On average, office workers spend about five years of their lives, cumulatively, sitting at a desk. To put it plainly, that’s really bad for your body, especially your lower back. The lower back isn’t meant to hold as much tension as it often does, and over time — thanks to good ol’ gravity — all that tension from sitting and not stretching can turn into stiffness or soreness. I know, I know, health experts say everything and anything is bad for you, and you do not want to give up watching four (or more?) consecutive episodes of House Of Cards to stretch out your lower back. I mean, it’s House Of Cards. You have to focus.
Well, thanks to yoga, one of the ultimate passive fitness trends, you can relieve lower back pain while lying down and without exerting more effort than what it takes to breathe deeply. Here are five “lazy” yoga poses to help relieve lower back pain while you binge watch House Of Cards or Orange Is The New Black.
1. Two-Knee Twist
Lie on your back with your knees up. Raise your shins so that they are parallel to the floor. Keep both shoulders firmly planted on the floor, and allow your knees to fall to one side. Allow your head to fall in the opposite direction of your knees. For maximum laziness, turn your head in the direction of your chosen TV show, movie, etc., and allow your knees to fall in the opposite direction. After about two minutes, switch sides and repeat in the opposite direction.
2. Tented Knees
This is less of an official yoga position, and more of something that yogis just do to relieve tension in the lower back. The above photo shows your starting position. It works best if you lie on the floor or a hard, supportive surface. Tent your knees and keep your feet flat on the ground, like in the photo. Then, slowly walk your feet out and let your knees fall in toward each other. You should feel your hips turn in toward each other and your lower back release onto the ground. If you feel any spasms or pain in your lower back, just breathe through it with deep breaths until the tension fades away. If you feel extreme pain, walk your feet back in slightly or come out of the pose.
3. Happy Baby
Yes, there’s actually a yoga position with this name, and it is why yoga is the greatest form of exercise ever. Lie on your back and raise your feet into the air. Separate your legs, bend your knees, and bring your knees toward your armpits, Reach for the back of your thighs or for the outsides of your feet. Rock back and forth and from side to side, and feel 10 to 20 years younger. Feel free to giggle and make ridiculous noises, but not if you’re watching a particularly serious episode of House Of Cards.
4. Legs Up On A Wall
Lie on your back so that you’re close to a wall. Scoot yourself close enough to the wall that your buttocks is touching it and you have to lift your legs. Lift your legs straight up and rest them against the wall. This pose will also help your lower back muscles relax, so you might feel some initial tingles or spasms. This pose will also help release fluids that have been sitting in the feet and ankles, making it a great pose to do after long flights.
5. Cat And Cow Pose
This pose is great for stretching and contracting the lower back muscles. Stand on all fours and make sure your spine is flat. Keep your gaze down at the ground so that your spine is straight from your tailbone to the top of your head. As you breathe in, slowly push your chest forward, rotate your gaze up, and press your spine up to arch your back.
Then, as you breathe out, slowly curl your spine in the opposite direction, suck your stomach in and curl your chin into your chest (I’m sorry, I guess you will have to look away from your show momentarily), making a U-shape with your spine from your tailbone to the top of your head. Slowly move through the two positions, using slow breaths to guide the movement. Namaste.