Did you wake up with stiffness or pain in your back recently? Perhaps the air-conditioning was set at a too low temperature. Or your body was curled up in a weird way while you were asleep. Your back feels like a plank and even the slightest movement is challenging.
This happened to me not too long ago. And it wasn’t just stiffness, my back felt actually really painful! Instead of bearing with it and biting my tongue, I decided to take action and do the posture that I want to share with you today. After ten minutes of doing this posture, my whole spine and surrounding area felt warm, flexible and energized! So I highly recommend this posture for when you wake up with pain or stiffness in your back. Ready?
The posture that will really help you a lot if you wake up with a stiff or even painful back is the cat/cow pose. The cat/cow pose is actually a combination of two poses: the cat pose and the cow pose. It is almost as if they were made for each other: they match together perfectly!
These two postures bring a lot of movement to the spine. Once you have the spine warmed up with the cat/cow pose, you can amplify the effect and spread it to the rest of the back by doing a freestyle movement.
How to perform the cat/cow pose
Here is how you perform it.
Start on your hands and knees in a table-top position. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, your knees directly under the hips. Your head is in a natural position in line with the spine. Close your eyes.
Step 1: Cat Pose
On the exhalation, round your spine upwards and tuck your chin towards the chest. Contract your abdomen to expel as much air as possible from your lungs. Drop the pelvis towards the floor.
Step 2: Cow Pose
On the inhalation, raise your head and pelvis upward and arch your spine in the opposite direction. Move your belly towards the floor. Relax your abdomen as you inhale.
Step 3: Alternate between the poses
Now keep on alternating between these two poses.
Once you feel your spine is warmed up, start experimenting with free style movement. Stay on your hands and knees. You can now include sideway movements. Or alternate bringing your shoulders down to the floor and up again. Just go with the flow: move in any direction you feel like.
I recommend to perform this posture for at least five minutes. Even better if you can do it longer though! Make sure you listen to your body: if you still experience stiffness or pain after five minutes, practice this posture longer and check if this makes a difference! What is ten minutes compared to a whole day of a stiffness or pain in your back, right?