Libra rules the lumbar spine, kidneys and adrenal glands.
Prana vayu : prana // Ayurvedic dosha : kapha
Meditation : anahata (heart chakra)
Nadi sodhana : This pranayama is otherwise known as alternate nostril breathing. This exercise is performed with the right hand. Fold the peace fingers (pointer and middle finger) in to the palm or, alternatively, rest the tips of these fingers on the third eye. Starting with an exhale through the left nostril, press your thumb to outside of the right nostril. Inhale through the left nostril and then, before exhaling, close the left nostril with the ring and pinky finger (both nostrils are closed at this point), hold the lungs full of air for a moment, and then release through the right nostril, lifting the thumb. Inhale through the right nostril, hold both nostrils closed with full breath in the lungs, and then continue, exhaling out the left. This is the order: exhale, inhale, hold, switch. Finish with an exhale out the left nostril. Continue for 5 minutes. Return to normal breath and observe.
- all standing balancing poses!
- virabhadrasana 3 (balancing warrior)
- garudasana (eagle pose)
- utthita hasta padangusthasana (extended hand to foot pose, with optional twist)
- vrksasana (tree pose)
Open the hips to relieve lumbar pain : Our first inclination is often to bend and “stretch” the low back with forward folds and the like. However, most of the time low back pain is a result of over stretching – forward folds will only further aggravate the lumbar! Think of how often we round forward throughout the day: texting, driving, cooking, sitting, working on the computer, etc. In fact, we are constantly stretching the muscles of the low back. The muscles of the low back must return to their original size and shape. We can facilitate this by opening the hips and the front of the body. There are many yoga poses that open the hips and front of the body. Here’s one you can do while laying in bed on your stomach: slide one knee out until your thigh is perpendicular to the rest of your body. Other classics include tree pose, goddess pose, happy baby, and the list goes on. Just remember – never forward fold if you have low back pain!
Seated turning and stretching : Here’s another way to gently release the lumbar. From a seated position, interlace your fingers overhead, palms turned up. Press up through the root of the palm, not the fingers. Relax the shoulders and pull the arms into the shoulder sockets. Turn from side to side, twisting and breathing deeply. You can also take a block and hold it firmly overhead with arms completely straight and as activated as possible (your arms may start quivering – this is fine). Then turn from side to side, maintaining this intensity in the arms.