The Happy Back Show Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 6

Gentle Back Strength

15 min - Practice
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Arturo, with the help of Tina, guides us in a therapeutic practice to strengthen the back. We start on the floor with pelvic tilts and easy movements, before exploring subtle actions in the chair. This practice is designed to promote strength and stability in the lower back.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Blanket

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Hi and welcome. My friend Tina is here to help with this practice. We're going to be doing some things to strengthen the back. Later in the practice, you'll need to have access to a chair for the very last part of the practice. Let's start off with you laying on your back.

Then you get a comfortable head support, comfortable head pillow, and laying with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor. That's great. While laying on your back, we're gonna start to work with your breath and sync the movement along with your breath. So as you start your next inhale, I'd like you to engage the back muscles, tilting the tailbone towards the earth, arching the low back up away from the floor. And as you exhale, engage the abs to help tilt the tailbone a little bit up towards the ceiling.

Your low back will move in towards the floor. As you inhale, tipping the tailbone down, back muscles engaged, arching the low back up. As you exhale, engaging the abs to tilt the tailbone a little bit towards the ceiling. Good. And continue following the rhythm of your breath, as you inhale, arching.

And with the exhale, resist the temptation to press with your feet. Just use your abs to help tilt the tailbone up. You won't go as far, but you'll use your abs much more. On the inhale, slowly arching taking the full length of the breath, go as far as you go. Full length of the exhale to engage the abs, tilting your tailbone slightly up towards the ceiling, low back moving in towards the floor.

Good. One more. Inhale, arching, fill up with breath. And as you exhale, just relax into the floor. Just relax without any tilting. And take a few breaths here.

Good. The next pose, take the arms slightly out to the sides. We're gonna do the same thing with the inhale, arching, exhale, engaging the abs, but we're gonna add rocking the legs slightly side to side. So as you start your next inhale, and start to arch the back, take both knees a little bit over to the right as you inhale and arch. Then as you exhale, engage the abs to bring your knees back towards the center.

Then as you inhale, slightly arching the low back as the knees come slightly to one side. And as you exhale, engage the abs and bring the knees slowly back towards center. You can do this movement very small or very large. Inhale, arching, at the same time, the knees go slightly to the side. On the exhale, engaging the abs to help bring you back to center. That's right.

Inhale, tipping the tailbone down, arching, slight rock to the side. On the exhale, engaging the abs, slightly drawing the tailbone towards the ceiling, low back moves into the floor, knees come to the center. Inhale, arching, knees going towards the side. Exhale, back to the center. The abs Inhale, knees to the other side.

And exhale, coming back to the center. And then just inhale at center, and exhale at center, and rest. For the next pose, slowly roll onto your right side. And you might want to fold the head pillow up, so it's a little thicker while you're resting on your side. So your neck is in line with the rest of your spine.

I'm going to go ahead and do that for you. There. And keep the right knee where it is, and slide the left leg behind a little bit, bringing the left knee in line with your torso. Go ahead and slide this leg back, keep the knee bent, and that foot can rest on the floor. From here, you're gonna lift the left knee towards the ceiling, about two or three inches and hold it.

Just...that's right, stay right on your side. Inhale, exhale, slowly lower the left knee down. And relax completely. And lifting the left knee again, just a few inches, staying right on your side, that's right. You want to feel that outer hip working.

You may also feel into the low back muscles contracting slightly but really focusing on the outer hip. Inhale, exhale, releasing slowly, letting the leg relax. And one more time. Lifting the left knee towards the ceiling, just an inch or two or three, Hold. Breathe. Inhale, exhale, relax the leg down and completely relax.

And slowly slide the left knee on top of the right knee. Take pause here and then you can slowly roll onto your back. You can bring the head pillow with you as you come onto your back, and then slowly roll onto your other side, rolling on to your left side, knees up towards the chest. And from here, we're gonna slide this top leg. The right knee is gonna go back to the space behind her, bringing the thigh bone basically in line with the rest of the spine, roughly.

And lifting the right knee an inch or two, feeling the outer hip engaged, hold, maybe the low back. Inhale As you exhale, slowly completely release. Then again lifting the right knee towards the ceiling, couple of inches, hold. Breathe. Inhale As you exhale, slowly release the right knee back down towards the mat.

And again, lifting that right knee straight up towards the ceiling, an inch or two, hold. Breathing. Inhale As you exhale, slowly releasing the leg all the way down. And then you can slide this right knee forward to stack on top of the left knee and take a pause on your side. From here, we're gonna slowly come up to sitting so you can roll a little forward, press your top hand down, let your head hang heavy, roll your way slowly up.

Alright. And for this next part, we'll need a chair. Now that you have your chair, let's bring your chair onto your mat. Can you slide a little to the side there? And let's bring that back.

And would you come up and sit on the chair, facing that way. For the movements in the chair, I'm gonna have you shifting your weight a little bit side to side, with the movement of your breath. So inhaling, your hips are right at the center. As you exhale, shift your weight onto your right hip a little bit, and lift your left booty just a tiny bit off the chair. And inhale, back to center.

As you exhale, shift your weight over to the left hip, lifting the right booty just a tiny bit. Good. When you inhale, come back to center. As you exhale, shifting the weight over to the right hip, lifting the left booty a tiny bit. Good.

Inhaling, back to center. Exhaling, to the left hip. And continuing a few times, with the movement of the breath. Each inhale, bringing you back to center. Each exhale, shifting your weight a little towards one hip or the other.

This movement, I call this movement, "the grandpa farting asana," because it's kinda that movement. You lift one butt cheek, come back to center. Lift your other butt cheek, back to center. Strengthening the sides of the low back, the quadratus lumborum, lifting the hip. And as we're lifting one hip, as she shifts her hip to the right, her left side is working, but her right side is getting lengthened.

Feel the lengthening on your side that is getting length, that is not contracting. One more time on each side. Good. And the next time you inhale and bring your sitz bones back to center. Exhale and center, and rest there.

I hope this practice brings a little more strength and stability into your low back. Namaste.


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