Yoga: Spine Stretches and Lower Back Poses for Seniors

One’s lower back becomes gradually more important as we grow older, so it’s important to protect it. This short yoga practice introduces poses to help open the spine and strengthen the lower back. This video is just one of many that offers health and wellness tips at

Doreen Oberg, registered nurse and a primary yoga instructor at The Villages Health®, demonstrates several poses to open the spine and strengthen the lower back using yoga, a set of physical, mental and spiritual practices that originated in ancient India.

To begin, lie on your mat with your neck flat, and breathe. Doreen advises practitioners to close their eyes and breathe steadily.

Next, bring your right knee to your chest. Doreen advises that everyone’s bone composition and bone compression are different, so if you can bring the knee closer or can’t bring the knee as close as others, that’s okay. Hold the pose for an additional two breaths, and then release the right knee and simultaneously bring the left knee to the chest.

Doreen advises that yoga is about intention. It’s a good practice to internally say things like “I am healthy,” and “I am grateful” in the present tense to appreciate the moment.

Next, bring both knees to the chest and move them in a circular motion in order to massage the spine and lower back. Then exhale and bring your feet to the floor. Bring your right knee over your left leg, as if you were sitting in a chair. Bring in both legs, pulling from your ankles if possible. This should cause a nice opening feeling in your right hip.

While in the pose, bring your hands to a T position and drop your legs to the left. This should open the spine and lower back and may also stretch your glutes and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. You may wish to turn your head to the right to increase the stretch.

Bring your legs back to center and reverse them, bringing the left leg over the right knee. Bring in the ankles again and then drop the legs to the right. Bring your arms to a T, and then turn your head to the left.

To release the pose, unwind your legs and bring the knees to your chest, rotating them in a circular motion in order to massage the spine and lower back. Finally, bring your hands under your knees and roll up to a sitting position.

As with most yoga sessions, this practice ends teacher saying the word “Namaste.” Namaste is a respectful Hindi greeting that means, “The light in me sees the light in you.”

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Disclaimer: This content is for entertainment purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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