Two easy poses for tight hips and lower back pain

I was asked to write something for hips and lower back pain and have chosen two poses this time. The first is a seated pose and I selected it as it’s fairly easy to squeeze in here and there when you might normally be sitting cross-legged.

The second pose I absolutely love and is my first choice when my lower back aches.

  1. ‘Easy’ pose

Hips-1

This is a great pose for opening out your hips. Its Sanskrit name translates to ‘easy pose’ but for most people it’s actually harder to achieve than sitting crosslegged. On the plus side, it’s one of those positions that definitely gets easier with time.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your back as straight as you can. I’ve written a separate post on how to get a nice straight back when seated
  2. Position your shin so that it’s in a straight line in front of you. If you’re using a yoga mat, you can line your shin up with the edge of the mat
  3. Take your other shin and place it on top of the lower shin. Your ankle should be above your knee (more or less)
  4. Place your hands on your thighs or your knees.

Sitting like this will do your hips a world of good. You’ll notice it gets easier and more comfortable the longer you do it. Don’t forget to swap legs to work both hips – as it’s tempting to stick with the side that’s the most comfortable.

hips-2

If your knee is really high up try stuffing a blanket underneath – this should make the whole thing a bit more comfortable.

2. Bridge sequence

Great for when your lower back aches, with the added bonus of working on sore hips too.

hips-3

  1. Lie on the floor or mat and bend your knees so your ankles are as close to your bottom as possible. Your hands should be by your hips with your palms facing down
  2. As you breathe in, lift your hips off the mat keeping your feet on the floor
  3. As you breathe out, return your hips to the starting position (check your feet haven’t moved)

hips-4

You can repeat this for as long as you want, then when you’re ready extend step 3 to:

3.   As you breathe out, return your hips to the starting position then bring your knees into your chest so that you curl up like a ball. You can leave your head on the mat, or if your neck feels good, lift up your head as if you were going to kiss your kneecaps.

hips-5

Repeat steps 2 and 3.

This is a simple sequence that flows really nicely. Work with your breathing, making sure you are tying your movement to the length of your natural breathing pattern.    

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