Our spine moves in 4 main ways:
Aim to bring all 4 spinal movements into your day, every day! Movement keeps blood flowing and energy flowing along with so much more flowing:-)
Here are my go to movements I do when my back starts speaking to me. Listen to the niggles of your body before your body decides you have no choice. Maintaining is always easier than fixing. I haven’t given too much in-depth instructions, feel into each stretch/ movement and stay for AT LEAST 1 min in each one. Inhaling to create space and exhaling to allow softening.
1. Supine Twist
There are many twists you can do with the body. The simplest one is to lie down and simply cross your right leg over your left. Move your hips a little to the right of the mat (to help keep your pelvis aligned in the twist) and then allow your legs to fall over to the left while your gaze goes to the right. Hold for 7 long, deep breaths, breathing into anywhere you feel needs it the most.
A great way to unravel!
2. Relaxed Extension over a bolster, ball or block (cushion if you don’t have one of these)
This picture is a very gentle extension. You can have your legs long or straight whatever feels better for your lower back.
To increase the extension lay over a bolster parallel to your spine, placing it almost under your shoulder blades. You will find a spot that suits you. You can also simply lay over a fit ball, a roller or whatever you have at home.
3. Cat/ Cow
(Pic A- neutral)
A lot of you are very familiar with the cat/cow movement but I only see a minority using their muscles to create the movement. When done properly this is great for articulation of the vertebrae and also good use of core and back strength. See if you are able to notice your pelvic floor, lower and upper abdominals when exhaling. Activation of these muscles will help to open and round your spine (like pic B.) . On the other hand see if you can feel your back muscles engaging to open and expand the front of your body and your chest on your inhale. Close your eyes and move to your breath.
4. Hip Flexor stretch with a side bend..
I love this to open the space between my ribs and hips along my side body, and also to open the Psoas muscle which gets very tight from bending forward and sitting a lot.
Really take your time to find your balance. Feel your tailbone lengthen gently towards the mat, engage your bum to open up the front of your hip. Allow your baby finger to rotate towards the ceiling and when you feel your edge and front body opening…breathe to release.
5. Bum/Hip stretch, either on your back or like pigeon pose.
Do whichever one is right for your knees and ankles. If on your back, placing your foot against a wall will take the pressure off using your shoulders. Keep your tailbone long to the floor to prevent your lower back from rounding.
If on your front, in pigeon pose, check to see if your hips are level. When you have found your position…hold and breathe for 7 long deep inhales and exhales.
Finish with a Child pose with lateral stretch
These will take 15 mins MAX from your day. Take the time for you xx