This week I tweaked my back getting my dog into the car, aggravating an old injury. When this happens my instinct is to get on my mat and assess. Do I need rest, or do I need movement? On this occasion I needed movement. As I began doing some somatic exercises yoga for lower back and hips, I figured it was a good time to film and share.
I’ve suffered from a couple of back injuries in my life, but the last one laid me out for weeks. Seriously, if you’ve never had a back injury you have NO IDEA how much it can hurt to do simple things like brush your teeth. Who knew you used your back muscles to lean forward and spit? In this gentle 18 minute class we’ll mobilize using somatic exercises and yoga to stretch the tight muscles around the pelvis and low back. This yoga routine may provide relief from low back pain and sciatica. Move slowly, and mindfully.. Especially if you have injuries!
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Yoga for lower back and hips
In 99.9% of my classes, I do the following two exercises: arch & flatten and windshield wipers. Seriously they are amazing for mobilizing the muscles around the spine and hips. Read this post for more on the two exercises I do for lower back pain relief.
For some more isolated movement of the pelvis try what I call the Pelvis Puppeteer. Imagining two strings, one from each half of the pelvis, reaching up to the ceiling. A puppet master is gently pulling on each string lifting the right and then left side of the pelvis. Slow and mindful movement is the key here!
For the hips I like the figure 4 stretch. To make this more of a movement than a stretch, draw the ankle to the opposite knee and rock gently from side to side. If it feels comfortable draw the legs in towards the chest.
On all 4’s do a warm up set of cat cow and child’s pose. To make this a little different try asymmetry on all fours by bringing one knee a couple of inches forward. This stretches the back in a different way in cat cow. Then sit 50% back into childs pose. With the navel to spine, rounding up through the lower back. I’ll be honest, this felt delicious! Repeat on the other side, notice if there is a difference.
Bring the legs around in front, into seated. Sway the legs from side to side in a seated windshield wiper. Doing the same movement as lying but using a different relationship to gravity changes things. This movement was much tighter in my body than laying down.
Sitting in Sukhasana, extend up the left arm up and over to the right. Anchor the left sit bone to the floor lengthening from the hip to the fingertips. Then, just hold and breathe.
Option to lean forward bringing the left shoulder towards the right knee. Again, hold and breathe. Then repeat on the other side. Before rushing into your next activity, finish your practice mindfully. Instead, sit and breathe. Are you able to notice any difference in your body?
Want more yoga?
If this 20-minute class for Yoga for lower back and hips has you wanting more, then sign up for my 7 Day Yoga Challenge. Each day for a week you’ll get a new 15-20 minute yoga video delivered to your inbox. From yoga stretch, to core yoga, flow, restorative and more. It’s a great way to build a home yoga practice and do some self-care. Sign up below!
- Have you experienced back pain before?
- Do you have any old injuries that give you pain?
- Are you working on a rehabilitation program?