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As we age our bodies become tight and painful.
In fact, one of the biggest complaints health care providers hear often is back pain, especially low back pain.
Yoga is one of the ancient practices that by design is supportive of a supple spine, strong back, mobile joints, and a flexible body. Asanas, or yoga postures, are practiced to move the body into healthy postures where they can be held to strengthen the body while also making it more flexible.
In today’s video yoga coach Kaamini Patel shares with us a six posture yoga flow that can help strengthen the back while making the spine suppler. It’s a perfect one-two combination to release tension, improve range of motion and reduce pain.
Slowly lie down onto your back. Feet together, arms by your side.
Hip stretch from the back
Breathe in as you raise your arms up and over your head. If your shoulders bother you, just raise up one arm at a time. Breathe out.
Breathe in as you slowly raise your right knee and grab the shin with both hands. Hug your knee in toward your chest, flex your foot, and feel the stretch. This helps the digestive system, the colon, the lower back and the root chakra.
Breathe out as you lower your right leg back down and raise your arms up again to the starting position.
Now breathe in as you slowly raise your left knee and grab the shin with both hands. Hug your knee in toward your chest, flex your foot and feel the stretch.
Breathe out as you lower your left leg back down and raise your arms up again to the starting position.
Repeat this sequence for a total of 3 times each leg. Now rock a bit to shake out your legs and lower back and allow the organs to relax.
Slowly turn over to your stomach. Make a straight line from your pointing toes to your head, with your chin on the matt, and place your palms on the floor at chest level.
Breathe in as you shrug your shoulders a few times to loosen them up and release tension.
Breathe out as you move into a yoga pose called “baby cobra.” Do this by slowly raising your head and arching your back as Kaamini shows in the video. Your tummy will remain on the matt as you just lift enough to hold your heart above the floor.
From the arched up position, you will breathe out and slowly return to the beginning position. Repeat the mini cobra posture for a total of 3 times.
This exercises both loosens and strengthens the back, makes the spine suppler, and also aids in digestion.
Upward dog with hand support
This posture continues the movement from baby cobra. Here you will look up and raise your upper body off the ground, as you can do so naturally. Press your hands to the floor as you extend your arms to assist in the lifting of your upper body.
In the Upward Dog position, you will take two full breaths and exhale as you slowly return to the starting position. Here, your forehead will rest on the matt to relax your neck.
Repeat for a total of three.
Upward dog — no hand support
Begin lying on your belly, arms by your side with palms facing up, and your chin resting on the matt. Shrug your shoulders a few times before lifting your chin and chest up off the matt.
For this exercise, do not use your hands for help or support. Hold yourself in the upward position for a few seconds.
Breathe out as you slowly return to starting position. Repeat 3 times.
Chest and feet up
Continuing on from the last exercise, you will now also raise your legs up off the mat while raising your chin and chest up at the same time.
Just lift as high as you can without straining too much, and breathing in and out naturally and slowly.
Finish the series by slowly coming up onto your hands and knees. Rest on your feet into “child pose.” Your toes are touching, sit back, arms outstretched in front, head down. Relax the body and calm the mind.