Level 1 Group Class: Protecting the Lower Back

Warrior Pose 1
As we work towards Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1) in this class, the concern is to keep the back and front of the trunk equally wide as we find strength and direction through the sides of the body. As you go through the poses, consider the following directions:
  • Slice the outer edge of the back foot firmly down into the floor and reach through the inner thigh into the back heel to ground and strengthen the back leg. Do not compromise the solidity of the back leg, bringing the feet closer together in the bent leg poses if you need to keep the knee on top of the ankle.
  • Widen the buttock flesh and lengthen it down, away from the head. This is could be thought of as a “tucking” of the tailbone under, however you do not want to go quite into a full tuck, as that can create its own set of problems, not least of which would be losing the strength of the back leg.
  • Strengthen and lift the sides of the waist, moving them back to stabilize and firm the lower back area.
  • Widen evenly across the buttocks, the lower back, the back ribs in the back and the abdomen, the front ribs and the chest in front.
  • Keep the back of the neck and the throat soft and wide.

The Sequence

Reclined Hug
• Lie on the back with the feet on the floor and the knees pointing up.
• Wrap the arms around the chest to clasp the shoulder blades.
• Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, softening and widening the back from the tailbone to to back of the skull.
• Change the crossing of the arms and hold for the same amount of time.

Chest Opener
• Continuing on directly from above, inhale and raise the right arm over head.
• Put the left hand on the very top of the right side of the chest, just under the collarbone.
• As you inhale, reach through the right arm. As you exhale, keep reaching through the arm and press the chest down, expanding the back ribs into the floor.
• Hold this for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on the second side.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Lunge with the back foot up

Lunge with the hands on the floor and the back knee down

Lunge with the hands on the thigh and the back knee down

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Child’s Pose

Supta Urdhva Hastasana (Reclined Upward Hands Pose)
• Belt the wrists at shoulder width so that the arms are parallel.
• Press strongly out into the belt as you lie flat on the back and raise the arms overhead.
• Reach strongly through the legs and the arms, widening the back and front and pressing the sides of the waist down into the floor.

Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hands Pose)
• Wrists belted and back against the wall.
• Reach strongly through the legs and the arms, widening the back and front and pressing the sides of the waist back into the wall.

Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)
• With a block between the thighs and the wrists belted.

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)

Utkatasana (Furious Pose)
• With the wrists belted.

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1) with the hands on the hips

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1) with the wrists belted

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• With the feet on blocks and holding a belt around the ankles.

Reclined Glute Stretch

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose)
• With the feet on blocks and holding a belt around the ankles.

Parshva Parvatasana (Side Mountain Pose)

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)


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