7 Great Yoga Poses For Your Back

Back feeling a little tight or stiff after a long week? Try out these yoga poses to release that tension as well as strength and mobility in the spine.

1. Exhale and lift between shoulder blades, pull abs back toward spine.
2. Push middle of back up toward sky, tucking tailbone down and under.
3. Press firmly with hands.
4. Release head and neck

*Try combining Cat and Cow together.

1. Keep arms and thighs straight.
2. Inhale and let back move toward the floor.
3. Reach sit bones up.
4 Lift and broaden chest away from the waist.
5. Slide shoulder blades down back.
6. Tilt pelvis forward to arch the spine.
7. Curve spine; avoid over-bending in the low back.
8. Keep pushing into hands, avoiding sagging into shoulders.

1. Drop knees down. Can tuck toes or place tops of feet on floor or blanket can be placed under knees.
2. Place hips over knees (or try releasing hips further back).
3. Reach arms forward, pressing through hands; keep arms active; elbows off floor. Chest can rest on bolster.
4. Heart & forehead (or heart & chin) release toward the floor.
5. Lift sit bones up & away.

1. Begin in prone position, resting forehead or chin on floor.
2. Straighten legs, toes pointed.
3. Fingertips in line with top of shoulders or middle of chest.
4. Draw shoulder blades down back.
5. In Cobra, hug elbows to side ribs.
6. Activate back muscles by lengthening out through top of head and toes.
7. Inhale, Press palms, pubic bone, thighs, tops of feet to floor.
8. Lift and press chest forward through shoulders. The movement is forward and up.
9. Keep chin level.

*Option: keep hands off floor or light with tented fingers.
Or place hands on floor and pull as though sliding floor backward.

1. Lower to onto your heels.
2. Either part your knees (mat width) or together with toes together.
3. Rest forehead onto mat or rest your forearms and allow your hand to hang softly. 

1. Lie on back. Bend knees and bring heels close to sit bones.
2. Separate feet hip-width. Keep knees over ankles and feet parallel.
3. Lengthen neck. Keep head centred evenly, forehead and chin in line with centre of the chest.
4. Flatten shoulder blades on floor.
5. Keep hands flat or clasp ankles (or strap around ankles).
6. When inhaling press evenly into feet and lift hips.
7. Draw shoulder blades together and open chest.
8. Keep chin tucked into throat and head on floor.
9. Relax back of neck.
10. Keep hands flat. Or to clasp, gently roll first one shoulder under, then the other.
11. Exhale and lower to floor

*Hold Time – 5-6 breaths, a minute, or as long as desired

1. Stand on knees, hip width apart.
2. Align hips over knees. Rest tops of feet on floor or tuck toes for lesser intensity.
3. Press shins and top of feet (or toes) into floor.
4. Engage lower body. Firm tailbone forward but also press quads back.
5. Exhale and place hands onto heels.
6. Draw shoulder blades gently in and down without squeezing them.
7. Keep low belly firm to protect low back.
8. Inhale, lift back ribs up and feel sternum opening and lifting toward sky.
9.Exhale and tuck chin to chest or keep head dropped back until shoulders are over hips before bringing head forward.
10. Root lower body down.
11. Inhale, push hip points down toward floor to lift head and torso.

*Hold Time – 5–6 breaths or up to a minute
** Caution with this pose, for less intensity try placing your hands on your lower back.

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