Got low back pain?
by Kelli Oberndorf
Do one or both of these yoga stretches to release tension in your low back. When done correctly, these stretches elongate and introduce mobility to the spine.

Cat/Cow Posture:
Step 1: Come to your hands and knees
Step 2: Line up your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Make sure that your ankles are in line with your knees as they lay on the floor.
Step 3: Take a breath and bring the spine into neutral from your neck to your sacrum. You can do this by gently tucking your head toward your chest and bringing the belly button toward your spine.
Step 4: As you inhale, tilt the pelvis so that your back begins to curve and lift your head to the sky. Allow the belly to drop toward the floor and reach the forehead and sacrum to the sky. This is the Cow portion.
Step 5: Exhale and tuck the pelvis, belly and chin into the body, now reaching the spine to the sky. This posture should look like a cat waking up from a nap.
Step 6: Continue to alternate with the breath. Inhale and exhale slowly. Continue 30 seconds to one minute.

Knees to Chest:
Step 1: Lie on your back
Step 2: Bring the knees up to chest and wrap arms around, or just grab each knee.
Step 3: Inhale and bring knees to the chest.
Step 4: Exhale, and try releasing the sacrum and shoulder blades to the ground.
Step 5: Continue inhaling and exhaling, reaching and stretching the spine with your breath.
Step 6: If you feel comfortable with spinal twists, end by releasing the knees to one side and the head and shoulder to the opposite side. Repeat on other side.

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