Like many, I sit at a desk for my job. I do have the opportunity to get up and move but the majority of my day is sat in front of the computer. I have 8 Yoga poses that help me relieve my back pain. I do these almost everyday. Give them a go and see what a little Yoga can do for your health 🙂
Sitting all day causes muscle imbalances, back pain and poor balance and posture. I know for myself, as the day goes on, I find myself hunched over staring at my screen. Small breaks and timers on my phone keep me accountable and allows me to adjust and sit up straight or get up and stretch throughout the day.
The hip flexors tighten and shorten while you sit for long hours. This is due to them overstretching. With overstretched glutes and hips, tight hips occur as your pelvis starts to be pulled out of place in a forward, unnatural tilt. While this happens, the muscles start to pull on your lower back which starts the lower back pain.
Even if I do not have time to do a full hour/half hour of Yoga, I will still take 10 minutes and do these stretches to counteract my day to day pain.
Thread the Needle
Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Move your RIGHT ankle over your LEFT knee as if making a number “4”. Keep your hips flat on the ground and your lower back pressing into the mat, pull the LEFT knee in towards the chest, thread your RIGHT hand between your legs.
Clasp your hands underneath or on top of your LEFT knee to help pull the knee deeper into the stretch. Try to pull your RIGHT knee open to really stretch the hip. Breathe into the stretch, hold for 30 seconds and repeat on your other side.
Happy Baby Pose
Lay on your mat and pull your knees to your chest. Place your hands on the inside arches or outside of your feet and open your knees wider than shoulder-width. Keep your back pressed into the mat as much as possible, press your feet into hands while pulling down on feet. Breathe into the stretch and hold for at least 30 seconds.
Start by sitting tall on your mat with your knees bent. Bring the soles of your feet together and allow the knees to open out to the side.
Your inner thighs should feel the stretch in this pose. To deepen the stretch, pull the feet closer in towards you, or you can fold forward and walk your hands out in front of you. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
This is one of my least favourite poses and it can be very intense on my knees. Make sure you watch and take care of your knees and ankles if you have issues. Start in table -top pose with your hands under your shoulders and your knees on your mat, or even blankets for more padding.
Gently widen your knees until you feel a comfortable stretch in your inner thighs, keeping your ankles in line with your knees, and your feet and calves grounded the entire time. If you’re able to, lower down to your forearms. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
Half Pigeon Pose
This is my favourite hip opener and one that I’ve worked on. There are 3 variations for this pose, each one allowing you to go deeper into the pose for better relief.
Start in plank pose and bring your RIGHT foot forward with both hands on the mat on either side of my front foot. With most of the weight in your hands, slide your front foot over towards your LEFT hand, and lower the knee over to the RIGHT.
Dropping your RIGHT calf on the mat so that it is lined up as much as possible to the front of your mat. Lower your back leg to the floor. Square your hips as much as possible to the front of the mat. Keep your arms straight and hands flat on the floor for a more moderate stretch.
If you want to increase the stretch, lower down to your forearms, or even lower all the way down to lay over your front leg. You should feel the stretch on the outside of the RIGHT hip and in the glute. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Double Pigeon Pose
Sit on your mat in a crossed-leg position with your RIGHT leg crossed in front. Move your LEFT ankle and gently pull the ankle to place it on top of the LEFT knee, using your hands where needed to help with the positioning. The shins should now be stacked with the RIGHT leg on top.
Start in plank or down dog and bring your RIGHT foot forward with your hands on either side of your front foot. Lower your back knee and shin to the floor. Lift your chest and bring your hands to your front thigh.
For a greater stretch, or if you have found your balance, bring your arms overhead, and very slightly lean forward, again making sure to not to arch the lower back. Breathe into the stretch, hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Start in plank or down dog and bring your RIGHT foot forward with your hands on either side of your front foot. Keep your back knee and shin lifted. Lift your chest and bring your hands to your front thigh. Allow the hips to sink lower as you square your hips to the front of your mat.
For a greater stretch, or if you have found your balance, bring your arms overhead. Push into your back toes and continue to sink into the pose at your own pace. Breathe into the stretch, hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
These 8 poses are just a handful of great Yoga poses that you can use to relieve back pain and stretch out after a long day of sitting. Whether that be for work, travel or a movie/Netflix’s marathon!
*Disclaimer: These are my own, personal, honest opinions/practice. YogatationCa is not a certified Yoga Teacher and will not be held liable for any recommendations or information provided. This post is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice, legal advice, or professional services. Therefore, try/practice at your own risk. Always consult your doctor before trying a new exercise.