"Cat/cow stretch massages the muscles of the back, improves spinal flexibility, relieves lower back tension, calms the nervous system, and improves circulation.
McDonald calls this pose "a gentle stretch for the back, hips, thighs, ankles, and feet," a very relaxing one.Get on your hands and knees. Settle back on your heels.
Rag Doll Pose (Standing Forward Fold)
The rag doll pose is a simple hamstring and lower back stretch, according to McDonald. Allowing your head to droop will also relieve your neck and shoulders.
Downward Facing Dog
"Downward facing dog lengthens the entire backside, from the calves and hamstrings to the lower back and shoulders," says Fitness Quest 10 sports performance coach Jesse Dietrick, CSCS, of San Diego, Calif.
Modified Standing Back Bend
"This is a great pose to work on spinal extension (posture that keeps you upright), which can help offset the spinal flexion (forward hunch posture) a lot of people fall into whether from sitting at a desk.
Sleeping Pigeon Pose
Pigeon posture stretches hips and glutes, relieving lower back tension, Dietrick says. There are various methods to adjust the one-leg pigeon stance to be effective but kind on your body if you're too tight.