The quadratus lumborum is a large lower back muscle that attaches to the lumbar spine, lower ribs and crest of the pelvis. This stabilising muscle plays an important role in postural control during standing, sitting and walking. A sedentary lifestyle characterised by long periods sitting at a desk can tighten the quadratus lumborum, leading to lower back stiffness and pain.

For yoga practitioners, restricted mobility in the quadratus lumborum can limit access to a range of more advanced seated poses and forward bends. Asanas such as parivrtta janu sirsasana and parighasana where the torso is twisted with arms raised above the head can be particularly effective in targeting this area.

This short sequence will help to counteract stiffness and bring elasticity to this region of the lower back. Ideally this sequence can be practiced on both left and right sides and the poses can be repeated according to how much time you have available. For a more comprehensive overview with detailed video instruction, click here to see the related online class, Quadratus Lumborum, Weekly Advanced Class 174.

 

quadratus lumborum release

Pose 1 – Parighasana Variation

Basic Points

  • From kneeling extend your left leg out to the wall so that the ball of the foot is touching the wall
  • Your right knee should be under your right hip (thigh perpendicular to the floor)
  • Place your left hand onto a block beside the outer left leg, under the shoulder
  • The right hand comes to the wall, above the left foot
  • Press the ball of the left foot into the wall

Key Actions

  • Draw the left thigh bone into the hip socket
  • Right outer shin presses down
  • Without losing that pressure, press the right hand more firmly into the wall
  • Walk the tight hand higher up the wall
  • Lengthen the left side of the torso
  • Turn the chest towards the ceiling

 

latissimus release

Pose 2 – Simple Cross Legs Variation

Basic Points

  • Sit on a folded blanket (take as much height as you need to ensure that your lower back is lifting)
  • Place a chair facing forwards in front of you
  • Reach the left hand to the top of the chair
  • Bring the hand across to the right side of the chair
  • Place your right hand to the floor, beside your right knee

Key Actions

  • Grip the top of the chair firmly with your left hand
  • Keep your left sitting bone firmly on the blanket
  • Lengthen the left side of the torso
  • Turn the left back ribs away from the spine

 

latissimus dorsi release

Pose 3 – Janu Sirsasana Variation

Basic Points

  • The previous pose prepares you for this one
  • Sit with the right leg straight and the left knee bent
  • The left heal sits towards the left inner groin, with the toes touching the right inner thigh
  • Place the chair over the right leg
  • Reach the left hand to the top of the chair
  • Bring the hand across to the right side of the chair
  • Place your right hand to the floor, beside your right knee

Key Actions

  • Grip the top of the chair firmly with your left hand
  • Keep your left sitting bone firmly on the floor (or blanket if you are sitting on some height)
  • Lengthen the left side of the torso
  • Turn the left back ribs away from the spine
  • Move your navel towards your right waist

 

quadratus lumborum release

Pose 4 – Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Basic Points

  • Remain in Janu Sirsasana from the previous pose, but remove the chair
  • Create a small loop with a belt and place it firmly around the right foot
  • Bring the right hand to the floor, beside the right inner leg
  • Lengthen the right side of the torso and bring the right elbow to the floor beside the right inner leg
  • Slide the hand and elbow further away from the pelvis
  • Turn the right hand to hold the inner edge of the right foot
  • Thumb to the top of the foot, finger tips to the sole of the foot
  • Hold the belt with the left hand
  • Pull firmly on the belt

Key Actions

  • Use the leverage of the left arm pulling against the belt to turn the chest upwards towards the ceiling
  • Lift the left elbow upwards towards the ceiling
  • Press the right elbow against the right leg to turn further

 

QL release

Pose 5 – Parivrtta Upavistha Konasana Variation

Basic Points

  • Sit upright facing the wall in upavistha konasana, with the inner edges of your feet against the wall
  • Place the palms of both hands to the wall at shoulder height
  • Lift your chest and back waist
  • Press both thigh bones down to the floor
  • Walk both hands down the wall towards the right side
  • Lengthen the right side of the torso
  • Bring the right elbow towards the floor

Key Actions

  • Lengthen the right waist over the right thigh
  • Press both hands into the wall
  • Turn the chest towards the ceiling

1 Comment

  1. Raju S

    Can some pls guide me how to download class videos so I can play offline?

Submit a Comment

Flexible membership options. Unlimited learning.

Our two membership options offer incredible value for money. For less than the cost of a single studio class per month, you get access to everything you need to get your home yoga practice up and running. Joining is easy and you can cancel at any time.

 

Select a yoga plan for your 14 day free trial!

ANNUAL

AUD $120 / year

*Best Value*

 

First two weeks free, cancel anytime

Unlimited learning from all classes and courses

Unlimited yoga sequence downloads

New content added weekly

Watch on your computer, phone or tablet

Personalised support available

Unlimited app access with free downloads, apple TV compatibility, discussion groups and more

JOIN NOW

MONTHLY

AUD $12 / month

***

First two weeks free, cancel anytime

Unlimited learning from all classes and courses

Unlimited yoga sequence downloads

New content added weekly

Watch on your computer, phone or tablet

Personalised support available

Unlimited app access with free downloads, apple TV compatibility, discussion groups and moreJOIN NOW

yoga poses app

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook

Join our community on Instagram and Facebook for the latest news, inspiration and expert guidance.

Subscribe to the Yoga Selection newsletter

Each week, we’ll send you new sequences, articles, special offers and more, direct to your inbox.

Yoga poses
stripe
Paypal