In today’s nonstop world, we’re all guilty of putting too much pressure on our bodies. Whether you’re knocking out AMRAPs at the gym or simply sitting at a desk all day long, your body has a certain way of telling you’re overdoing it—and it isn’t pretty. Millions of Americans deal with chronic pain in the lower back, and if you’re one of them, you know how frustrating it can be.
Enter this mind-blowingly simple (and totally free) fix: a 15-minute sequence from yoga instructor Brett Larkin. “The lower back isn’t an area you can quickly stretch or strengthen like your triceps. Instead, it needs patience, time, and traction in order to gently unwind,” says Larkin, who suffers from low back pain herself (yep, even yoga teachers deal with it!).
In this beginner-friendly sequence, you won’t do any bendy vinyasa poses. Instead, you will go through gentle forward folds and easy twists that focus on lengthening and releasing your lower back. A form of self-myofascial release (SMR), these moves will leave your back feeling much more relaxed and less tense by the end of the sequence.
The best part: All you need is a mat—and some patience. It takes time to truly heal low back tension, so put on some mellow music (Enya will do just fine!) to help the time pass by. To give yourself a truly restorative experience, you can also dim the lights, grab a blanket, light a candle, and prepare to say buh-bye to back pain for good.
Brett Larkin teaches vinyasa flow yoga at top San Francisco studios and on her YouTube channel, where thousands of students have studied with her for more than 5 million minutes. Find free yoga playlists, yoga teacher training tips, and free dance, yoga, and meditation classes at BrettLarkin.com.