for 3, 5 or 10 counts, and do that 3 times, then slowly release.
Step 3: Now go onto your side and we will work the obliques. Lie on one side, keeping your body aligned – knee, hip and shoulder, and then bring your top leg in front, foot on the floor and lift the pelvis and bring the arm up over your body. Continue to lift the top arm over the head and then slowly release.
Eventually, when your body is stronger you can keep the top leg straight against the bottom leg and do the same stretch lifting your pelvis up and lifting your arm at the same time, up and over the body.
Avoid your body going to the side – try to keep it all in one line so that you are working that side of the body. Do this 3 times on both sides.
Step 4: Now to strengthen the lower back. Lie on your front and stretch your arms and hands out in front of you. Then raise your right leg and your left arm and hold it there.
If you want to go deeper you can lift both leg and arm up and down slightly in unison. Don’t lift the leg too high – it’s about reaching forward and back as if you are trying to touch the wall behind and in front of you.
Hold for 10 counts and release then do the other side for 10 counts, left leg and right arm, resting in between.
Step 5: Still lying on your front put your arms beside your body and lift up your arms and both feet up at the same time, while relaxing the head. If you want to you can again move arms and legs in small quick movements.
Step 6: Now go into child pose to stretch the spine. Sit up onto the back of your legs, stretching out the back and stretching your arms out in front of you with your head down. Move your hips slightly from side to side which will help lengthen the lower back.
Step 7: Next, go on all fours and lift your head up to look up, stretching the core of your body and abdominals. Then lower your head down and lift your back up towards the ceiling. Do this a few times to release any tension in your lower back.
Step 8: To balance the obliques and take away any pain in your lower back there is nothing like a twist. Lie on your back and bring your knee up towards your chest and then lower the knee slightly and roll the knee and leg to one side.
You can hold your knee and if you want to, bounce it slightly in this position. Stay in this position for a few moments. An easier version of this is to move the hips back slightly so that you are not lying exactly in a straight line before starting the movement. Try both and see what works.
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Edinburgh based Esme first fully committed to yoga when she became a mother and with no time to herself, it was this that gave her the helping hand she needed. It was her release, an opportunity to feed her soul, to find balance.
Yoga gave Esme a greater awareness of life and a sense that there was something else out there for her. Looking for the missing element, it was Reiki that saved her and gave her the answers she was looking for. It taught her to trust her gut instinct, her intuition. Now, she lives by it.
Esme shares the positive impact yoga and Reiki have had on her, with others. In a healing environment, she gives her students and clients the opportunity to grow spiritually, push their bodies physically and embrace who they are. In and around Edinburgh Esme offers a range of classes from beginner to advanced, Vinyasa to Yin, group sessions to individual sessions, in your office or in the comfort of your own home.