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Back Release for the Couch

Couch Time: Back Release

I'm big into running, but since I started, I've found that my lower back muscles have tightened and lost some of the flexibility they used to have. So I've been trying to do more back stretches. They not only feel amazing and prevent back pain, but when you open your heart and the front of your body, backbends also make you feel happy and energized.

Sitting, driving, running, and twisting can all lead to a tight back and chest. In Inyengar Yoga, we use various props to support different poses that open, stretch, and release the spine, chest, and torso in general. Why not turn an everyday object in your home into the ultimate yoga prop? Yep, that couch can be used for more than just lounging about! You can try this relaxing yet invigorating back release on your sofa.

How do you get into it?

  • Sit on a couch or comfy chair backwards. Try to scoot your butt as close as you can to the back. You can bring your knees so they are cross-legged, or you can rest your knees on the back of the chair or couch.
  • Now place your back on the part you usually sit on and let your head hang down. If it feels comfortable, you can lift your arms overhead and place them on the ground to support more of your weight and give you a deeper stretch. You can also place your head flat on the ground, as shown in the picture.
  • Stay here for as long as you want — five breaths or five minutes — and then slowly lift your torso. Turn your body around so you're sitting normally, and fold your chest over your thighs to release your back and give the blood that collected in your head a chance to slowly return back to the rest of your body (if you stand up too soon, you'll get a major headache).


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