Restorative Yoga for Lower Back Pain | Gentle Yoga

Restorative Yoga for Lower Back Pain | Gentle Yoga


If you’re tired of temporary solutions
to your lower back pain then stick around because I’m going to share with
you four restorative yoga poses for lower back pain that will help you
reduce your symptoms and improve your mobility. In fact, one of my clients who
frequently types all day at a computer went from constant back pain to feeling
it barely at all after just a week of practicing this sequence. Practice this
video until the end if you want the same result and give me a like if you’re
ready to get started. Now of course all of our bodies are different and because
I can’t see you and I don’t know the cause of your lower back pain I
encourage you to use your own inner teacher and inner guidance as we
practice together practice in a way that feels helpful safe and that you won’t
regret later you get to decide what’s right for you because you know your body
best so feel free to modify any of these positions the props that you’ll need for
this restorative yoga video are a bolster or large pillow for blankets a
chair two yoga blocks and an eye pillow which is optional and don’t worry if you
don’t have these exact things look around your house and get creative with
cushions and bedding gather up your props and meet me on your yoga mat now
if you don’t have a yoga chair like I do you can simply place your mat close to
another chair in your house or even a couch but first we’re going to begin on
the ground in supported supine spinal twist
so grab three of your blankets you may need all four it really depends on what
your body needs and we’ll take the first blanket and I folded them like a tight
little square get yours to about this thickness and this space this is a 60 by
80 inch blanket and it gets to this fold by taking it folding it four times so
the short ends to meet the short ends to meet the short ends to meet and the
short ends to meet creates who this blanket do the best you can with what
you have if you don’t have this you’ll place that here at the top end of your
mat I like to place the neatly folded ends toward me your head is going to be
resting on this just so you’re not irritate
by any of the edges of the blanket and then from that exact same fold we’ll
open it up so it becomes more like a rectangle shape and then simply fold
that so we have a rectangle fold blanket place this down at the bottom end of
your mat and do the exact same thing to one more blanket and that is going to go
behind you where the edge of this blanket for your head meets and then off
your mat straight out to the side finally we’ll grab the bolster here and
place this on the other side of the mat from this blanket in front for your legs
and this is going to cradle your back so sitting on your left hip let’s come down
to about the middle of the mat and stack your knees and your feet so that they’re
in 90-degree angles and then sandwich that blanket in between all the way down
from your ankles to the knees so that you have softness running through lie
down on your left shoulder with your head supported now you’ll notice if your
head tends to tip downward you probably need more support for your head with
this blanket so I’m going to come back up and fold this one more time and do a
recheck that feels so much better so really ensure that you fully support
your head and neck here you’ll enjoy the practice so much more when you just take
a few moments to do that extend your left arm long your right arm is going to
be on top take the inhale here and then exhale and open up into your twist reach
down and snug the bolster all the way from your hips to the space just
underneath your armpit and then the right arm rests on top of the blanket
behind you now notice if it’s hanging in space and it’s not touching the blanket
you need more blankets or a thicker fold underneath that arm so don’t be afraid
to add more as you need through this practice
restorative yoga is so individual for all of our bodies so do what you need so
that you are fully supported with no hanging body parts now that you’re there
you can either gaze up or over to the left any place that feels comfortable
for your head and your neck and perhaps if it is comfortable close your eyes feel yourself arrive in the shape
releasing all muscular tension from the legs the hips and the heart and let your
breath be natural and stay present to any sensations that you notice just
tracking sensation as you feel it not getting caught up in it just allowing it
to be we’ll rest for some time in each
position in silence know that I’ll keep time for you and bring you out bring your aware and
into your right fingers and then into the right palm and taking inhale lifts
the whole right arm slowly up and back to the left coming out of the twist rest
for a moment here moving very slow push your palm into the floor and inhale
press your way upright sideways will squeeze the blanket in between the legs
rotate on to the back then move the bolster over to the other side as well
as the blanket for your arm now lie back down but this time on your right hip ensure that you have your right knee
underneath your left the feet are stacked as well and then lower down onto
your right shoulder support your head scoot the bolster up against your back
body till you feel hugged and then from that space inhale and reach your left
arm behind you opening into the twist same thing here if your left arm is
higher off the ground or not touching the blanket give it some extra support
and then place your head and a space that feels comfortable and release all
tension in your face your chest and your legs especially noticing if you’re
gripping into the knees the calves or the ankles and just take an exhale and
release all of that grip from the body become the witness to your experience
notice that you are the one experiencing your body and if at any time during the
rest of this practice you feel a sharpness tingling a numbness listen to
your inner teacher modify the position or come out breathe naturally as we rest
now in silence travel your awareness to your left
fingertips your left palm then inhale and gently lift the arm up overhead and
back to the right arriving out of the twist with your upper body just rest for
a moment and then slide the blanket out from between the knees use your hands to
press up to a seat nice and slow letting those transitions
be just as potent as the pose and then once you’re upright we will make our way
to legs up the chair so we won’t need the bolster for this set that to the
side but we will likely need some blankets
so the first blanket is a bigger unfold of the blanket so that you have some
softness underneath you on the floor underneath your tailbone and your sacrum
so I’m going to unfold it until it’s this wide rectangle shape and place that
in the middle of my mat then I’ll find the blanket that I was using for my head
and we’re gonna make a special headrest blanket feel free to just use this or a
lower fold if that works for you but if not I’ll show you a sweet way to support
your head in this position so take that blanket from that square shape you’ll
fold it about two inches to the other edge so there’s some space in between
then get all the wrinkles out because you won’t want to feel those underneath
your head from here take the top two edges and tuck them under so you
start to end up with something like that then take the bottom two edges and do
the exact same thing so tucking under so you start to end up with something like
this this is going to come at one end of your mat and finally you’ll take the top
two wings and fold those underneath and then push your palm into that
indentation that’s where your heads gonna be and your shoulders will rest on
this lip while these folds of the blanket cradle your neck so this is
completely optional but a really nice touch especially if you know that you
need some neck support when you lie on your back now you’ll come to your chair
so I’m using the yoga chair so I’ll bring that to my mat now and if you are
using a chair like this make sure that it’s on the sticky mat so that it
doesn’t slide if you’ve got a couch or another chair you can use that too and
the final thing here is you might need a couple extra blankets to stack up the
height of the chair depending on how high or low your chair is for me I know
that I need two blankets on the chair and I’ll show you why so I’ll place
these here now and then sit with your feet to one side off of the chair and
your hips on the ground and then just lean back and swing your legs up now
walk really close to that chair so that your hips are 90 degrees underneath your
knees or as close as possible and the reason why I need extra support here is
because I’m tall so you might need not need this but you want your shins to be
level and not floating down or up you would like them to be ankles in line
with your knees as best you can then from that space lower back and Nestle
your head into the cradle of the headrest blanket you can fiddle with it
a little bit more to make sure that you’re completely supported
one of the other great things about the headrest blanket is that it curves up so
that your head cannot roll side to side and that tends to help keep you awake if
you tend to fall asleep easily when you’re on your back all right
ensure that when you are here there is a curve in your back you’re not pushing or
pressing your muscles in any way or your low back into the floor we’re going to
let gravity do the work to release the lower back tension arms come to you.a v
palms face up if it’s comfortable close the eyes or you could apply the eye
pillow now if you like and go right into the space of your inner thighs where the
hip flexors are the psoas muscles are that connect the top half of the body
with the bottom half of our body we’re giving them space and time to soften and
these muscles can contribute to back pain so tell your inner leg muscles in
the creases of the hips that attach to the back tell that whole area to let go
let go release they don’t need to do anything here for you but relax rest and
stillness softening your whole face I’ll let you know when it’s time to come out you become aware
the deep sense of relaxation and peace in the pelvis maybe there’s a stiffness
here too whatever you’re feeling is valid and okay because it’s your
practice your body will start to come out by bending the knees in toward the
chest you can drag the heels along the chair and eventually you can come so far
in but they might slide off of the chair itself pressing your low back all the
way into the floor it might feel nice to take your hands to your knees and rock
side to side or you could just rest here drop your knees to either side onto the
ground whatever feels best extend that arm overhead
and roll on to the arm for support just rest
take a big breath in and a big breath out push down into the floor and start
to rise very slowly to sit up now if you have a chair on your mat like I do
you’re gonna need to remove that now or you could just simply come away a little
bit from whatever you were using with your mat will transition next into
supported reclining hero with ramped bolster so grab your bolster and your
two blocks let’s move this blanket that’s off the
mat as well now on the mat off the mat just for a moment
grab your blocks your bolster and we’re going to create a bolster ramp so take
the high block that’s the very highest that you can get your block tip that up
in the middle of your mat and then we’ll take either a medium or a low block solo
here medium here whatever is going to work best with your bolster or your
pillow that you’re using or maybe even blankets if you’re using that in place
of your bolster so I will set mine up like so and what you’re going to do here
is place sometimes you have to get these blocks in just the right spot so that it
really holds the bolster you’re going to place a couple of these folded blankets
that rectangle fold shape is going to go on either side of the mat and in fact
you may want to double rectangle fold them because your elbows are gonna be
held a little bit further off the ground because your back is going to be leaning
on this bolster so a couple of those rectangle shaped blankets may be double
rectangle and allow those to come out diagonally from either side of the
bolster then find another blanket open it up until just it’s one rectangle fold
and place that all the way along the bolster with a little bit of the lip of
that coming down and filling in the gap in the space of the bolster now finally
you might find here that you need some extra support for your head so I’m going
to deconstruct my headrest blanket and fold this up one more time place at the
very top you’ll see what you need once we get into it now
I will face away from the bolster and separate my feet to either side you
start to kneel but then take your thumbs and your hands into the tops of your
calves pull down with the muscles roll out with the calves and then sit down in
between that space now if this isn’t comfortable or available to you today
there’s a couple of things you can do you can find another block and sit on
top of the block books is also a nice altar
you can find a pillow or another blanket to elevate your pelvis so do what you
need to do here to make sure that that feels comfortable and safe for your
knees knees should not be talking here to you at all this is a huge stretch
here for the quadriceps it could be depending on how tight you are so we
will want to meet that with the height of what you’re leaning against so just
very carefully push your hands into the ground inhale lift up through your crown
tilt your tailbone forward tuck it forward now lean back
adjust your head on the blanket and see if this feels like a significant huge
stretch your body is not going to be able to relax in fact this may be aching
your low back here in that case you’ll want to lean up even more so I suggest
putting the bolster against the chair bringing the ramp up to you
in other words always bring yourself upward the props to meet you not you
down to meet the props so this is pretty good for me today so I’m gonna stay here
and readjust this blanket under my head so that I feel like my forehead is
higher than my chin and then my arms come down by the sides and the arms rest
elbows and hands on the blankets again do a check in with yourself ensure that
the shoulders are loosening downward and outward but it doesn’t feel like there’s
a significant tension in your quads or in your back maybe you might feel a
little light awareness of energy but certainly not deep stretch and that’s
what makes restorative yoga so unique from other styles is we let the body
relax and that is how we calm the nervous system to calm our pain so find
yourself in a be in a space that feels appropriate for you and then relax rest in silence to come out of
pose first start to become aware of any sensation of openness across your chest openness across your thighs spacious
openness in the whole torso and then we’ll open the eyes if they were closed
and place the palms down either to the blankets or to the floor take an exhale
peel your abdomen turn on tighten those muscles gently then draw your chin in
towards your chest and inhale push up now keep going forward into table palms
meet the ground knees walk back you can be wide on either side of the props here
stretch your legs back one at a time tuck the toes under stretch through the
whole back of the leg and then take that knee down and do the same to the other
just encouraging blood flow and circulation back into the knees once you
feel satisfied with that and you feel like your legs have come alive once more
then we’ll simply come to either kneeling or to a seat so that we can set
up for our final pose basic relaxation pose will remove the bolster ramp but
take the bolster for underneath the knees it will go with wise across the
mat and you may or may not want one of these blocks to support underneath it
and I’ll show you that in a moment so just leave that block to the side and
then find your blanket and roll it up so you’ve got a nice long blanket roll and
place that at the bottom edge of the mat this will be a lift for your ankles and
then finally let’s come back into the headrest blanket or whatever blanket you
enjoyed using for your head that felt really support
for you so I’m tucking under the sides of the top part of the blanket then
tucking under the bottom tucking the wings at the back under and just making
a little indentation for the head there’s about a couple inches of space
with this bottom edge of the blanket and that will help to support the tops of
your shoulders keep your eye pillow handy here if you’d like to apply it and
of course we have extra blankets to keep warm so you might choose to play place a
blanket across your whole body come to lie down on your back with your knees
over the bolster and the edges of your ankles hooked underneath the lip of the
rolled blanket and then lie down with your head supported in the headrest
blanket now as you find yourself here you may find huh maybe my low back is
irritated when I’m here it doesn’t feel like it can let go and release in which
case it’s a good bet that you need your knees higher so that’s where this block
comes in handy take your block place it in between you and the bolster and tip
that bolster up on edge so you can see completely held by the block then you
still hook your ankles here my knees are definitely higher than my ankles and I’m
going to come back down and you’ll want your legs to be wide so you’re not
touching the block underneath you once you get fully settled hands palms face
up if that’s comfortable you can also explore palms face down and arms wide
into a V wider than you think wide so that your shoulders can relax
your legs can relax and your low back isn’t talking to you at all so let’s
take three rounds of bigger breath in through the nose
and big breath out through the mouth with a sighing sound just letting
everything go and relaxing inhale through the nose open the mouth make the
sound from the back of the throat relaxing the lips last time release all
effort all effort in the breath all effort in the body really let go trust that you’re supported trust that
in time you can calm your body and experience less physical pain in your
lower back and recall a time when you didn’t feel
this pain if you can think of a time visualize what it would be like to not
feel this pain and bring that hopefulness with you into your final
rest I’ll let you know when it’s time to come out bathe yourself in the feeling of being
at ease offer gratitude for this time of release of letting go of welcoming in a
new possibility that you are not your pain you’re just experiencing it and one
knee at a time into your heart setting your feet on the bolster maybe and then
drop the knees to one side rock to a hip resting on your side for a moment maybe
cradling your head in your arms and use an inhale very slowly to press up to a
seat come to whatever seat feels comfortable for you place your hands now
together at your heart breathing into any sensations that might feel new here
in your whole body and just giving yourself time and space to move into
what’s next as you finish up this practice don’t forget to hit subscribe
and the bell button so that you can get notified every week when I post new
restorative yoga videos and as always it means a lot if you give this video a
like head on over to my website if you want to sign up for my free e-letter for
even more restorative yoga practices to embody deep breasts and self-acceptance
thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you in the next one

4 comments on “Restorative Yoga for Lower Back Pain | Gentle Yoga

  1. Caren Baginski Post author

    Did your lower back pain improve after practicing this restorative yoga sequence? Let me know your experience here in the comments! 🙏🏻

    Reply
  2. JULOVEYOGA Post author

    Dear Caren, I practiced this without having lower back pain and still loved the class. You are really an amazing teacher and wonderful soul. Thank you for your work! I was wondering, do you plan to publish some longer restorative classes? I would definitely pay for them as well, I know how much work free youtube videos are… well, I'm glad you're sharing your gift with the world. Have a wonderful day 🙂 Julia

    Reply
  3. Kirsty Macfarlane Post author

    Yoga is amazing! I've got a lot of things wrong with my spine, my lumbar is knackered from l3-s1, and yoga is the only thing that gives me proper pain relief, followed by acupuncture but I can't do that myself and it's expensive! Thanks for this practice, restorative is my favourite and I loved every minute of this. Those folding chairs are so good because it's easier than doing legs up the wall, helps keep the relaxation going 💜🧘‍♀️💜🧘‍♀️

    Reply

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