Yoga For Low Back and Hamstrings | Yoga With Adriene

Yoga For Low Back and Hamstrings  |  Yoga With Adriene

– Hi everyone!
Welcome to Yoga With Adriene. I’m Adriene and this is Benji, and today we have a practice that focuses on the low
back and the hamstrings. I think you’re gonna love it,
it’s super stretchy, low to the ground, and
sure to make you feel good. So hop into something
comfy and let’s get started. (upbeat music) Alrighty, my friends, welcome. We’re gonna start
seated because today’s practice is all low to the ground,
nice and supportive. So come on down, you’re gonna come to
the center of your mat. If you want to
kick it old school, you can move the fleshy
part of the buttocks aside, just really feel your
sits bones kind of ground down. Hats off to you for
taking time for yourself, we’re gonna jump right
in by taking a big, deep, loving breath in
through the nose. Exhale, relax your shoulders, and you’re gonna come
into a little position here with the knees up and
the feet kind of grounded on the earth. Then take your
hands back to support you, fingertips can turn out here towards the back
edge of your mat. And again,
another big breath in. Maybe lifting the chest,
the heart a little bit, and then exhale,
relaxing the shoulders down. And then one more
big, loving breath just to kind of ground
down in this moment. Awesome, then when you’re ready, we’re gonna allow
the knees to fall gently to one side, any side,
and pause there. As you do this, you’re gonna think
about drawing the thigh bones, this femur bone here, up
into the socket on both legs so you kind of
find a little lift, and take a deep
breath in. And use your
exhale to come through and take it to the other side. And same thing, when
you get to the other side, pause here and best you can,
your thigh bone, imagine this thigh
bone kind of hugging in and it just
kind of lifts you up, you find this kind of gentle
lift from the pelvic floor. Take a deep breath in. And as you exhale,
come back to center. Now you’re just gonna
rock and roll, back and forth, and as you do this, your bum will come
closer towards your heels. Benji’s already sleeping.
(chuckles) We just started. And then eventually, you’re gonna come
all the way to your back and your sits bones
are gonna be close to your heels, knees up, and if you want to center
yourself in the mat, you can. And then three
nice long breaths here. Inhaling in through the nose. Maybe feeling the
belly rise as you breathe in. And relaxing the
weight of your body into the earth
as you breathe out. For your next two breaths,
maybe close your eyes, trust me,
trust yourself. Trust the video. And feel your back
supported by your yoga mat. You know, what if this practice could help change
the course of your day, could guide you to
feeling more balanced. We’re gonna
stretch you out today so that you can feel
closer to your optimal health, because when you feel good, everything’s better. (laughs) Brilliant, quote
me on that. (chuckles) But it’s true, right? When you feel good,
you’re in a better place to help others, to do
your best, to spread love, whatever it is
you’re going for, right? And it’ll be
different for everyone. Okay, so knees are up, we’re gonna really ground
down through the left heel and draw it a little
bit closer to your left hip. Feel that strong connection through all four corners of
your left foot and from there, we’ll slowly take the
right foot up towards the sky. So rather than focusing on straightening the
right leg here to start, send your awareness, your
mind’s eye, to your low back, what’s going on. See if you can scoop your
tailbone up towards the sky, let your low
ribcage get really heavy, your abs kind of turn on
here, (snaps fingers) hey-oh, and your low back becomes
nice and flush with the mat. So start with
the foundation, right? That which is
touching the earth. Left foot nice and planted, low back nice and
flush with the mat, now we can start to pay
attention to this extended leg. Go on and bend the knee
generously here to start, and you can take your
fingertips and if they can, maybe interlace
them behind your thigh. If they don’t reach, you can maybe pause the video
and grab like a dish towel just to kind of give
you a little extension, or if you have
a yoga strap, awesome. A neck tie works,
a small rope, whatever. Okay, but make it work here,
don’t get discouraged. Alright, then
same action as before, imagine your thigh
bone really dropping down into the hip socket and here we kind of
have gravity to help us. And wherever you are today,
take a deep breath in and as you exhale,
see if you can draw your knee closer
towards your face. And if the leg starts
to straighten, awesome, if not, no worries,
keep it nice and bent. Then let your shoulders get
heavy, keep the chest open here, and we’re just gonna
point and flex the right foot as you deepen your breath,
nice and easy. Tuck the chin slightly to lengthen through
the back of the neck, and now, again,
if you feel comfortable, close your eyes. Maybe rotate the ankle
one way and then the other. Great, take one more
cycle of breath here, option to peel the nose up
towards the thigh bone here, just lifting,
creating space in the spine. Breathing, breathing, breathing. And then releasing it on
an exhale, nice and slow. Okay, keep your
right foot lifted, you’re gonna
bend your right knee, from here we’re
gonna take the hand and we’re gonna grab the
outer edge of the right foot. If the hand doesn’t make it, you can use the dish
towel or the strap here, you can also just hook
your fingers on a pant leg or clasp your right shin. So there’s always options, use the mantra
find what feels good to help guide you moment to
moment, really make it your own. It’s all good if
the legs are tight, you’re not alone. (chuckles) If the low back is tight,
you’re not alone, that’s why we all
selected this video. Alright, coming into a
little Half Stirrup Posture, your version, when you’re ready. The action here is again drawing
that right thighbone down, right hip crease down with it, and then sending the
sole of the right foot up towards the sky. Left hand can rest gently
on the belly or the ribcage, and we’re gonna slowly
drop the right shoulder down, allowing the right hamstring
to get a good stretch here as you again pull
that right hip crease down towards the front
right corner of your mat. Keep your left knee
pointed up towards the sky, so we’re working to create
full body awareness here always. More loving
awareness with each practice. Take one more
deep breath in here, see if you can soften
the skin of the face. Awesome, and
then slowly release, right foot comes
to the earth, it plants. Same action as before,
we’re gonna take the knees over towards the
left side of your mat. Great, hands come
to the low ribs here or you can take them out,
Texas T, whatever feels good. Take a deep breath in here, low back can come off
the mat here for sure. If you need a little more, we’re gonna take the left ankle and cross it over the
top of the right thigh. Try to keep both feet active,
so not relaxed here, but a little energy in the toes. And then returning
to the breath here, you can close your eyes or
just gently soften your gaze, and feel your
breath as you continue to extend the inhale and lengthen your exhales. Alright, draw your
navel in just a bit, and from center,
begin to roll it back up, both feet planted
firmly on the ground. Good, scoop your tailbone up, let the low back
get flush with the mat, low ribs get heavy, and one more time
kicking the right leg up. This time, flex your right
toes actively towards your face or your third eye, and you can repeat
what you did before, interlacing the fingertips
behind the hamstring or taking a modification
with a homemade prop. Or this time, we might try to
slide the hands to the calf or if you’re ready, you can
take your index finger and thumb to the big toe. Sorry, it’s index finger,
middle finger, and thumb, and bring it to the big toe and breathe here. Use your foundation,
navel drawing down to the spine, abs turned on,
left leg firmly planted. Find your breath. Awesome work, take one
more cycle of breath here. Option to peel the nose up
toward the top of the thigh. Good, and then slowly release. Right foot comes to the ground,
check it out, right knee, just right knee’s
gonna open towards the right for a little
Half Baddha Konasana. So you can keep the
left leg firmly planted or we can start to
extend the left leg out long so you’re in kind of like
a Reclined Tree Pose here. And resist the urge to
try to force things here, just kind of notice
and use your breath and take a more
restorative approach. So left foot can
be active or relaxed, I’ll leave that to you. Hands can rest on the low
ribs or if you’re feeling it, take the arms all
the way up and overhead. Again, little Reclined
Vriksasana, Tree Pose. Take the deepest
breath you’ve taken all day, big inhale. Good, exhale,
bring everything back, knees come up,
feet return to the earth, we’ll walk the heels up and take it to the other side. One cycle of
breath in and out here, inhale lots of love in. Exhale, lots of love out. Walk the right
heel up towards the hip, plant it firmly,
dig into your right heel, feel your center turn on,
find your foundation, and then when
you’re ready, from there, take the left leg up high. Keep the left knee
bent here to start. Again, imagine that
thigh bone getting heavy, dropping down in the socket
here, so lots of awareness. Great, and then maybe
we interlace the fingertips behind the hamstring. Maybe you were
taking a modification here. Good, and then just take
a second to point and flex the left toes, breathing. And then maybe
rotating that ankle one way and then the other. And pay attention,
notice what’s going on. I’m noticing my left
ankle is a little sticky. And after a little articulation
in the foot and ankle, you can work to straighten
the leg just a little bit if it feels right, if not,
no worries. Peel the left hip crease down, breathe, breathe, breathe. Excellent, for this
last cycle of breath, option to lift the nose
towards the top of the thigh. Feel this excellent kissing
of the low back to the earth, should feel good, hips drawing down in the socket, lots of awareness in
the whole body. And then slowly release. You can bend your knee,
keep your left foot lifted. Left foot lifted,
say that five times fast. And we’re gonna
take the left hand to the outer edge of the
left foot as you’re ready. Pay attention to the
sensation in your left hip, feel that awesome compression
in the left low back. And when you’re ready, take it to your
version of Half Stirrup. So the stirrup is here,
of course, on the arch of the left foot. Your pose does not
have to look like mine. Just work with your body here
today and use your breath. If you’re not breathing deep, then take a step back
and let’s enhance that. Remember the
breath always come first. So left hamstring now
getting some sunlight. Notice if you’ve lost
awareness in your right leg, maybe the knee’s coming out or the foot has come
unplanted, reestablish. You should be feeling a
strong, beautiful kind of like pressure point in the
left low back, upper hip, should feel good. Let’s take one more breath to kick the left heel a
little higher towards the sky. Relax the left shoulder down. And then use your
exhale to release it gently, left foot comes to the earth. Inhale in deeply here. And on your exhale, melt the knees towards the
right side of your yoga mat. Let the hands come out Texas T or let the palms
gently rest on the low ribs. Tuck the chin again, lengthen
through the back and the neck. And breathe,
taking the right ankle across the top of the left thigh if that feels right for you
today, if not, just hang here. If you haven’t already, maybe try a
couple audible breaths, really anchoring your mind,
the busy mind, in the sound of your breath,
with the sound of your breath. And then from center, activate the core just a bit, let that be what
brings you up back through. Alright, take a deep breath in. Long breath out. Ground through your right
foot and when you’re ready, inhale, send the
left leg up high. Activate the foot by flexing
the toes towards your face so your left heel is
reaching up towards the sky. It’s okay to bend your
left knee generously, right? Find what feels good. Try to stay in the
moment with your body. Let whatever sensations
show up any given day. Let them be, right? That’s the way we really
progress in our practice anyway in a nice, sustainable,
feel-good way. So no forcing, no pushing. So, that said, find your
bind here on the left side, maybe slide it up
to the calf today, maybe you take
your peace fingers, the middle finger,
index finger, and thumb to the left big toe,
draw the left shoulder down. Work to extend your inhale
here and elongate your exhale. When we work with
the breath in this way, kind of prioritizing
the breath first, you’re going to reap more
benefits of your yoga practice. For the last
cycle of breath here, feel free to peel the
nose up towards the thigh bone, inhale in deeply, and
use your exhale to release. Left foot kisses the earth,
we open the left knee wide. A Half Baddha Konasana here,
Supta Baddha Konasana. You can extend the
right leg out long. So for some, that hip’s
just gonna open. For others, you’re
gonna get caught here, so you’re gonna
need to breathe real deep and let gravity slowly, slowly,
slowly open that hip up. Should feel a
nice little compression in the left glute here. Hands can rest on the low ribs or you can take it to
the Texas T or, if you like, big inhale to stretch
all the way up and overhead, soften your gaze, crawl the shoulder blades
down towards your low back, or maybe close your eyes here
as you take a couple deep, loving breaths in and out. In and out. Pay attention,
notice what you feel. Alright, on your next inhale,
my darling friend, think about breathing wide,
whatever that means to you. Like breathe into all
four sides of your torso. Feel the ribs expand
and then use your exhale to ground through
center and slowly bring it all the way back up,
bend your knees, hug them all the
way up into your chest. Yeah, baby, and then slowly
we’re gonna rock onto the left side. Rock onto the left side. Okay, so for this next beat, we’re gonna end with a little Sleeping Vishnu Pose, or a reclining leg stretch. So I’ve guided you to
come onto your left side. Logistically, if
you can’t see the video and you want to switch
to your right side now, go for it, otherwise,
just use the sound of my voice that’s kind of low today, it’s
like Austin allergy season, so I’m like doing my
best Lauren Bacall today. Okay, so use the sound of my
voice to guide you either way, here we go. So we’re coming
onto the left side here and I’m gonna
start by inviting you to extend your left arm out long and rest your left ear on your left bicep, your left shoulder. Then straighten the legs,
and if you already feel like, “Whoa, I’m gonna
tip over here, girlfriend,” draw the navel in and up,
find that little connection, that Uddiyana Bandha,
that centering, right fingertips on the earth. So here we are, just like
kind of a Sleeping Vishnu, take a deep breath in,
just gather your bearings, and I’ll take you through a
couple different steps here. So you’re already on step one
here, so smile. (chuckles) Feel the side body get long as you pull your right
hip crease kind of down and start to activate the
feet, so press into your heels. Yes, excellent. So inhale in here,
exhale again from center, we’re now gonna lift up,
bend the elbow, fingertips come forward, you create a nice little
stacking of the left shoulders, excuse me, over the left elbow. Neck is still nice and long, we use all of our
Yoga With Adriene practice and our Find What
Feels Good kind of awareness to keep the neck
nice and long always. And then to start, I’m gonna
invite to pull your heels back, bend your knees just a bit,
so nice little even bend. Great, if you’re
feeling good here, take a deep breath in, exhale, reinforce a nice centering
here by hugging the low ribs in rather than splaying out. That’s something else, right? And then we’re gonna
bring the right knee up, work to grab the right big toe, maybe it happens,
maybe it doesn’t, then use this action
we’ve been doing all practice of drawing the right femur in, hugging that
right hip crease in, to slowly experiment
with straightening the leg. So I’m not forcing it, I’m
doing this from the hip socket. I’m activating and
pulling in with the femur, muscles engage, and I
create a little stretch here. So you can also
maybe hook one arm here, you can grab a pant leg, or you can just work in
a nice bent leg position, being like, yo, this
is where I’m at today. Find what feels good. So wherever you are,
now we’re gonna bring our awareness back
to our foundation. Notice if you’ve
collapsed here, we all should, you know, if we’re learning
something new, it’s all good, you can only spin
so many plates at once. But now bring
your awareness back, try to reinforce this
hugging of the low ribs in and nice, strong base. Maybe from here we
extend the leg out long. And maybe if it’s
too hard to balance here, you do all of this in
the reclined position. So take a second to experiment, and if you feel a little
wobbly, you’re not alone. Hug the low ribs in,
draw your navel in and up. Great, take one
more deep breath in and try to think of
this as a full body thing, so what can your shoulders do? What can your feet do? Is there anything
else you want to do here to refine this shape, then
take a deep breath in. And then exhale
with control, release it, slowly press up, and we’re
gonna come to the other side, nice and slow. So you get a little
compression on the left glute, left low back. If you are also wearing a mic
pack, it could be a good idea to move it to the
other side right now. If not, you’re golden, baby. Here we go, second side. Last little bit before we
take a couple calming breaths and call it, so go ahead and keep
a nice active breath, try to stay curious, let’s go.
On the other side, we’re gonna lay the right ear
on the right arm extended, extend the legs just
so you get a little sense. If the hips are tender,
you’re not alone here, you can put a little towel or
a blanket underneath the hips if you want to practice this, but you feel a little
tenderness in the hip. Alright, just gather
your bearings here, bring your left
fingertips up. Inhale in, from center, hug
the low ribs in, nice and easy. You’re gonna press up,
come to the right arm. Now that you’ve
done it on one side, maybe you keep it nice and low,
maybe that’s better for you. Alright, and then
just for to start, we’re gonna bend the
knees and the hips back, nice active feet if
you haven’t already. Hug the low ribs in. Find that connection to center. And then here we go, bend
the left knee, bring it up, maybe we grab the big toe, maybe you grab the outer edge
of the foot just like Stirrup, maybe you take another
modification, and inhale in. Exhale, from the hip socket,
remember, hip socket rolls out, femur
hugs down and in. And then from there we find
extension, extension, extension. Cool. Breathe.
Notice how this side is different. Left upper arm bone
needs to rotate out. Then maybe you extend the
right leg out, strong legs. Breathing deep here. Neck nice and long, not hanging. If you roll onto your bum, enjoy the humility of it all. I love yoga for that reason too. Trust me, yoga has
taught me a lot of things, humility is
definitely one of them, especially going on
YouTube every week of my life. So if you’re at home
and you topple over, take that practice as
well for what it is, humbling. Alright, and
then maybe from here, you choose to take it all
the way down to the ground. Just playing, oh gosh. (laughs) And then just notice if you’ve
lost sight of your breath here. Let’s see if we
can reinforce a nice, beautiful, long breath here for a couple more cycles. In and out,
in and out, in and out. Good, inhale, use your exhale
to slowly release. Come all the way back up. Criss-cross applesauce,
bring it. I was just around kids, so that’s why I’m doing
the criss-cross applesauce. But that’s for our
inner child in all of us. Just come upright, any seated position
actually here will work, one where you can get
the spine nice and long. And once you have
the spine nice and long, make it even taller,
even longer. And then just take a gentle
twist to one side, any side. Take a deep breath in, smile,
life is good. And exhale, come
back through center. Take it to the
other side, inhale, lift the corners of the mouth,
gently smile, life is good. And then exhale back to center, bring the palms
together at your heart. Close your eyes. You can soften your breath now and just let it return
back to its natural rhythm. Relax your shoulders. Let’s take one quiet moment
here before we seal the deal. Just to be still
and be with ourselves. Sweet, awesome work. So one of the coolest things, one of the coolest discoveries,
I think, of my lifetime is that when you
do Yoga With Adriene, you connect to yourself,
but while you’re practicing, you’re inevitably
also connecting to millions of
people across the globe. This is cool, so just in
case you need a buddy today, please know you
have tons of buddies all around the world,
me included. From my heart to yours, I wish you a wonderful rest
of the day wherever you are. Let us know how this
practice went for you in the comment
section down below. Let’s take one more deep
breath in together. And we’ll close by bowing
the head to the heart and saying “Namaste.” (upbeat music)

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