Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by The Align Block. While YBC was compensated for the post, all opinions - as always - are our own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support YBC.
Back pain is something from which many of us suffer - myself included. With our sedentary lifestyles, it's easy to understand why. If you're seated hunched over at your computer all day, it's a recipe for back pain. If you've got a long commute and are seated in your car a good chunk of the day, it's a recipe for back pain.
Luckily, there's yoga. And even luckier? There's The Align Block. Developed by a female chiropractor, Dr. Kate Craig has developed The Align Block to fit the natural curves of our spines. It costs $30 and I love that it's made in the USA! The Align Block can be used a number of ways, but here are the ways I used them for a restorative yoga practice to bring stress relief and back pain relief to aching bodies. Hope you enjoy.
1. Supported Bridge Pose - Begin by laying down on your yoga mat, and position your feet about hip distance apart. Press through your heels to lift your hips and then slide The Align Block underneath your low back so it fits snug and comfortably against it. Release all pressure through your heels so your hips are fully supported by the block. Close your eyes and breathe three to five deep breaths in this position.
2. Supported Supine Cobbler's Pose - This is an effective pose for not only back pain, but for helping to open up the hips. As everything in the body is connected, sometimes back pain can be linked to tight hips. Begin in supported bridge pose (described above), and then heel toe your feet together so that your ankles and knees are touching. From here, begin to gently open your knees up until the bottoms of the feet tough. Let gravity gently draw your inner thighs open. Now, this is a very intense stretch, so if it's too much for you, just place a rolled towel underneath each knee to support it. This pose should feel effortless. Close your eyes once you're comfortable, and breathe three to five deep breaths here.
3. Supported Bridge Variation - This is a bit more relaxing than the regular supported bridge pose because your knees can gently lean against one another and there is literally nothing for you to do. Your body can be effortless here. In order to come into this pose, follow the instructions for supporting bridge pose. Then, take your feet wide. Mine are about mat distance apart, but do what works for you. Then, draw your knees in towards one another and let them lean against each other so your body can be fully relaxed.
4. Supported Bridge Pose - This looks very similar to the first supported bridge in this sequence, but it's different. Come into the pose the same was you normally would, except this time, place the block directly underneath your sacrum (where your spine meets your bum). As you lower down, be sure your hips are fully supported by the block. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for three to five breaths.
5. Supported Bridge Pose Variation - Again, this posture looks quite similar to the pose in picture three, but it's slightly different, in that the block is placed underneath your sacrum. Once it's there, gently widen the stance of your feet, and let your knees draw in toward one another. Close your eyes, and breathe fully for three to five deep breaths.
6. Supported Bridge Pose with Windshield Wiper Legs - For this pose, you'll come into the supported bridge pose described in pose four above. From there, you can gently move your knees side to side. This windshield wiper motion helps to relieve tension in the lower back. Go side to side three to five times before releasing.
Let's talk: How do you manage your back pain?
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