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 loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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