Want more yoga and exercise? Become a woods warrior, try this lower body workout, then end the day with bedtime stretches that relieve lower back pain. Check out my 200hour yoga teacher training experience and read about the school I attended here.
Ohhhh lower back pain and pressure. How many times have I groaned, moaned and cursed at you? In fact, here I sit, back throbbing and hips aching, worrying about my future. I have to admit, I don’t stretch or do yoga each day like I should and it’s evident in the way I feel when I lay down at night. While these eight bedtime stretches are not a cure for lower back pain they help sooo much! Instant relief. My tightly, tangled ball of rubberbandy back muscles relax into alignment and allow some comfort before bed. If you’re in the same back pressure
out your ass predicament, go stretch out!
All these stretches are pretty basic, but allow for a really deep release of the lower back. You can move deeper and deeper into each stretch and you’ll start to notice this as you practice this routine with regularity. I’ve learned all of these poses through either sports or yoga. This specific routine is meant to be relaxing and restful. Pull hard, stretch further and dig down deep, but do so with nice, long, steady breathing and without expectation. Focus on your back and hips while you feel the pressure of the day float away. Hold each posture as little or long as you’d like. No real counting necessary, but it’s included as a guideline.
- Lie on your back with your legs extended and your back straight and relaxed. Keep your lower back on the bed and your hips level while you bend your right knee in towards your right armpit. You want to squeeze it in there as tight as possible. Work hard to squeeze you knee for a slow count of ten.
- Extend your legs out straight. Repeat on the left side.
- Extend your legs out straight and bring both knees to your chest. Cross your arms over your shins/knees if possible and hug them tightly while trying to keep your lower back on the bed. Hold for ten.
Thread the Needle
- Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet flat on the bed about hip-distance apart. Walk your heels in towards your butt until you can touch them with your fingertips. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh and keep your toes flexed. Begin by pressing your right knee away from your body. Thread your right hand through the window of your legs and hold onto your shin along with your left hand and gently pull your shin in towards your body. Keep your hips square while you press your right knee away and simultaneously pull your left shin in. Count to ten.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- Start with your knees bent and feet flat on the bed. Inch your feet in towards your butt until you can graze your heels with your fingertips. Inhale and lift your hips off the ground. Slowly count to five and lower down.
Knees Together Sway
- Walk your feet out away from your butt and let them rest wherever feels comfortable. Feet should be wider than hips distance apart. Start with your knees resting against each other. Let your left leg fall out further to the left and your right leg fall in and close the gap, see how they’re kind of swaying? Let your knees sway slowly back and forth for a couple breaths.
Bottoms of the Feet Together
- Simply touch the bottoms of your feet together, wherever it’s comfortable for you. Let your legs fall open and your knees rest where they fall. The more you do this pose the closer your knees will come to resting on the bed. Stay here for a few breaths.
- Start on all fours. Release your toes onto the bed and separate your knees hip-distance or wider and lower your butt back towards your heels. As your torso folds over your thighs feel your spine lengthen from your tailbone all the way up to the back of your neck. Stay here for ten long relaxing breaths.
- Start on all fours. Slide your right knee forward towards your right hand and slide your right foot to forward and to the left somewhere behind your left hand. Slide your left leg back as far as possible while keeping your hips square to the floor. Slide the right foot forward–little by little–toward your left hand until you feel a deep stretch. With practice you can bring your foot parallel with the front edge of your bed, but as you can see I’m not there yet.
- Depending on how you feel, you can remain upright on your hands while sinking the hips forward and down for at least twenty seconds. If you want a deeper stretch, rest on your forearms then chest and head on the floor like shown. I like to spend a few minutes on each leg because I have poor posture and my hips hate me 🙂
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- Slip back into child’s pose for a few breaths.
- Lying on your back, lift and bend your legs so your shins are parallel to the ceiling. Slowly lower your knees down to the right and rest them on the bed. Keep your shoulders flat on the bed and turn your head to look the opposite way. Relax here for at twenty breaths.
- You could also rest your hand on your knees to keep them weighted down. If this feels good, try wrapping your left leg around your right and then letting your legs fall to the right.
- Repeat on the other side and sleep tight!