I’ve noticed that sometimes when I sleep on a different mattress, I wake up with a stiff lower back. Countless people have told me that they experience the same ‘stiffness’ if they sit for too long. This ‘stiff’ lower back is a harbinger of back-related problems to come. It’s better to nip this problem in the bud using a few simple yoga moves. Else you may be looking at years of pain and medication. So next time you experience a stiff lower back, practice the below moves. Hold the postures on both sides, focusing on opening up the hips. Make your movements intuitive. So rather than forcing your body into what the pose looks like, try and focus more on the movement.
Place your right foot between the hands. Keep your shoulders squared, which means you aren’t going to be leaning in on your right thigh. The right thigh should be parallel to the floor. Keep the left leg stretched out and the knee locked. Extend the back of the left leg, so try and push the left heel as far back as you can. Try and push the groin region closer to the floor, opening up the hip joint. Repeat on the other side.
The Runner’s Stretch
From your Ashwasanchalanasana, place your back knee on the floor. Then straighten the front leg making sure you don’t re-adjust the leg.
From the Runner’s stretch come back to the Ashwasanchalansana and place the back knee on the floor again. Push your groin region closer to the floor. Then place your hands on the front knee and straighten the torso. So, you’re pushing into the knee with your hands giving a lift to your chest and at the same time pushing the groin region forward. Do this on both sides.
Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
Once again come back to the Ashwasanchalanasana. Then start to walk the front leg out and place the knee on the floor. Keep the hips squared. Open up the chest and push the shoulder’s back.
The Baddhakonasana (Seated Butterfly Pose)
Next, bring your feet together and push your knees as close to the floor as you can. Keep your back straight and chest lifted.
The Happy Baby Pose
Bend your legs and grab your feet from the insides (yes, it makes a difference where you hold your feet from). Now gently start to push your knees closer to the floor. In fact, you can even swing from side to side touching first one knee then the other. The idea is to allow your tail bone to decompress and relax. This is a pose I would recommend on a hard floor or mat, rather than on a mattress.
The Supine Spinal Twist
Lie down flat on your back and grab your left knee with the right hand and gently pull it across your body to the right side. Try and keep your shoulder blades flat on the floor, maximizing the twist. Take 5 deep breaths and twist a little more every time you exhale. Keep the other leg long. Repeat on the other side as well.