Do you struggle with back pain? Can you barely walk some days? Is your sleep interrupted because of your pain?
Not too long ago, I was answering yes to these questions above. Back injury and pain is no joke, it can simply ruin your day. I have been struggling with lower back pain for years.
Recently it got worse, much worse. Somedays I could barely walk. With a simple tip, I was able to turn my pain around.
One day, my cousin suggested I get this fitness app for easy to follow workouts. I was curious and slightly excited but also weary because of my back pain. I downloaded it and it’s now my favorite app ever! I use it every day!
It’s free! No membership fees! Great for your budget when you can’t afford a gym membership!
You just have to create a profile to help create the perfect workout just for you and your current lifestyle. You can set goals and go from there.
The app is POPSUGAR Active! (You can download it here straight to your phone)
When searching through the app I found a workout called Before-Bed Yoga Sequence.
I tried it out. I needed something new because I was in so much pain every night. I have to tell you I have never slept so well. Like sleeping through the night! That’s incredible with back pain!
Now I use the sequence every night and every morning after my 30 minute walks. It refreshes my body, stretches my back and my legs! I don’t feel tight throughout the day and I am living with less back pain throughout the day.
Through this 10 minute stretching sequence your quality of life will improve too.
If you found something that will give you relief to your back pain through simple stretches every morning and night and it helps you sleep better and move throughout the day. Wouldn’t you try it out? Here it is!
Follow these sequences as a base as you get more flexible and less in pain try adding more moves to this routine for a better workout.
Let’s Get Started!
Start off your morning/bedtime practice by cooling off in Balasana:
- Kneel on your mat (towel or rug works as well) with your knees hips-width distance apart and your bug toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lay your torso over your thighs. Try to lengthen your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
- Rest your arms beside your legs, with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you.
- Stay here for 10 breaths. (Each Stretch should take 30 seconds – 1 minute to feel the full effect)
Learn about a variation of Child’s Pose here.
Standing Forward Bend
Standing Forward Bend will feel like all the stress is pouring out of the top of your head.
- Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat. Inhale and reach your arms straight above you.
- As you exhale, engage your abs and fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes, straightening the legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground fingertips lining up with your toes.
- Hold here for 10 breaths. (If you can’t straighten your legs or touch your toes, don’t worry don’t push yourself when you are not ready or in too much pain. Trust me if you do this every day you will see a quick improve in your strength and flexibility.)
Here’s a deeper explanation of Standing Forward Bend.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend C
Wide-Legged Forward Bend C is another relaxing pose that will loosen up your shoulders and help you destress before bed:
- From Standing Forward Bend, slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebrae until you’re standing at the top of your mat.
- Stand with your feet three to four feet apart, placing your heels slightly wider than your toes.
- Bring your arms behind your back, clasping your fingers and pressing the heels of your plams together in a fist.
- Fold forward, hinging at your hips, drawing the crown of your head andyour hands toward the floor. Relax your toes, and try to shift the weight of your hips forward so they’re in line with your feet.
- Stay here for 10 deep breaths. Then press your feet, engage your quads, and inhale as you stand up.
(To modify instead of pressing your palms behind you, reach straight to the floor as best you can. By taking the deep breaths focus your breath into your pain and you’ll notice the tension loosening up.)
Here are more details on how to do Wide-Legged Forward Bend C.
The introspective Butterfly Pose gives your hips some love:
- From Wide-Legged Forward Bend C, sit on the floor, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book, pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you.
- Stay here for 10 breaths.
Check out the details on how to do Butterfly Pose.
Seated Straddle is an active pose, but it will also prep your body for sleep:
- From Butterfly Pose, allow your legs to straighten out into a straddle position with three to four feet between your heels.
- Make sure your toes and knees are pointing straight up. Sit with your tall spine or slowly fold forward at your hips, pressing your belly button and chest forward to prevent your back from rounding.
- Either support the weight of your torso with your hands on your legs or feet or rest them cut in front of you.
- Hold for 10 breaths.
Read here for a variation that targets one hamstring at a time.
Head to Knee Pose A
Head to Knee Pose A gives your sides an amazing stretch. This is my favorite pose to practice before bed:
- Come up slowly from Seated Straddle, and bring your both your legs straight out in front of you. Shake them out for a moment.
- Bend your right knee, and place the sole of your foot against your inner thigh, pulling your help as close to your body as you can.
- Inhale to sit up tall, and exhale as you fold your torso over your left leg. Rest your hands on the floor on either side of your leg, place them on your shin, or wrap your hands around your left foot.
- Stay her for 10 breaths, sit up, and repeat this pose on the left side.
Check out these tips on how to get more out of Head to Knee Pose A.
Bridge Pose is an ideal inversion to try out before bed:
- From Head to Knee Pose A, lie flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body, with your palms facing down. Bend your knees, placing your heels as close as you can to your bum.
- With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips up. Keeping your palms on the mat or clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Or you can also bend your elbows and rest your hands on your lower back. If your feet are close enough you can also hold your ankles.
- (For modification, while lying on your back bend your knees same as above, slightly roll your hips off the mat and repeat this 10 times. Slowly raise your hips higher and higher as you start to get more flexible and in less pain).
- Stay here for 10 breaths, lifting your hips as high as you can.
If you want more details on how to do Bridge Pose, keep reading.
Legs Up the Wall
Legs Up the Wall will instill a sense of calmness in your whole body, and it will also relieve aches and pains from a sore lower back or tight hamstrings:
- Once you’ve come out of Bridge Pose, sit up and place a folded bolster, blanket or pillow against a wall.
- Sit down as close as you can to the wall, next to the blanket. Lie down on your back, place your feet on the wall with your knees bent, and scoot your body over so that your bottom and lower back are on the blanket.
- Sit with your bottom touching the wall, and then place your feet straight up, resting your heels on the wall. You can keep your arms by your sides, or by your head (this position will stretch your shoulders).
- Close your eye and allow your entire body to relax, feeling gravity pulling you down as the wall and blanket support you.
- Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then roll your body over to one side with your knees bent, and rest your head on the inside of your arm, staying like this in fetal position for a minute or so. Then you can roll up onto your knees and come to stand up.
Learn more about Legs Up the Wall here.
Lying Spinal Twist
Right before taking a rest, increase side-to-side spinal flexibility with this reclined twist:
- Lie on your back, bending the knees into the chest.
- Extend your arms out in cactus position with your elbows at right angles, palms facing up.
- Slowly lower both knees to the left. Rest them on the ground and turn your head to the right.
- Hold here for a least breaths, feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some “cracks.”
- Use your abs to lift your knees back to center. Slowly lower both knees to the right, and look over your left shoulder.
- After five breaths, release, and head into your final pose.
Take rest in Corpse Pose before climbing into bed:
- Lie on your back and close your eyes. In order to relax and open your body fully, extend your arms a few inches away from the body, with the palms facing up. Put about 15 to 20 inches between your heels, allowing your feet to fall open with the toes pointing out. Actively shrug your shoulder blades down toward your hips. Lengthen through the spine as much as possible, relaxing your lower back toward the floor. (If your back is pinching or in pain by straightening your legs, it’s okay at this point to bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor).
- After you’ve found a comfortable position, stay here for as long as you want, around 10 minutes or more, if your schedule allows for it. If you’re short on time, remain in Savasana at least until your heart rate slows down and your breath returns to its natural, soothing rhythm.
Having trouble relaxing? Here are four tips for sinking into Corpse Pose.
These 10 poses and stretches will help your back pain throughout the day and improve your sleep for the night. So by doing these 10 soothing poses your back aches and pains don’t have to ruin your day or night.
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