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Here are a few postures you can do at home to help ease back tension and discomfort. It's a quick series that requires no special equipment. I used a blanket at home, and found a quiet spot in the corner of my living room. Some of the poses will of course focus on the spine, and others will focus on the hips and hamstrings. It may not seem obvious, but stretching and opening your hips will often help to alleviate back pain. Also, tight hamstrings are sometimes the cause of lower back pain, so they need some attention too. Not only will these stretches provide relief on a physical level, they will also calm and relax your mind. My favorite pose is at the end of the sequence. I'm the kind of person that saves the best for last!
Benefits: Lengthens the spine and neck.
Begin by kneeling with your knees about hip-width distance apart and your big toes touching together. Fold your torso forward over your thighs. I have my arms extended out in front of me. That is one option. If that doesn't feel comfortable, you may prefer to have your arms by your sides with your palms facing up. Rest here for 5 breaths. If you feel good, feel free to linger in child's pose for as long as you need. Think about evening out your inhales and exhales. Meaning, it should take around the same amount of time to breathe in as it does to breathe out. Using four counts for the inhale and four counts for the exhale is helpful. For example, inhale-inhale-inhale-inhale, and then exhale-exhale-exhale-exhale. Use your time in child's pose to connect to a comfortable breathing rhythm for you and then apply it to the rest of the poses.
Benefits: Stretches the spine and neck.
Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrist are aligned under your shoulders, and your knees with be aligned under your hips. Allow your spine to round out. Your head and neck will gently lower, and your tailbone will draw downward simultaneously.
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