Many of my clients that I see in my private West Hartford yoga studio come to me needing personalized yoga sessions to help them alleviate tension in the low back. Supported pigeon pose is a must for yoga for low back tension sequence.
This supported hip opener is ideal to relieve built-up tension in the hips from sitting for long periods of time. Most of us—especially women—store emotions in the hips. When we stretch this area with a longer hold, we essentially clear out stagnation in this emotional storehouse, releasing what we are ready to be free of.
Yoga for low back tension: more benefits of practicing supported pigeon pose
- Opens the hips and backs of the legs
- It relieves tension in the low back
- It relieves tightness in the piriformis muscle
- It eases sciatic nerve pain
- The energies of the first (root) and second (sacral) chakras are cleared
- Health, vitality, feelings of safety, trust in the world, stability, and prosperity are restored as you open this energy
- Emotional intelligence and healthy boundaries are established
- The ability to experience pleasure and embrace change also become balanced as you let go.
- Starting on hands and knees, place a bolster vertically out in front of you. Have extra blankets and a block nearby if you have tighter hips
- Draw the right knee to the right wrist and pivot the right foot over to the left as you lengthen the left leg straight back. Rest the top of the back foot down on the earth and balance the hips. Place a blanket under the right hip if the hips are not level or you are feeling too much intensity. This pose is a deep hip opener and may be intense, but you do not want to be in pain or unable to relax into the stretch. Be honest with yourself about what feels like too much stretch.
- Take a breath in and lift the waist out of the hips. As you exhale, fold down, resting the torso down on the support and turn the head toward the bent knee. Be sure the bolster is holding the weight of the upper body.
- Adjust bolster support and stack up as many blankets as you need to be completely comfortable and able to let go. You can even place a block under the bolster to elevate it slightly. Rest the forearms and hands on the earth, softening the shoulders as you exhale
- Breathe slowly for 4-7 minutes, depending on desired intensity
- To release: walk the hands back and lift the torso up. Slowly come back onto hands and knees and lengthen the right leg back. Tuck the toes under as you press out through the heel, stretching open the back of the leg (modified downward facing dog) or practice a downward facing dog and walk the dog to shake out the tension in the hips. Hold 6-8 cycles of breath and release back into table pose to move into the other side.