Yoga pose of the month: Ease back tension with Standing Tabletop

The standing tabletop pose with alternate leg crosses is a simple, effective and easy way to loosen residual or chronic tightness or tension in your entire back, especially the lower back.

Yoga pose of the month: Ease back tension with Standing Tabletop

Source: Adapted from Kitchen Yoga by Ruth Shaw

Standing table top a great pose to practice first thing in morning or when you’ve been sitting or standing for long periods of time. Crossing the legs behind each other will help to stretch those pesky tight hamstrings‘which is good news for runners!

Top 5 benefits:

‘    Stretches muscles in lower, mid and upper back
‘    Relieves compression and pain in entire back area
‘    Releases neck and shoulder tension
‘    Stretches and lengthens hamstrings
‘    Loosens shoulder joints, improving flexibility and range of motion

Off-the-mat suggestions:

‘    The bathroom sink or countertop
‘    A secure handrail or banister
‘    The back of a sofa or chair
‘    A park bench


Certain rotator cuff injuries; recent shoulder injuries or surgery; sinus infections.

The steps:

1. Place hands and wrists on kitchen counter, table, desktop or any flat surface, shoulder width apart with palms down.

2. Step back from the surface until arms are straight (or close enough) and your hips are directly in line with your ankles. Bring feet together and if possible keep legs straight.

3. Lower the torso and flatten your back so it’s parallel to the floor and relax head downwards. Your body will look like a right angle.

4. Lift your right foot and place it behind and beside the left leg, setting it down on the outside of your left foot. Try to line up the toes of both feet. Square your hips by moving your right hip forward and your left hip back. Now you’re in the pose!

5. As you inhale, draw your breath up into your torso, and as you exhale, squeeze your belly towards your spine to improve core strength. (You will also feel a nice deep stretch underneath your armpits).

6. Repeat for 6’10 breaths continuing to square your hips with each round of breath.

7. On the last exhalation, slowly uncross your legs and switch sides by placing the left foot on the outside of the right.

Kitchen Yoga is available at in both print and ebook editions. Practice Kitchen Yoga for 2-5 minutes a day and you will fit 30 or more extra minutes of yoga a week, without adding one more ‘to-do’ in your busy schedule.

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