Stretch away hip & back pain
Butterfly: Here's a pose that stretches both hips and the lower back simultaneously. Sit on the floor, bending both knees and bringing the feet together. Use your hands to open your feet up like a book. Lengthen the spine, drawing the belly in. Relax your shoulders and slowly begin to fold forward, drawing the torso toward your legs. Keep your hands on your feet, pressing your elbows against the inner knees, or extend your arms in front of you to encourage the spine to lengthen. Hold for five breaths.
Double Pigeon: More intense than regular Pigeon Pose, Double Pigeon is one of the most effective hip openers. From Butterfly, bring your right shin on top of your left so both shins are parallel and your right knee is over your left ankle. You'll know you're doing it right when you gaze down, and see that your legs make a little triangle. It's OK if your top knee is pointing up toward the ceiling — it just means your hips are tight, so just stay where you are and breathe deeply for five breaths.
Seated T: This pose may look relaxing, but it's even more intense than the Double Pigeon. From Double Pigeon use your hands to help wiggle your feet away from each other, keeping your shins in one straight line, and making a T-shape with your legs. Flex your feet, lean forward, and press your palms into the inside of your ankles. Hold here for five breaths, releasing any tightness in the hips with each exhale.
Extended Twist: Tight hamstrings can contribute to lower back pain. Extended Twist will open the backs of the legs as well as offer a relaxing spinal twist. From Seated T, draw your left foot in toward your right hip. Bring your left hand to the outside edge of your right foot and straighten the leg. Press your right palm into the floor behind your pelvis and twist to the right. Sit up as tall as you can pressing your left hand against your right leg to increase the twist. Stay like this for five breaths.
Seated Twist: This pose offers an even deeper spinal twist. From Extended Twist maintain the twist to the right as you bend your right knee and place your right foot to the left of your left knee. Bend your left elbow and press it firmly against your outer right thigh, increasing the twist even further. Enjoy this pose for five breaths. Then repeat this sequence with the left leg.
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A tight lower back and tight hips tend to go hand in hand.
If you suffer from these common health ailments, here's a relaxing yoga sequence that can help prevent pain in these areas.
Doing these five poses every day will open and release tension, to help you say adios to hip and back pain.
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