If you have the ever-popular office job that involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, it can wreak havoc on your body, creating tight hips and lower back pain. Many stretches for your hips also stretch out your lower back, so these poses are like two for the price of one. It will only take about four minutes, but that's all you'll need to ease tension.
- Sit on the floor, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book, pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you.
- Stay here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).
Half Happy Baby
- Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.
- Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest, but keep everything relaxed.
- Stay like this for five deep breaths, and then switch legs.
- Then do both legs together for another five breaths.
- Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.
- Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.
- Hold here for five breaths, and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your knee, shin, and foot on the floor so they're parallel with your pelvis. Bend your left knee and place it on top so your knees, shins, and ankles are stacked. You'll know you're doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.
- To make this pose more intense, place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can, folding your chest toward your legs.
- Stay here for five breaths, slowly release, and then switch legs so your right knee is on top.