I hope this finds you doing well on this fine Wednesday. I am excited to share this new sequence with you that will help restore some good feels in the low back region of the spine (along with lots of other nice releases in surrounding areas!). Hope you enjoy!
Before we dive in – here are a couple of announcements…
Begin your practice reclined on your back. Any shape that feels nice here. You can even elevate your back to a prop if you’d like to start in a heart opener. Take this time to breathe and relax in this neutral shape. Create some physical, mental and emotional space for your practice with each breath you take in.
After you’ve taken time to settle in and shift into a place of stillness, begin to transition the body into your first pose. Take the heels over to the top left corner of the mat. You can cross the right ankle over the left if you’d like to add a bit more to this. Stay, or also shimmy the shoulders over to the left to complete the banana shape in the body.
From banana, come back to center to prepare for the next pose. Stamp the feet down in front of the hips and place the right ankle across the left thigh in a figure four position. Take a moment here and when you’re ready, gently scoot the hips to the left as you drop the knees over to the right. You can place props under the legs for support. If this is too much for your joints, you can undo the bind by releasing the right foot from the other leg and just rest the legs to the right.
Bring the legs back to center and hug the right knee to the chest. Kick your legs forward and gently come up to seated. Drop the right knee out to the side like half butterfly and then position the left knee near the heel of the right foot for deer pose. Fold toward the knee or shin when you’re ready to release forward. The left hip will most likely lift here – and that’s okay! Hang heavy into your pose and breathe.
Rise up from your fold and take a few moments twisting toward the space behind you. Experiment with dropping the head and stretching out the neck here if you’d like.
Slide the left leg on top of the right from deer pose and gently lie back and open out into a supine twist. You can change up the legs and support yourself as desired here.
(repeat bananasana through supine twist on the other side)
Take your time to come up to a standing position. Bring your feet as wide as you’d like for a standing forward fold. When you’re ready, fold forward and allow the back to round and knees to bend as much as needed. Let the head hang heavy here and breathe into the spaces you feel this most! You can alternatively do this at a wall with your back supported by the wall.
SLOWLY return to standing from your forward bend and take a few moments to get your balance and stability back. When ready, Widen your stance and turn the toes out and heels in for your squat pose. Drop your hips down to a prop or to hover if comfortable. Sit up tall here and breathe into the length of the spine, while also feeling a strong sense of grounding as the hips sink toward the floor. Do this with your back to a wall for added support if you’d like.
Exit your squat and come into a table position. Begin to widen your feet so you can sit back in between the heels to a prop or the floor. Stay upright or begin to lower yourself back and toward the floor. Take your time with this! Pay attention to sensation and back off if it becomes too much – especially in the knees and ankles. I like to lengthen my low back by picking up my hips and scooting them forward a bit.
Slowly come back up and out of the pose. Stay in table pose to stretch out or take a few loving breaths in your down dog.
Come onto your back and bend at your knees as if you’re preparing to enter bridge pose. Slowly begin to circle out the hips and massage all around the sacrum in any way that feels nice! Watch video below for more direction.
When ready, find a final position that supports you in the best way possible. Take as much time resting in this final pose as you’re able to fully settle into the new space created through your being.