There’s no doubt a lot of what you do involves sitting — you sit to eat, you sit to drive or when you take public transport, you sit at lunch and dinner, when you meet with friends and then sit in the evening before you go to bed.
We’re not suggesting you aren’t moving around throughout the day, but sitting for long periods of time can cause your hamstring muscles and iliopsoas muscles to shorten, which in turn leads to a strain on your lower back.
On the other hand, you could be any but sedentary, which means you should consider what forms of weight bearing activity you are engaged in or whether you are stretching properly at the end of your exercise to release the tight muscles you’re using.
There is a simple sequence of yoga poses that can be done to assist in relieving your lower back pain, as well as reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes (especially if you fall into the sedentary category).
1. The supine hamstring stretch
Lie on your back and bend your right knee into your chest. Place a strap or rolled up towel around the ball of your foot. Straighten your leg toward the ceiling, pressing out through both heels. If you feel strained, bend the left knee and place your foot on the ground. Hold for at least 3 minutes before switching legs.
2. Two-knee twist
Lie on your back, bend your knees into your chest and brings your arms out at a ‘T’. Exhale and lower your knees to the ground on the right. Be sure to keep your shoulders pressed down firmly. If your left shoulder lifts, lower your knees further away from the right arm. Hold for up to 2 minutes and then switch sides.
Lie on your stomach and prop yourself up on your forearms. Ensure your elbows are aligned directly under your shoulders and press firmly through your palms and the tops of your feet. Press your pubic bone forward. You should feel a sensation in your lower back, but you should be able to breathe through it. Hold for up to 3 minutes before relaxing. NOTE: This one is not recommended if you have a slipped disc or sciatica.
4. Thread the needle
Lie on your back, bending both knees with your feet flat on the ground. Bend the right knee like your creating a Figure 4 with your leg, the outer left ankle to the right thigh. Lift your left foot into the air and bring your left calf parallel to the ground. Thread your right hand between the opening of the legs and interlace your hands behind your left thigh. Hold for up to 3 minutes and then repeat on the other side.
5. Legs up the wall
Bring your buttocks all the way into a wall and slide your feet p the wall. This pose will help you relax your lower back muscles and drain any stagnant fluid from your feet and ankles. This pose is best left as your final pose and you should hold it for up to 10 minutes.
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