If you sit a lot, you don’t need to read the news about how hard sitting is on the body: you likely feel it every day. Many of us slouch while sitting, and the lower back muscles get sore and lose tone over time. I have described yoga poses and exercises that you can do at your desk to keep the muscles along your spine and your spine itself limber (Your Body on Yoga: The Spine; Crescent Moon; Camel Ride; Standing Back Bend).
Here, I present a pose that uses the weight of your upper body to provide a gentle stretch to the muscles in your lower back to relieve tension and help you relax.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and parallel and your hands on your hips.
- Inhale and lengthen your entire spine.
- Bend your knees as you hinge forward at the hips, keeping a flat back so that your sacrum and spine move together.
- Rest your belly to your thighs
Note: This is very important to protect your lower back. Pulling or putting weight on a rounded lower spine can injure it. Resting your belly on your thighs, even if you feel that you don’t need to will keep your back safe.
- Relax and let the weight of your head and upper body gently stretch your lower back. You may want to try letting your arms dangle or holding opposite elbows in each hand, swaying gently at the hips, and/or swaying your head yes-no.