Almost everyone will suffer from a bout of lower back pain at some point in their lifetime. If the pain is debilitating and you cannot carry out day to day activities normally, then you should probably get some specialist care and some manual treatment. In most cases however, simple, slow and mindful movements done at home can go a long way in bringing relief from a tight or painful lower back. In fact these movements could help prevent your lower back pain. In my experience of teaching Yoga, those who suffer from lower back pain mostly do so because of postural misalignment and inactivity: this could include sitting too long, sitting with a rounded lumbar spine, standing without grounding the feet equally, sitting with the head dropping forward, and being sedentary for most of the day. The following 3 movements are my go to movements to ease and release the lower spine and to lengthen out the musculature all along the spine. They are a combination of Somatic -Yoga exercises and they will help bring a warm glowing sensation to your back.
Find 5-10 minutes when you will be undisturbed and lay out a blanket on the floor.
- Lie with legs and arms extended. Bend your right knee and slide your right arm out to the level of your shoulder. Then move slowly as you angle your knee over to the left keeping the inside of your foot grounded and pressing firmly into the floor. At the same time rotate your head to look towards your right hand. Your right hip will lift up and off the floor and your lower back will arch up. Breathe in as you go into the movement, exhale to release. Return to the first position. Repeat 6 times on each side. Move slowly.
- Lie on your back with bent knees and arms resting alongside your trunk. Keep your hips settled on the floor. As you inhale, arch your lower back to create a space between your lumbar spine and the floor. As you exhale press your lower back into the floor and feel your tailbone curling up towards the ceiling. Keep the movement fluid and slow between these 2 positions and do this sequence for 2 minutes.
- Lie on back. Arms are stretched out at the level of your shoulders. Drape your right knee over the left and exhale to drop your legs to the right. Keep your left arm heavy. Return to the centre with your legs, repeat 3 more times on the same side and then swap over and do the other side. Keep your legs heavy and dropped towards the floor without forcing them down.
Then lie on the floor with both knees bent for 3-5 minutes resting quietly.