Here’s a common problem: low back pain. Ugh.
Major muscles like the erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, and the psoas major come into play here (pictured below).
The good thing is there are yoga poses that can ease your pain and keep these muscles in good health.
But remember: It’s not enough to just stretch out your lower back. You also need to strengthen it in order to prevent injury and strain.
Poses that STRETCH the Lower Back
Stretching your low back keeps it mobile and prevents its tight muscles from pulling on muscles in other parts of your body that the low back is connected to.
Child’s Pose with Knees Together
This pose stretches the erector spinae that run parallel to your spine from the base of your skull to your hips.
Half Lord of the Fishes
This pose stretches the quadratus lumborum and the erector spinae. Instead of simply extending these muscles, this pose lengthens and twists them laterally for greater mobility.
Poses that STRENGTHEN the Lower Back
A huge part of back strength is ab strength. Your abdominal muscles help support your back when contracted.
This pose strengthens your psoas major, erector spinae, and quadratus lumborum by making you contract your abs plus your lower back to keep your upper body lifted with your lower body.
This pose strengthens your psoas major, erector spinae, and quadratus lumborum. Contracting your abs in this pose helps stabilize your back muscles that are doing most of the work here.
Next time you’re in class doing these poses, you’ll know what’s really going on with your body.