Trying new things can be intimidating. Whether it's new foods or new exercises, it can be easy to talk yourself out of new experiences.

The brain starts over-thinking, self-doubt sets in and, before you even know it, you've decided to pass.

That sneaky, negative brain starts to send you messages like:

You don't know what you're doing. If you try to do this on your own, you're going to hurt yourself even more.

And besides, who knows if this can even be fixed? Maybe this pain is just part of the aging process.

Your brain can be a really rude, uninformed friend that's constantly filling your head with lies.

And, honestly, one of the greatest lies we tell ourselves is that we can't.

Yes, You Can!

But, I have really great news for you:  When it comes to pain-relieving exercises, everything your brain just said was a lie.

You can practice simple exercises (even if you've never exercised a day in your life).

Not only that, you can practice these exercises with confidence (even if you never feel like you "get" what you're supposed to be doing when you try exercises on your own).

And, these exercises will help you feel better (almost immediately).

Okay, So What Are These Awesome Exercises?

These are my absolute favorite exercises to help relieve pain from your hips through the top of your head. So, if you have pain somewhere along your spine, give these exercises a try.

neutral position

Neutral position with the arms lifted

First, you want to find your best neutral posture when you're on your back. This means feeling the back of your head and your tailbone flat against the floor. You should also feel the area near the bottom of your shoulder blades on the floor. Because of your spine's natural curves, you'll notice your neck and your low back lifted away from the floor.

To learn more about finding your best neutral position, check out this post about Rib cage placement. (Believe me, it's going to wake up muscles you never knew you had.)

Stabilize It

spinal rotation

Spinal rotation

Once you find a good neutral position, you can start strengthening your muscles to help hold you in neutral. My favorite stabilizing exercises are:

Remember, the whole purpose of these exercises is to challenge yourself to keep your spine in neutral while you move your hips, arms, or legs.

Move It

yoga cow pose

Cow pose

Being able to hold your spine in neutral is really important, but it's also equally important to be able to move the spine in many different ways without getting hurt.

Cat stretch, Cow pose, and Child's pose encourage the spine to bend and move in just the right ways to provide a gentle stretch and relieve pain.

Stretch It

Warrior 1 yoga pose

Warrior 1

Sometimes, it can be tricky to identify which muscles exactly are causing spinal pain. That's why I like to practice these other yoga poses that stretch and strengthen a common culprit for hip and low back pain, the iliopsoas muscle.

For some bonus stretching, try:

Ready for More?

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