It’s a Matter of Balance

By Laura Gordon

If you suffer from what you think is lower back pain, it may not be your back that is the problem, and if you are like a lot of people, you will plod on waiting for it to go away because you are a healthy person, right? Meanwhile if you move in just the wrong direction – maybe even move at all, Ouch!, it really talks to you.

So if it’s not your lower back that’s out, what it is? Consider the pelvic region as the foundation of your skeletal body. If it is out of alignment, your body will start sending pain signals up the back to the shoulders as well as down into the lower body.

What can you do to be proactive in resolving the matter and returning to a state of physical balance? In a word, stretch. Below are yoga poses and exercises that will give your body gentle stretches to strengthen and help realign pelvic region. Remember as you go into them and out of them slowly and consciously without pushing yourself, you will also want to pay attention to your breathing. Take deep, full breaths expanding the abdominal region and slowly releasing it as you sink into the position.

The idea is to seek steady improvement over time with increased flexibility. How much time is determined by your body’s response and your deliberate attention to posture and movement. Don’t forget to do some warm ups before going into these exercises.

Warrior Pose
To begin start with a wide stance and feet parallel. Turn your right foot out, and your left foot in, bend your right knee 90 degrees centered over your right foot, lift your arms parallel with the floor, Keeping your back straight turn your head in the direction of the bent knee and look over the top of your right hand, relax your shoulders and lengthen your spine. Hold for 5 breaths, then slowly ease out of the position and repeat on the left side.

Lunge
Again, with your legs in a wide stance step your right foot out, bend your knee at a 90 degree angle, lean into your right leg and bring your left knee to the floor. Use your hands for balance and keep our hips parallel. Hold for 5 breaths slowly ease out of the position and repeat on the left side.

Pigeon Pose
From a seated position, bring your right foot in front of your left hip and your right shin parallel with your hips. Stretch you left thigh back as you draw your left hip forward and fold over your right leg. Stay for 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.

The Bridge
With your arms at your sides lie on your back and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle leaving your feet flat on the floor. Inhale and lift your hips as high as you can. When you exhale, slowly roll your back down to the ground, curling your spine down one vertebrae at a time. Repeat this movement 10 times. Increase that number over time.

Reclining Butterfly
Lying on your back on bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with your feet on the floor. Let your knees to open up and rotate outward as you touch the soles of your feet together. Relax your legs and allow them to fall open as far as they will naturally. Let gravity slowly pull your knees downward toward the floor. Breathe deeply and hold the position for as long as you comfortably can, working your way up to four to five minutes.

Let’s get up a try them.

Challenge:

Try two of these stretches to start your day.  The can make an amazing change over time.  Let us know your thoughts as you try the stretches.

These poses and more can be found on Yoga Journal at
http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2753
The Bridge and Reclining Butterfly was taken from eHow at
http://www.ehow.com/list_6885963_pelvic-realignment-exercises.html

15 thoughts on “It’s a Matter of Balance”

  1. Pigeon pose is by far my favorite lower back yoga position. I will definitely try Reclining Butterfly. Thank you for posting these yoga positions. Yoga stretches have really helped me with my back issues, and I love that you have them broken into steps that I can show my clients.

  2. These are very helpful to me. When I was in school in 09 after my accident in 1988 I thought I would never ever touch my toes again. And I got there! But one question….If you are fused together as I am, it seems very hard to cross one leg over the other without suffering the next day. Any suggestions?

  3. A few moths ago i was having what i thought was lower back pain i really hurt like i didn’t even want to move but when i went to the doctors he said it was just pelvic area getting bigger and that it was normal for me being pregnet and all and then he gave me some streachs to do it still hurts sometimes but the streaching and doing yoga really helps

  4. Pigeon Pose and Reclining Butterfly are my two favorite or these poses. I d not have a lot of lower back back, but once in a while I will get back pain in my hips and these two stretches have helped my pain a lot. Thank you!

  5. Thank you all for your great responses. Vicki, as for your request for suggestions, avoid doing poses that cause you pain the next day and focus on all those that do not require you to cross over your legs. There are many great poses that open the pelvic region you could incorporate. I suggest you go to http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2753 and look for ones you know you can do that will challenge you but not cause you discomfort and pain the next day.

  6. Thank you Laura for these! I love hip stretches, they feel so amazing for my back! I know my hip are not aligned so hopefully a few of these a day will help out

  7. Wow!!! great stretches to do when your are sore all over or when you just need a really good stretch. my favorites are the pigeon pose and the lunge seem to work the best for me.

  8. I love the lundge pose because my legs are always tight from running up, and down stairs. The warrior isn’t bad because i just feel like i look awesome doing it!

  9. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the reclining butterfly stretch! I suffer from hip and lower back pain and this article is helpful. I like top do the bridge and reclining butterfly every morning and night. A few of these are brand new to me and I will have to try them out. Thanks!

  10. I love the Pigeon Pose because it seems to stretch my hips while also popping and aligning my back a little better. My all time favorite yoga pose is downward dog since I get the worst should and back tension. It also helps when I feel my anxiety getting bad. Thanks for this post!