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Stretch of the Week: Supported Hugging Knees

by Rachel LackowskiLeave a Comment

Our third restorative stretch for May is a gentle low back stretch. I call this one Supported Hugging Knees.

You will need your yoga bolster or three folded blankets.

If you have a history of low back injury, hip or sacral injury/pain, or if you have trouble getting up and down from the floor please do not perform this stretch. As with beginning any exercise program, it is recommended to consult with your physician, physical or occupational therapist to determine which exercises are best for you.

Starting Position:

  1. Lay bolster (or blankets) on the floor horizontally. Sit in front of the setup. Using your hands for support, lower your back onto the bolster. With your knees bent, press your feet into the floor, lift your hips up, and scoot yourself backward until the bolster is under the sacrum. With your hips elevated, you can use your hands to make adjustments to the placement of the setup.

Tip: You will know you are placed too high on the bolster by the way your neck feels. It should feel long and not difficult to breath. Take a look at the photos below: The top photo marked YES, has the chin pointing to the ceiling, shoulders to the floor, back of neck long, and a space between the mid-back and floor. The bolster is correctly placed under the sacrum. The bottom photo marked NO, has the chin pressed back, the shoulders barely touching the floor, and a space between the shoulders and the floor. The bolster is too far under the low back. If you are unsure, ask someone to compare your starting position to the photos below.

stretch of the week - supported hugging knees

Performing Supported Hugging Knees:

  1. From this position, bring your knees up over your hips. Place your hands on your knees. Begin to widen the distance between knees by bringing them towards your armpits with your hands. This will give you a gentle stretch through the low back. Let gravity assist you with the weight of your legs pressing towards the floor.
  1. Remain in this position for 1-5 minutes. To get out of this position, place both feet on the floor, lift the hips up, and scoot yourself completely off the bolster by pressing yourself backwards with the feet. Once clear of the bolster, remain with your knees bent and feet to the floor to rest the back for approximately one minute. To return to sitting, roll to your side, and using both hands to the floor, press yourself up in to a seated position.

Thanks again for tuning into the weekly stretch!

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