20-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 7 - Episode 6

Joyful Low Back

20 min - Practice


Justin offers a short practice of massage, stretch, and gentle strength to soothe the low back with awareness and compassion. You will feel nurtured and grateful.
What You'll Need: Mat, Strap, Block (2)

About This Video

Nov 20, 2023
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Thank you for joining me today for joyful low back. We're gonna get started on our backs today. So coming on to the back, bring your feet as wide as the mat. Let your knees come together to touch for constructive rest. If it feels okay, place your hands right on your thighs close your eyes.

And let's take a nice big breath and through the nose, and take a big breath out through the mouth. One more time. Inhale and exhale. Take a moment is to establish contact here, the low back, and the mat. With your awareness just beginning to scan the low back, scanning the sacrum.

Noticing any piece to the low back that may be lifted or may feel tight. And just allowing your awareness to begin to relax. All the muscles of the low back feeling the whole spread of the sacrum from the right side to the left side starting to find the earth. Notice your breath. And as you watch every inhale and every exhale, just allow the body to meet that softness of the breath.

Allow the mind to begin to soften with the breath. And we'll take a few more just conscious breaths here. And then as you're ready, just open your eyes. We're gonna bring our feet in about hip bone distance apart. You can keep your hands on your thighs or on your hip creases, but I'd love for us to imagine that we are lying on this three-dimensional clock.

And that in front of us is 12 o'clock behind us is 6 o'clock. And with our hands on our thighs or hip creases, we're gonna start to tip our pelvis forward towards 12 o'clock. So there should be a nice little arch to the low back. And then we're gonna tip it back and tuck the tail towards 6 o'clock. And just go forward and back.

And at first, let it be nice and slow. Nice and easy. Forward and back 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock. And if there's any pain where you're noticing the tightness or the tenderness of the low back just pause and linger. Alright. Give yourself the space to move as slowly here as you need to as we wake up the sacrum. We wake up the low back.

And then as we are working with the clock, we're gonna start to go clockwise in circles. And we wanna try as best we can to keep the knees and keep the thighs as still as we can. It's quite challenging, especially if there's a little bit of pain in the low back or tightness. So really find yourself pressing into your heels, pressing into the big toe mounds as much as you can and notice which numbers on the clock your hips are wanting to skip. Give a little extra time there.

And then we're gonna go counterclockwise. So counterclockwise going against the spin of time. Some of you, this is gonna be a little bit more challenging than going clockwise. Some of you, it's actually gonna be a little bit easier. And then let's go clockwise again.

Counterclockwise. And then forward him back. So 12 o'clock, 6 o'clock, 12 o'clock, 6 o'clock. And then just pause. Let your back do whatever it naturally wants to do and just notice.

Notice where there may be a little bit more space where you might feel a bit of relief in the low back. And then we're gonna grab one block You're gonna lift the hips. So you're gonna place the block on the low setting right under the sacrum. And keep your feet about hip bone just apart and just pause and let the low back be delivered into the block. And many of us will just stay right here with one block.

If you feel that you have the space, let's go ahead and press into our heels, lift our hips, and place a second block at the lowest setting on top of the first block. I like to interlace my hands around the front of the blocks here just so I have really nice contact, and I know that I'm stable. From here, gently bring your knees in to a nice little tabletop. And then we're gonna start to draw little circles. And what we wanna feel is just a very soft massage into the low back and into the sacrum from the edge of the block.

So just giving that sacroiliac joint a nice little massage. You can go all directions clockwise, counterclockwise, perhaps pausing in places that feel tender and need a little love. Couple more circles. And then we're gonna find stillness, and I'm gonna take my right leg around the left leg. Full eagle is not necessary, but just wrap as best you can.

And from here, we're gonna bring our left foot down to the earth. Just find a nice little reset here of the sacrum. So you'll probably feel as if the right side of your sacrum is slightly lifting. And so think that you're moving your right hip back. You're plugging the right side of the sacrum into the blocks just as much as you're plugging the left side of the sacrum.

Take a nice big inhale, big exhale. Now bring the knees in. Let's unwrap the legs, and we're gonna switch. So again, left around the right doesn't need to be full eagle wrap. Because we're gonna take that right foot down to the earth.

And here, we're gonna notice that that left side of the sacrum wants to lift. And so we're just gonna press the left side of the sacrum down as best we can. Send your breath into the belly so that it moves to the low back. Big breath in. Big breath out.

And then bring your knees back in, and let's unwrap the legs. Set your feet down and you can release the interlace of those blocks if you did that. And we're gonna extend both legs long down the mat. Now if this is too much, just bring both of your feet back to the earth. So you might stay right here trying to relax through the feet, trying to release all of the holding that you're gonna notice through the inner thighs and through the outer glutes.

Or perhaps we start to reach the arms up overhead and stretch the whole entire front line of the body. From the big toes back to the fingertips, 5 big breaths here, all the way into the belly, up to the ribs, up to the chest, and out from the chest, from the ribs, from the belly. Few more. Last one, breathe belly, breathe ribs, Breathe the chest, stretch a little bit more, and then exhale release. Carefully bring your arms down by your sides.

Bring your feet back to the earth. Just pause before we move. So if we have two blocks beneath us, I want you to press into your heels, lift your hips, and just slide that one block out. So we're lowering down onto just one block and just pause. And then from here, let's lift our hips.

We're gonna slide that last block out. Oh, yeah. Lower down slowly, and you're gonna feel all of the space in your low back, bring your feet wide knees together and just pause before we start to move. Feel all of that space, all that goodness. And then let's windshield wiper our knees side to side. And as you're ready, we're gonna roll over to our left side and come up onto our hands and our knees in a tabletop position.

So let your hands come under your shoulders. Let your knees stack under your hips. Spread your toes. So all ten toenails are plugging into the mat On an inhale arch the back, drop the belly, send the heart forward, move the shoulders back. And then exhale very, very softly tuck the tail round and coil. And we're gonna go back and forth for a moment.

Nice and slowly. So this is really the same thing that we did in the beginning on our backs. So we're arching, we're opening And then we're tucking the tail and we're rounding. Let's do a few more together. Keep spreading the toes. So notice if you're scrunching your toes, see if you can really relax that scrunch to the toes.

Last one, big inhale, and big exhale. From here, tuck your toes, lift your knees, and your hips up and back. Let's find a downward facing dog. So take a moment to pedal out through your feet. Shake your head. Yes.

Shake your head. No. Find a nice bounce to the knees just to release through the low back. Find stillness and just notice what's going on in that low back. Keep the bend to your knees. We're not trying to jam the heels down.

But I'm wanting to keep that nice wave to the low back so I find all of that space. And then when you're ready, we're gonna slowly walk our feet forward to the top of the mat. One little step at a time. And as you're ready, let's slowly roll it up 1 vertebra at a time. Ready to activate and squeeze the glutes to support the low back.

Roll your shoulders once you get up to the top. And just pause and notice. Keep a soft bend to the knees. And from here, let's reach the arms up high to the sky. I want you to grab your right wrist with your left hand.

We're just gonna take a gentle side bend over to the right. So feeling as if we're putting space from this right lower rib to the right hip point Moving the right hip over to the right and then spinning the left ribs up to the sky. Inhale back to center. And let's switch. So our right hand's gonna get the left wrist. Let's go over to the right.

Hips to the left. Very simple. We're putting that space from the left lower rib into that left hit point. In how back to center reach up, and then exhale. Bend your knees slowly fold forward.

Step back into a downward facing dog. From here, let's roll it forward into a plank. And from our plank, let's lower all the way down to the belly. So keep your hands by your chest. Find the tops of the feet really pressing into the mat.

I want you to actually use your legs here rather than your back. So I'm pressing into the feet, lifting through the chest, slight squeeze of the glutes, forehead comes down. Again, press the feet lift through the chest. Forehead comes down. Come back to downward facing dog, sending your hips up, and sending your hips back.

Take a big breath in. Big breath out. Slowly walk your feet forward again to the top of the mat. Halfway up lengthen the heart 4, exhale fold. Again, halfway up lengthen Exhale fold, press into the feet to rise up, reach up arms, eye, and then exhale hands to the heart.

Inhale, reach up, exhale its full down, step back, downward facing dog. From here again, come forward into your plank. Lower all the way down to the belly. Again, fire up the feet, fire up the legs and the glutes, lift the chest, forehead comes down. Press the feet, lift the chest.

Forehead comes down. Downward facing dog hips up and back. Taking a few breaths here. Remember, keep those knees bent. Keep moving the chest back towards the knees and back towards the thighs. Big breath in, and a big breath out.

Again, walk to the top of the mat last time. Halfway up inhale. Exhale fold, inhale rise, reach up, exhale palms to the heart, inhale reach up, Exhale fold down. Step back. It's downward facing dog. Come forward into your plank.

Last time, all the way down to the belly, press the feet, lift the chest, forehead comes down. Again, we're gonna press the heat. Lift the chest. If it feels okay in your low back, bring your hands forward and as wide as the mat and press up perhaps into a cobra. Two breaths here.

Bring everything down. It's back to the heels child's pose. So knees nice and wide. For a head comes down, reach the arms for it. And then feel the hips moving back towards the heels.

And just take a moment to reconnect with the breath. And from child's pose. Let's come up. We're gonna come back into our backs. We're gonna grab a strap And hug your right knee in towards your chest. Give yourself a nice little squeeze.

And then let's take our strap around the ball of our right foot. So the padding right below the toes, keep your knee bent. Flex through your left foot. This is where we want there to be a lot of activation. So that the left foot's flexing, the left thigh bone is hugging down. On an inhale lengthen and extend the right leg up to the sky.

Exhalerebenthony. Inhale lengthen, exhalebend, Last time we're gonna lengthen and pause flexing through the right foot. That right leg does not need to be completely straight. In fact, should be at least a little subtle bend to the knee and put your breath into the back of the right leg. Big inhale, big exhale.

Now let your left hand get both ends of the strap. Take your right leg very, very gently over to the left. Less is more here. We're not going for gumming all the way down with the leg but I want you to flex the foot and you should feel this yummy opening and that outer right leg line as we open up the it band. I want to try to keep the right side of my sacrum as grounded as I can.

Just a couple more breaths. Inhale the right leg back to center. Now let the right hand get both ends of the strap. We're gonna open the right leg out to the right and again, less is more doesn't have to be huge, but I wanna feel this nice big opening through that right inner thigh. And just a couple of breaths.

And then the right leg's gonna come back through center, bend the right knee, grab the strap, Let the right leg go long. Oh, feel so good. Bring the left knee in. Give it a gentle squeeze. Let's take the strap around the ball of the left foot. Flex the right foot. Right? So the right thigh is plugging down We're well organized.

Their shoulders are relaxed. In how length that it extend, the left leg up to the sky, Exhale, re bend the knee. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, bend. Last time lengthen an extent.

Keep the flex both of your feet flexed. Few breaths to the back of that left leg. And if you feel like you're pushing and jamming that leg into being straight, keep as much of a bend as you need to. And then our right hand is gonna get both ends of the strap. We're gonna take our left leg over to the right.

Lesses more. I want to try to keep the left side of my sacrum down. I'm flexing through this left foot, feeling all the feels through that outer leg line, it band. Couple of breaths. And then left leg comes back through center. Left hand gets both ends of the strap.

Left leg opens up to the left and they get less is more keep this right thigh grounded as best you can. Keep the left foot flexed. Big breath in. Big breath out. Bring your left leg back to center.

Let's go ahead and rebend the left knee. Take the strap off the foot. Set the left foot down. Bringing the right foot to join it. Hug the knees into the chest.

Give yourself that nice gentle squeeze. And then slowly roll over onto your left side, just pausing in a little fetal position. Take your time coming up and finding any comfortable seats. Taking a moment here, checking in with the body, checking in with the mind, and checking in with the heart. Notice how you feel bring your hands to your chest and bow your heading towards your heart, and acknowledge your effort in your practice today.

With gratitude. Thank you so much for sharing your practice with me today.


2 people like this.
That was a Goldilocks class. Just right. Thank you Justin, what a way to bliss out and let the holiday stresses melt away. 
Sharon McGuire
Great class! Thank you!
Kate M
1 person likes this.
Nice slow, meditative pace. Loved it. Thank you, Justin : )
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Justin, for this nice and calming practice! Namaste! 💜
Peggy L
1 person likes this.
Thanks! My back feels better!

Cheryl Wray
Great practice - at a good pace for the low back tightness I am experiencing.  I will be back for more.  I've added this to my favorites. 
Rachel S
Just what the doctor ordered today! Thank you!

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial