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Backs in Focus

Backs in Focus

Whether you suffer occasional back pain or are recovering from an injury, yoga is an excellent modality to keep your spine healthy. Spending time giving your back some love will ease pain, relax tight muscles, and help maintain excellent posture. This week we’re featuring some great new classes to do just that. And we’ve also got five of our favorite poses to sneak in any time to keep you feeling strong and supple.

5 of our Favorite Poses for a Healthy Back:

1. Balasana (Child’s Pose): Stretches the back, hips, and shoulders and is the ultimate lower back stretch! From a table-top position, spread your knees wide and bring your big toes to touch. Shift your hips back to your heels, walk your hands out in front of you, and soften your chest and forehead to the mat. Take 5-10 full deep breaths.

2. Bitilasana Marjaryasana (Cat-Cow): Creates suppleness from the crown of your head to your tailbone. From a table-top position, inhale and lift your chest and gaze up while tilting your tailbone upward. Exhale and curl your head and tailbone inward. Find a rhythmic flow with your breath and movement for 5-10 cycles.

3. Adho Mukha Svnasasa (Downward Facing Dog): Stretches the shoulders, back, hips, hamstrings, and calves. From a table-top position, exhale and tuck your toes under, pressing your tailbone toward the sky. Keep your knees slightly bent to start. 

Firm your thighs, pressing your thighbones back, bringing more of your weight into the lower body. Press your heels toward the ground; it is okay if they don't reach it today or ever! Breathe deeply and hold for one minute.

4. Setu Bandhu Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose): Opens the front of the body and stretches and strengthens the entire spine. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width distance apart, and arms relaxed by your sides. Inhale, root down into your feet and lift your hips high. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths. An optional modification is to use a block beneath your hips for support.

5. Suptha Matseyandrasana (Supine Twist): Stretches the back muscles, aligns the spine, and opens the hips. Lie on your back and hug your right knee into your chest and keep your left leg extended on the mat. Gently press the right knee across the body with your left hand and turn your gaze to the right. Keep your shoulders grounded and take 5 deep breaths. Unwind to center and repeat on the second side.   

All 5 poses will create space and strength, while helping your mind quiet. These are excellent everyday basics to keep you feeling aligned and strong. Check out this week’s new practices specifically designed for spinal health––enjoy!

Back in Focus - Shy Sayar

Spinal Mobility Flow - Kristin Gibowicz

Cat Cow Pose - Sarah Shannon

Low Back Love - Erin Wimert

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