Bent Moment - lumbar pain


Correct lumbar muscle fatigue from time spent low in the garden

One of the easiest areas to feel the day ~ lifting weight incorrectly, wild golf swing, gardening: release the muscles of the lumbar with support.


This pose can be done sitting on a chair or kneeling down (see below for kneeling set up)

  • Fold a towel or firm blanket to create a support

  • Sit on a chair with the heels either directly under, or slightly ahead, of the knees so that the thighs are parallel with the floor

  • Knees are wide enough so the inner upper thighs will support the sides of the torso

  • Bring the blanket right into where the thigh bones meet the pelvis

  • Press the hips down and lengthen the front of the torso as you lay the torso down, supported by the thighs

  • Check in with the lumbar area, the blanket should be thick enough to allow the lumbar area to feel full

  • Release the arms to the outside of the legs and release the back of the neck

Practicing in a kneeling position:

  • Have your towel or blanket support near by

  • Kneel down, big toes touching, knees wide enough to allow inner upper thighs to support the sides of the torso

  • Bring the blanket into where the thigh bones meet the pelvis

  • Press the hips down and lengthen the front of the torso as you lay the torso down, supported by the thighs

  • Fold the forearms one on top of the other and rest the forehead there, add extra height as needed to not over arch the thoracic spine

  • Check in with the lumbar area, the blanket should be thick enough to allow the lumbar area to feel full



Assistance:

The blanket bothers my stomach - create a little hammock in the blanket between the top of the thighs, this allows a little extra space for the abdomen while still providing support. If the abdomen continues to feel uncomfortable: rest forearms on a higher height (ie. table top when in a chair, chair seat if kneeling read more).

I feel like I'm going to fall forward out of the chair - place the heels ahead of the knees, this will feel more stable when balance is an issue.

My lumbar area doesn't feel full/supported by the blanket - fold the blanket a little thicker. It's a little like Goldilocks here: not too much, not too little, just right.

Kneeling bothers my knee - the easiest answer would be to practice in the chair as described. If this is not an option create space in the back of the knee: have another folded blanket in tight behind the knees and along the calves or place a little more height under the buttocks.


How it helps:

Filling in the natural lumbar curve - we are not removing the body's natural curve but slightly reducing it. First off, many people over arch their lumbar curve and this lengthening of the muscles in the opposite direction helps to release those muscles.

Support as a means of release - when a muscle is strained, or tight, it cannot release. By providing support, you are allowing the area to open up gradually, to release into the support rather than to grip in order to hold the area in place.




Creating a healthier body can be overwhelming...

Taking one moment at a time to relieve an ache or pain can make a goal more achievable, and worth your time.


Wishing you great health, Tanya

bentmatyoga.com


Tanya is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher based out of Abbotsford, BC Canada. She has been teaching since 2015, strictly online since March 2020. Tanya volunteers her time as a board member for the BKS Iyengar Yoga Association Vancouver. Her greatest joy is being able to help discover movement.



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