The Happy Back Show Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 8

Release Low Back Tension

15 min - Practice


Sometimes tension held in the internal organs can be the cause of back pain. In this practice Kira invites us to lie down and become more intimate with our insides. She guides us through a pattern offering gentle pressure into our bellies to communicate support and encourage spaciousness. We advise you approach this practice with a relatively empty stomach!
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket

About This Video


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(waves crashing) So, sometimes pain in the low back is simply due to tension held in the internal organs. So, this next sequence is designed to help us move into a more intimate relationship with our internal organs, which is not a place we spend a lot of time, unless there's something wrong. We'll start out on our back, we'll start with a simple pressing exercise, and then we'll eventually roll onto our bellies, and place a blanket in our low belly to create some pressure. So, you will need some kind of yoga like blanket. OK.

Rolling onto your back, you might bend the knees. You might bring it down to one elbow. Bring it down to the other. Curl your sit bones under. Scooch your elbows forward, and then hold onto your buttocks to help you slowly roll on back down.

Bring your second and third finger together. Your peace fingers. Place them right on the navel, and give enough pressure that you feel yourself, but you're not trying to hurt yourself, but, you know, press down. Inhale, let the breath help rise your awareness to meet the fingers. And as you exhale, let the fingers sink in.

And as you inhale, let your belly and breath rise to meet the fingers. And as you exhale, let the fingers sink in. Beautiful. Now, slide the fingers to the right. It's kind of about two and a half to three inches.

The fingers to the right about two and a half, three inches, press down. OK, this is sort of your, this is your sending colon, inhale, let the breath and the awareness rise to meet the fingers. And as you exhale, let the hand sink in. As you inhale, let the breath rise to meet the fingers. And as you exhale, sink in.

Beautiful. Now, slide the hand just a little bit out to the right of you, like, so just slide the hand at a slight diagonal and up. OK, press down, inhale, let the awareness rise to meet up toward the fingers. Exhale, release. Inhale, rise your awareness.

Exhale, release. Beautiful, now slide the hand back in slightly, about an inch, and then up towards that bottom rib, and then tuck under a little bit, so you're aiming towards your liver. Inhale, let the breath meet the fingers. Exhale, receive the pressure of your hand. Again, if you're forcing your hand in, you're missing the point.

It's more of a dance. Inhale, let the awareness rise. Exhale, sink. Beautiful. Now, relax that intensity.

Slide the hand to the midline, just underneath that breast bone, put the hand just underneath the breast bone, make sure you're not pressing on that zyphoid process, that little spot. Press. Inhale, let the awareness rise. Exhale, sink in. Inhale, let the awareness rise.

Exhale, sink in. Beautiful. Now slide the hand over to the left. Tuck the hand underneath the left ribs a little bit. We're aiming towards the region of the spleen.

These are approximate. With the hand reaching toward the region of the spleen, inhale, let the breath rise. Exhale, let it sink in. Inhale, let the breath rise. Exhale, let it sink in.

Nice, now slide the hand about midway down the torso, and then slightly over to the left. And then, when you, I'm gonna switch hands, actually. I'm gonna change it to my left hand, second and third finger, because now I'm reaching further than I'd like to. And I'm gonna press my fingers sort of in and down. Inhale, let the breath rise.

Exhale, sink in. Inhale, let the breath rise. And exhale, sink in. Beautiful, now I'm gonna slide my hand about an inch in towards the midline, and then down until it's about in line with my belly button, and if you're not sure, find your belly button and go back across. So, now I'm aiming towards the descending colon, again, these are approximate situations.

Press down, inhale, rise your awareness to meet the pressure of your hand, and as you exhale, let your hand sink in. Inhale, rise to meet the pressure of your hand. And exhale, sink in. Beautiful. Now, I'm gonna switch back to my right hand.

I'm gonna bring my second and third finger on the belly button again, and then slide about two and a half inches down. So, I'm just above the pubic synthesis, what most people call the pubic bone. I'm gonna dig in a little bit underneath there, inhale, let the awareness rise. Exhale, sink in. Inhale, let the awareness rise.

And exhale, sink in. Now, super nice, use your right hand and just let your right hand start to make a few clockwise circles on your belly. Mm, this is generally the direction you want to rub your belly, particularly in assistance of digestion. OK, beautiful, now release. Arms relaxed, big deliberate inhale, exhale.

Let it happen. Now, it's your job to assess. So, feel the inhale. Allow the pelvis to roll a little forward. Feel the exhale to allow the low back to relax.

Feel the inhale to allow the pelvis to roll a little forward, slightest arch. Feel the exhale, allow the lower back to relax. OK. Nice. Beautiful, now to find our way upright, let one knee and then the other come in towards your chest.

Reach your left arm over the top of the head and roll onto your left side. Use your right hand to press yourself back up. OK. So, now we're going to create a little bit more pressure in the guts. Again, in the interest of finding out if, essentially, sticky guts is causing the mischief.

So, find your yoga blanket. Now, the difficulty here is I demonstrate how you might be folding this, is that the blanket you have at home, is most likely different than the one I have here in the yoga studio, and so it might not be an exact match. OK. I'm gonna suggest that we're gonna fold this blanket in thirds. I'm gonna do that by folding one side in about a third.

So, be attentive that your fold is tidy, OK? Once you've folded the top, then you want to fold the underside under. OK, making sure that you have a even situation. And then we want to roll this up. What we're doing is, we're creating a little bolster to put into the low back.

Most normal human beings only need about one and a half rolls. Like, this is a lot. OK, so most of you, you just get tight enough so that it will stay. OK, about this much or so. And now we need to get that into our lower belly.

So, you're going to widen you knees a little bit. You're going to slide the blanket back. And you're finding out that like, how to get into that lower pooch area. Like underneath the navel. And it's not awesome.

Just, you know, we're in this together. You let a little bit of a (breathes out) happen. OK. And then, you know, you can see, I've stayed somewhat lifted, I'm up on my elbows a little bit, I'm allowing the blanket to have me. I'm kind of wobbling and generally, it's nice if the blanket is between those two front, what often gets called the hip bones.

So, if you need to adjust the width of your fold, do so. Because eventually we want to be able to lie down on the blanket, you want to be able to like soften. I'm going to support my chin and my hands. And you let a bit of a sit bones get heavy. We'll be here for a handful of moments before we find each side.

And it's not unusual for it to feel maybe sometimes a little hot, feel a little pokey, pretty specific. If you ate a giant burrito before doing this practice, right about now, you're really bummed. I'll try to remember to write that in the notes. OK. Now, to find each side, what you're going to do is slowly just transfer a little bit of your weight to the right side, so you can let your left knee lift.

I like to have my left ankle in line with my left knee. And then that allows me to rest down on my right side. And as I rest down on my right side, I can actually get a little bit more depth, because it's not quite as intense on the left. I'm resting on my chin. You might be on your forehead.

Let your inhale meet the pressure of the blanket. So, the temptation when something is difficult, is to like escape the situation. Like, let that inhale open into the low belly and meet the pressure of the blanket. And as you exhale, be received by the blanket. A few more like that.

Really nice, you're doing great, one more. Nice, beautiful, now slow, slide that left leg back behind you. And then you're going to transfer the weight onto the left a little bit. Slide the right knee up 'til it's about in line with your hip, right ankle in line with the right knee. And so now I'm letting my weight be on the left side a little bit more, it reduces some of the intensity and lets you get deeper, so it's a bonus.

You breathe into that space, like allow the inhale to really expand the belly, like meet the resistance of the blanket bolster. And as you exhale, let yourself receive. So, it's the reverse of what we were doing on our back, we were using our hands on our back. Now we're using our friendly prop. Mm hmm, about three more deep, willing breaths.

Remember our primary instructions, move tenderly, gently, and bravely. OK, into what's calling for our attention. Nice. Probably most of you about one more breath. OK, super nice, now slow, slide this right leg back.

And now we're gonna rest on this bolster for a handful more moments. Meet the bolster with the inhale. Receive the bolster on the exhale. Remember, you can let that inhale move down your spine, let the exhale soften you, like feel your body breathe. Feel yourself being breathe.

Yeah, last few beats. If you start to find this practice effective, you'll be surprised at how much more willing you are to be here. (laughs) For the results. OK, super nice. To get out of here, we're going to make our way to child's pose.

We're gonna bring your hands underneath your shoulders. You're gonna tuck the toes under. You're gonna draw the sit bones under a little bit as you reach the hips back. Wobble the knees slightly, and roll on back, child's pose, maybe letting the roll of the blanket support your head. And like widen your knees enough so you can really feel the space in your belly.

Nice. OK, beautiful, now we're going to come all the way up to standing because that will really help us know how that went. So, slow, chin into the chest, roll on up. I'm just gonna continue to roll my blanket and place it to the side. Tuck the toes under, use your hands for support.

Lift up through the hips, walk your feet back towards the hands. Soften the knees, round over. And then slow, bend the knees, hands on the legs for support, let yourself roll on up, feel the belly. And feel the heart. And feel the throat.

And feel the face. And then allow yourself to stand to assess. So, spread the toes. Widen the feet a little bit. Big, deliberate inhale.

Letting that pelvis roll a little bit forward, exhale, dropping the sit bones down. Do that again, inhale. Exhale. Soften the knees. Beautiful.

Soften the belly, like soften the grip of the guts. Yeah. Beautiful. OK. You'll know if it helped.

You'll find out a little bit later, some of the extra bonus benefits of that. Love.


Tom S
thanks for this practice Kira. It seems to me that after doing this a couple of times over the past few days I have more range of motion in twists, and can hold my sacrum in a more neutral position (my pelvis has a tendency to have an anterior tilt).
Kira Sloane
Tom, this is such great news! You are the main ingredient in success. xok
Gayathri S
Thank you Kira- the practice really brought about profound awareness of all the ligaments and tendons and musculature holding in our organs and how the abdomen really can put pressure on the lower back if your core is not strong. Loved it. blessings! Gayathri
Kira Sloane
Dearest Gayathri, happy the practice was useful! xok
Francie W
1 person likes this.
A great practice for my morning today! Thank you!
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
This is very nice and gentle...I was able to release my fear of movement.  Thanks for your guidance!
Laura M
1 person likes this.
You are pure gold!! Thank you!!!
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Laura M, sweet to be meeting you. xok
Kerry N-W
1 person likes this.
WOW! For mysterious reasons my lower back has seized up and I was noticing that my pelvis and abdomen felt achy and weird. I assumed it was nerve connections, but is it possible I was holding my guts so hard I actually hurt my lower back? There was something really stressful that happened now that I think about it. I'm going to practice this several times today and see what happens. Thank you as always. I am here and learning with you all the time. xo
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