What's the secret to relieve lower back pain?

Yoga poses to help with back problems

I have teamed up with Yoga Expert Nathalie Kosman, who is featured in the video above and helps us identify four yoga poses that will relieve some pressure with our lower back. With all the sitting around and "hunch-back" things we do with our bodies in 2019, the lower back is typically the region that is hurting or aching the most. If you are suffering from lower back pain, in most cases this affects your mood and your day; and no one wants a grumpy co-worker! Yoga in general can help relieve this back pain, but these 4 poses will be most beneficial for you. So be sure to click on the video above! Also, since I am not the greatest at yoga, I have provided a clip-on repeat in the lower right-hand corner of Nathalie doing the poses correctly, to follow along!

1) Supine twist pose

While laying on your back and bringing one leg (bent at the knee) over the straightened-out leg, (see above). This twist offers a big relief for the entire back, as gravity takes you down. Be sure to keep your arm in a T-shape and lower both knees to the floor, (unlike mine). Also make sure to keep your neck neutral and keep your gaze beyond the finger tips, while keeping both shoulders on the floor. Nathalie suggests staying in this position for either :20 seconds (minimum), up to a couple minutes. The longer you can hold the position the better, and you can always ease into it. After your appropriate time of holding, move onto the next pose, and so forth. Be sure to repeat on both sides at least three times (in one session), on each side, for best results.

2) Sphinx pose

This pose looks like it will hurt your back by the arch, but it does not. This pose is great for toning the spine and stimulating the sacral-lumbar arch. Again, with most of our bodies in "hunch-back" position, this position will help promote the natural curvature of the lower back. Be sure to align your elbows underneath your shoulders. If this does feel like a bit of pressure in the lower back, be sure to bring your elbows slightly forward. Again, on this one hold the pose anywhere from :20 (seconds), up until ythree minutes. This is for however long you are comfortable holding. Once this hold is completed and you move onto the next, don't forget to go through the same rotation, at least three times.

3. Thread the needle pose

This one is not only good for your lower back, but also good for opening up those hips. Little known fact is, when the hips and hamstrings are open, this can help alleviate back pain. You can also roll out your hamstrings, to help alleviate this pain in the lower back. One key item that Nathalie points out (and I always do wrong) is to be sure to keep your spine neutral. Be sure to lay the back of the head on the floor, while keeping the gaze starring straight up into the sky. Don't forget to repeat this on both legs…don't want to be walking with a limp after stretching out only one side. This one also would hold for :20 seconds, up until a couple minutes. Repeat all four poses at least three times.

4. Cat and cow pose

This position offers your entire spine a nice stretch. While inhaling, lift your chest and tailbone towards the ceiling, and while exhaling, arch your back, pressing through the shoulder blades and dropping your head. Be sure to go to the rhythm of your breath. You can repeat this for :20, or longer. Whatever feels right for your body. Once you are done with this pose, be sure to go back up to the top (supine twist pose) and repeat entire session at least three times going through all four poses each time.

These are the four KEY poses that will help with back pain, even though there are plenty more! Special thanks to Nathalie Kosman for helping to walk us through these poses. Nathalie will be joining me for the next two weeks for a yoga series, so be sure to stayed tuned for that. You can catch her at The Preserve, Fit Athletic Club and Equinox for private and group classes! Also on Instagram @Nathalie_kosman

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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.

Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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