By Jessica Migala; Photographs by Freepik
It’s referred to as “black magic” by devotees.
If there’s one thing that can make you uncomfortable all day, it’s dealing with lower-back tension. And try as you might, between at-home remedies and stretches, sometimes it just keeps lingering. This lower-back routine from yoga instructor Rebecca Pacheco may just be nine minutes long, but it delivers major relief. In fact, Pacheco’s students even refer to the simple moves as “back magic” for their healing powers. You don’t need to head to a class at a yoga studio for this one, all you need is a small space in your home. Here, the three moves that address a tight, achy lower back.
At the top of your mat, stand relaxed with feet hip-width apart. Inhale, reach overhead. Exhale, bend your knees and slowly bow down. Inhale, rising to a flat-back position. Place your hands on the floor, and step back to downward facing dog. Take a breath or two.
Step your right foot forward between your hands, drop back knee down, curl back toes down. Lean hips forward. Grab a block and set it beneath your left hand. Pivot your left femur (thigh bone) toward your back heel (to the right). Hold. Slowly come back to centre. Now, pivot your left femur toward your block to face the other direction (your left). Release.
Go back into your downward-facing dog. Raise your left leg into the air. Swing through to a low lunge on the other side. Repeat the low lunge sequence on this leg. When finished, end in downward-facing dog.
Standing Forward Bend
In downward-facing dog, take right leg in the air, keeping head down. Swing leg through and place foot between your hands. Step up, bringing your left foot to meet your right. Feet hip-width distance apart, hang down with your head toward the floor. Nod your head ‘yes’ and shake your head ‘no’. Fan your feet, relax toes. Slowly roll upright. Lift shoulders to ears, take a big breath. Inhale and exhale twice more.
Ahhh. Sweet relief. Now, check your standing. You should feel more balanced with your weight back into your heels, spine aligned. Your back should feel more spacious and have more mobility. All that to say, you should feel good.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com