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10-Minute Hip Flexor Stretch to Alleviate Low Back Pain

By November 11, 2015Mobility and Yoga
Reading Time: 2 minutes
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Here at the Whole Life Challenge, yoga is one of our go-to mobility practices. To share its benefits with you, we’ve partnered with MyYogaWorks, as their approach to health and well-being aligns so well with ours. Together, we’ve created a series of follow-along videos for each week of the Challenge.

We hear a lot about hamstring stretches and how sitting for long periods shortens and tightens the muscles on the backs of our legs. But what about the front of our legs? When is the last time you stretched your quads and hip flexors?

Your hip flexors may be on the front of your body, but they play an important part in your back health. One hip flexor, in particular, has a direct impact on your lumbar spine. The psoas major originates from your L1 through L5 vertebrae (actually your T12, too!), then goes along the front of your hip and eventually connects to your femur.

Psoas_major_muscle11

Once you understand this anatomy, then it’s easy to see how a tight psoas can result in back pain. One way we can either avoid or alleviate that tightness is to regularly stretch our hip flexors and quads. Which is what this video will walk you through how to do!

This follow-along video is led by Vytas Baskauskas, and one of the great things about the way he teaches are the variations and modifications he includes for people of all levels. So if you’re new to yoga, don’t be afraid – there are stretches in here that will be just right for you. None of these stretches are complicated and the only prop you might want is a block or a stack of books, but you might not even need that.

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Remember: your goal in mobility work shouldn’t be to become the most flexible person ever. Most of us have no hope of that, in fact! But, instead, your goal should be to become comfortable in your body and free in your movement. If you commit to practicing mobility for ten minutes each day, you can achieve that comfort and freedom.

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YogaWorks
The founders of YogaWorks, Maty Ezraty, Chuck Miller, and Alan Finger, were all serious and highly accomplished yoga practitioners who wanted to share the gifts they learned from their own wise teachers. In 1987, when they opened their first studio on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, they gathered many styles of yoga under one roof, which attracted the best teachers in Southern California.

As yoga gained popularity in the U.S., the demand for well-trained yoga teachers began to grow. With the help and inspiration of senior teachers Chuck Miller and Lisa Walford, Maty created the world-renowned YogaWorks Teacher Training Program in 1990. Based on direct teachings from Indian yoga masters, this program has formed and guided today’s yoga leaders, including Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, Annie Carpenter, Natasha Rizopolus, Vinnie Marino, Kathryn Budig, and many more.

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