Restorative Lower Back Release

Yesterday, I slept terribly and then ended up waking up with a stiff lower back. I knew that yoga would help my back but decided to take a more restorative approach to my practice as my body and mind were telling me to “be gentle”.

So today, my offering is the three poses I did to honor what my body and mind were needing.


I set my bolster lengthwise in the center of the mat. My yoga blanket is folded and draped near the top to offer some additional support to my head and neck.

My initial pose was to place my hip points at the end of the bolster and then lay on top of the bolster. This allows the legs to drop down, providing a gently stretch of the lower back thanks to gravity, and the legs to splay open. And I simply laid there for several slow breaths, feeling my back get a nice gentle stretch.

Then I lifted my torso away from the bolster and held that pose for several breathes. Breathing into my lower back, feeling the counter pose to the stretch. Remember, my back was stiff, so I was just trying to loosening things up in the most gentle way.

Since I provided flexion and extension of the lower back, it was time for a gentle twist.

Sitting up, I bent my legs and placed the side of my hip on the edge of the bolster. Then I slowly lowered myself down onto the bolster with an arm on either side and my face turned towards my legs. And I stayed here for about 5-7 minutes, breathing into my lower back.

Pushing myself up, I unwound my body and then did the same set up for the other side.

Give yourself permission to honor your body where it is at on any given day.

Let me see your restorative poses by tagging me on Instagram @yogafordentist or posting in our private Facebook Group – Yoga for Dentists!

Published by Yoga for Dentists

Dr. Josie Dovidio is a long-time dentist and certified yoga teacher who took a sabbatical from clinical dentistry to address health issues related to prolonged stress. She now helps dental professionals "undo" what dentistry does to the body, mind and soul through her Yoga for Dentists community on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Channel and Podcast.

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