Move of the Month: Lengthen Your Spine

lengthen spine
Focus on lengthening and aligning your spine daily.

If you’re suffering from chronic lower back pain you might be tempted to hibernate, stay in bed and move as little as possible. Spoiler alert! Staying active and stretching forms an integral part of overcoming back pain.  Stretching needs to happen every day to keep those muscles strong, flexible and healthy.

Stretching is curative and preventative.

We’ll guide you through two of our favourite yoga poses that reduce lower back pain and encourage a healthy spine.  These are the upward facing dog and child’s pose or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana and Balasana if you want to get yoga savvy.

Upward facing dog

This is a basic yoga pose that shouldn’t be confused with the cobra.

stretching for back pain
  • Begin lying face down on the floor with your legs extended and your toes pointing out.
  • Place your hands by your waist with your elbows bent.
  • Inhale and press down firmly on the floor to lift your torso, hips and thighs.
  • Fold your tailbone into your pelvis and draw your pubis up towards your navel.
  • Your thighs and buttocks should be firm and lightly contracted allowing you to sustain the pose.
  • Breathe evenly and hold for 20-30 seconds before slowly dropping back to the ground.

Child’s pose

This is another yoga basic but it’s definitely a spine-healthy favourite. It’s also a great asana to fit in between other poses.

stretching for back pain
  • Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching each other and spread your knees so they are more than hips width apart.
  • Inhale, reach up with your hands
  • Exhale and lay your chest down between your knees, keeping your arms long and extended in front of you with your palms on the mat and fingers spread out.
  • Wile keeping your buttocks in contact with your heels, lengthen your spine from your hips to your arm pits. 
  • This is a true resting pose – stay anywhere from 30 seconds to minutes.
  • Inhale and come back up.

These two poses target your back in opposite direction to return the body to a state of balance.

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