All Posts By

Morgan S. Gertler

Moon Phases And Rituals

By UncategorizedNo Comments


From myths to evidence of scientific influence, the moon is deeply rooted in many cultures and beliefs. Ashtanga yoga practitioners do not practice on the days of the new or full moon, as they are considered days of rest. Other yogis and non practitioners utilize the moon for intention setting, letting go of stagnant energy, and more.

While there is definitely debate regarding the actual affect the moon and its phases have on people, there are certainly symbolic relationships between the moon and Earth.


Moon Phases

8 Phases from New Moon to Full Moon

Every 29 days the moon transitions through 8 phases to go from the dark moon (new moon) to the full moon. The phases are influenced by the rotation of the moon around the Earth, as the Earth blocks the sunlight from illuminating some or all of the moon’s face to us.

Most people are aware of the full and new moon phases. As it grows from a dark moon to a full moon (waxing phases) and back to a dark moon again (waning phases), it hits 8 different phases of illumination. Each phase has a symbolic energy that can influence ritual or magic when it comes to invoking intentions.


1. New Moon

While many call this stage the new moon, technically the “new moon” is when the first sliver of moon is visible again after the dark moon phase. When it is completely invisible it is considered the dark Moon. During the new moon phase, ritual can revolve around setting your intentions or “planting the seed” of your intention.

2. Waxing Crescent


As the moon becomes more visible within the first 4 days of the new moon, this phase is called the waxing crescent. Waxing phases are when the moon’s illumination is increasing and crescent is when more of the moon’s face is dark. This phase is less about ritual and more about taking the actions to create your intention. Remember, performing rituals cannot produce your dreams if you take no action to make them happen. This is when the “seed begins to sprout.”

3. First Quarter


After the waxing crescent, the moon enters the first quarter. In this phase, the lightness and darkness is equal. This phase is a good time to check in on your progress thus far. This is when the intentions begin to “take root.”

4. Waxing Gibbous


As the light becomes more prominent than the dark, it begins the waxing gibbous phase — waxing meaning growth of light and gibbous meaning more light than darkness. This phase will last for 4 days until reaching the Full moon. After your first quarter check in this is a phase for new actions. Adjust your plans accordingly based on what has already transpired and allow momentum to build. This is your last big push to move your goals forward.


5. Full Moon

The full moon is when the moon is fully illuminated in the sky. There is a great deal of speculation on the full moon’s influence on humans — from initiating the menstrual cycle (another 28 day cycle) to impacting people’s mood and mindset. This phase is energizing and it’s a great time to charge your crystals and tools. The “plant” is blooming and open. The “meaning” is revealed and now it can be infused into the structure built during the waxing phases.


6. Waning Gibbous

As the moon transitions from fully illuminated back to darkness, it enters the waning gibbous phase. Waning means getting smaller and gibbous means more light than dark. This phase will last about 4 days. We deal with the aftermath of the full moon’s revelation. We should ask what was revealed and what can we do about it now, then take what we’ve learned and apply it to our intentions. This is a great time to reflect through journaling. This is when the plant begins to wither and offers nutrients back to the earth, to begin the cycle again.

7. Last Quarter


The light and dark portions are now equal in the last quarter but reversed sides from before. Now is the time to work on clearing out what no longer serves you. Rituals should focus on binding, banishing, and clearing. Like the first quarter, focus on balance again, asking what needs to be brought into balance to give you the space needed.

8. Waning Crescent


The waning crescent is the 4 day phase of decreasing light and increasing darkness. Here we continue to focus on the last quarter check in of winding down, clearing space, and finding balance before the cycle begins again.


Dark Moon

In the dark moon phase, the moon’s light has completely disappeared from view. This is the fertile void and a time for rest and restore. It is very potent for rituals.

Rituals for Moon Phases

Before beginning any ritual, be sure to clean and organize the space you are performing it in. Having a dedicated space in your home for this is helpful, and placing an altar to hold sacred items throughout the month is ideal. Clear away clutter, burn sage or incense, light a candle, you play some soothing music. You’ll want to gather the materials you need — paper and a writing utensil, divinity cards, “potions”, oils, specific crystals, salt to draw a sacred circle, and you may also want to make note of the four directions.


How To Make Moon Water

You can create your own moon water to use throughout the month for rituals by incorporating all the elements.

Start with a glass of water (Water element)
Add natural salt (Earth Element)
Burn a piece of incense (Fire Element)
Blow the incense out (Air Element) and place it in the water

Now you have sacred moon water that embodies all of the elements to utilize throughout each ritual. You may use this water to anoint things, during “checking in” rituals, or even to drink and bathe in.


The Use of Candles

You may incorporate candles into your rituals by lighting a candle with your intention and focusing on the energy you are invoking. For the new moon you can use a black candle, for the full, a white candle that you scratch words or symbols into representing your intentions. You can anoint the candle with oils, pushing the oil up the candle to attract energy, or down the candle to banish energy. Ideally, you let this candle burn out in one sitting but if you must put it out, try using a snuffer.


New Moon Ritual

A month-long intention setting usually starts with the new moon. This is the beginning of the cycle and the seed of intention is planted. During this time, work with the possibilities by establishing what you desire. If you are practicing moon magic this is a great time to perform abundance or prosperity spells. But if you simply want to begin a mindful practice of nurturing your intentions, a simple ritual through the moon phases can help you materialize them. You may find it can take several months of focusing on one intention and as the work unfolds, you can shift & evolve the focus around the intention. Generally though, you’ll want to aim to focus on one intention at a time. If you’re having trouble finding an intention to focus on, ask yourself, “If nothing could fail, what would I ask for?”

Begin by writing your intentions — focus on what you want to attract in life, such as a relationship, new job, abundance, or more adventure — along with anything you want to get rid of or release — like feelings, barriers, or fears.
Say these intentions out loud, proclaim them into the universe. Voicing your intentions creates a powerful energetic vibration.
Symbolically rid yourself of what no longer serves you by writing it out and burning the paper.
You may want to “clear” your crystals or tools at this time, leaving them in the moonlight on a windowsill.


Full Moon Ritual

As you approach the full moon, you should start to see the fruits of your efforts. This is an energizing time that’s great for doing readings or divination. This is also a wonderful time to get in touch with your spirits / guides/ ancestors, as the veil is thin and makes it easier to connect with them during this phase. You may notice your senses are heightened and you have more energy and need less sleep. During this time, it is preferable to do rituals outside. Energize yourself and your intention in the full moon light and energy.

Begin by getting comfortable in a space that has the moon in full view.
Stare intently at the moon until everything else fades away. Let the moon be the focus of your vision.

While in this state of deep focus, listen for the messages you are receiving about your intention. Meditate on your intentions, what you desire, and if your expectations have been met or have changed. Focus on the gratitude of what you have received.
You may also use this powerful energy to charge your crystals, tools, and moon water.

Morgan Gertler received her 200HR RYT certification in 2014 from highly esteemed Kripalu teachers and then continued her learning in 2017 by completing her 300HR RYT certification with teachers from Yogamaya and the Iyengar Institute in NYC. Morgan also completed her Yin Level 1 & 2 trainings and loves being able to teach both sides, the yin & yang, of the yoga practice. Morgan views yoga as a vehicle to get back to yourself – through movement and breath-work, we learn how to live a more authentically happy & content life and meet all situations with confidence. When not teaching or practicing yoga, Morgan can be found writing, walking around town with her two dogs, Jagger and Bowie or browsing Sephora for more make up she doesn’t need. Morgan is also a regular content contributor for YogaRenew.

How Yoga Can Help With Anxiety Symptoms

By UncategorizedNo Comments



Panic attacks and anxiety impacts our life in many ways, but there are a ton of coping tools available. However, during this time of the COVID-19 crisis, it might feel harder to utilize the tools that tend to be so widely available. For instance, gyms and yoga studios are closed, you might have lost some income, and we should be staying inside to help lessen the spread of this virus. This has created not only a lot of sudden change, but also much more anxiety, even in people who don’t struggle with anxiety on a regular basis.

Despite the challenges of panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms, there are many self-help strategies that can assist you in coping with these feelings. Activities such as breathing and other relaxation techniques are available to help you feel more calm, peaceful, and in control. Some of the most common strategies include breathing exercises, visualization work, and yoga. These techniques have been found to reduce anxiety and may even help panic attacks.

Yoga happens to be an activity that actually has all many relaxation techniques. Plus, yoga has been known to help ease stress, reduce feelings of nervousness, and enhance mindfulness. For these reasons, yoga can be a great tool during this time where many things are changing at once and feelings of anxiety can be extreme.

A small but intriguing study done at the University of Utah provided some insight into the effect of yoga on the stress response by looking at the participants’ responses to pain. The researchers noted that people who have a poorly regulated response to stress are also more sensitive to pain. Their subjects were 12 experienced yoga practitioners, 14 people with fibromyalgia (a condition many researchers consider a stress-related illness that is characterized by hypersensitivity to pain), and 16 healthy volunteers.

When the three groups were subjected to more or less painful thumbnail pressure, the participants with fibromyalgia — as expected — perceived pain at lower pressure levels compared with the other subjects. Functional MRIs showed they also had the greatest activity in areas of the brain associated with the pain response. In contrast, the yoga practitioners had the highest pain tolerance and lowest pain-related brain activity during the MRI. The study underscores the value of techniques, such as yoga, that can help a person regulate their stress and, therefore, pain responses.


Benefits of Yoga for Anxiety

Although many forms of yoga practice are safe, some are strenuous and may not be appropriate for everyone, especially if you are dealing with mental and physical anxiety.

For people dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, yoga can be a great way to better manage symptoms. The scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental & physical health are not just closely related, but are essentially deeply connected. Evidence is starting to prove that most yoga practices are a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.
In 2011, Harvard published an analysis of data from a sample of people and found that 3% (the equivalent of nearly 6.4 million Americans) had been advised by their health care practitioners to use mind-body therapies like yoga and meditation — and more than a third of those patients had a diagnosis of anxiety.

“We’ve seen a significant uptick in referrals from psychologists, especially for patients with anxiety,” says Steve Hickman, PsyD, executive director of the University of California San Diego Center for Mindfulness, where health care practitioners — including psychologists — conduct mindfulness research and offer classes for patients. “Therapists and doctors are rethinking their attitudes toward meditative approaches largely because there’s a persuasive body of evidence showing that [these modalities] can help with stress and mood disorders.”


The Science Behind Yoga for Anxiety

The science in hundreds of studies have looked at the benefits of meditation for calming the mind, but possibly the most definitive paper was published in the journal of JAMA Internal Medicine. In the review, researchers at Johns Hopkins University analyzed 47 studies on meditation programs that involved at least four hours of training. “We found consistent evidence that mindfulness meditation reduced the symptoms of anxiety to some degree across studies,” said Madhav Goyal, MD, lead author and assistant professor of medicine. “When you’re anxious, your mind can get carried away with worrying about things that might happen, and that actually makes you feel worse and can cause other symptoms, like insomnia. Meditation teaches people certain skills that can help counteract that tendency, like staying in the moment, recognizing worried thoughts when they’re happening, and preventing them from getting worse.”

In the research, about 20 to 30 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation — a specific type that aims to cultivate awareness of present-moment thoughts, feelings, and experiences — showed the most promise. But there’s evidence that many other meditation types can be effective, as well. Based on his team’s findings, Goyal, a practicing internist, now recommends meditation not only to his patients with anxiety but also to those who are depressed and in physical pain — the two other conditions for which the study found the practice to be effective. “It works and it’s safe, and that’s a good combination,” he says.

Morgan Gertler received her 200HR RYT certification in 2014 from highly esteemed Kripalu teachers and then continued her learning in 2017 by completing her 300HR RYT certification with teachers from Yogamaya and the Iyengar Institute in NYC. Morgan also completed her Yin Level 1 & 2 trainings and loves being able to teach both sides, the yin & yang, of the yoga practice. Morgan views yoga as a vehicle to get back to yourself – through movement and breath-work, we learn how to live a more authentically happy & content life and meet all situations with confidence. When not teaching or practicing yoga, Morgan can be found writing, walking around town with her two dogs, Jagger and Bowie or browsing Sephora for more make up she doesn’t need. Morgan is also a regular content contributor for YogaRenew.

Yoga Poses For Better Sleep

By UncategorizedNo Comments



Ah, to get a restful nights sleep! For many of us, a full 8 hours of sleep is something we only dream about during whatever REM sleep we are able to get.

A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, many of our daily stresses are interfering with natural sleep patterns and causing our sleep to be interrupted and shortened.

If you are looking for a holistic and natural approach to bettering the quality of your sleep, yoga postures and breathing exercises might be the solution. Also, make sure to consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns about a yoga pose or a breathing exercise. Always enter a pose slowly to ensure there is no pain or tension. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your intuition and back out of it.


1. Cat and Cow Pose

A great set of complementary poses that will release your spine and incorporate your breath. Start on your hands and knees. Inhale into Cow pose by bringing the crown of your head and tailbone up toward the ceiling, hollowing out your lower back. For cat pose, exhale as you tilt the crown of the head and tailbone down to the ground, arching your spine into a C-curve and pulling the shoulder blades apart. Flow between these two poses as long as you’d like, moving with the pattern of your inhales and exhales and feeling like you’re putting space between every vertebrae and loosening up your spine. To slow down and control your breath, try to match the length of each inhale and exhale with the length of each pose, with a momentary pause between cycles.



2. Child’s Pose

From hands and knees, sink your hips back to your heels and settle your chest between your thighs. Your big toes should touch one another and your knees are as far apart as they need to be in order to help you settle comfortably and be able to breathe deeply. With your forehead resting on the ground or a blanket, walk your fingertips out in front of you and stretch through the arms. You can also roll your forehead from side to side on the ground to give yourself a mini face massage.

This is a great time to slow down your breathing and allow the exhales to soften your body down, releasing any tension in the shoulders and back.


3. Legs Up the Wall


Transitioning onto your back, position yourself so your tailbone (lowest part of your back) is leaning against the base of a wall, or another flat, tall surface. The headboard of your bed might even work!

Extend your legs straight up the wall. If you can, bring your tailbone closer to the base of the wall, perhaps even to the point where your glutes and upper hamstrings are touching it. This pose can be a great gentle hamstring stretch if you can keep the legs straight.

This pose helps drain lymph and lactic acid from the legs, which helps prevent injury and decrease the symptoms of fatigue and soreness if you spend a lot of time on your feet. Allow the looseness that you brought into your back with the previous postures help you feel more comfortable in this pose. Place a pillow under your head for additional support and feel free to either place your hands on your chest and belly, or stretch them out to a ‘T’ shape.

4. Supine Spinal Twist


Transitioning away from the wall, bring both knees into your chest and rock side to side or take big circles with your knees. When you’re ready, bring your arms out into a ‘T’ with your hands in line with your shoulders and let your knees fall over to one side. You can keep both knees bent, straighten the top leg, or choose to straighten both legs. If you’re not feeling as much of the twist as you’d like, try to adjust your hips further over to the middle of your space so that your back is in one straight line —this may intensify the stretch in the lower back. If you’d like a neck stretch as well, turn your head to the side opposite your knees. After a few breaths, switch sides.

When you’re ready to get in bed for the night, the right breathing exercises could be beneficial to relax your body, mind, and even help you doze off.

Pranayama For Sleep

Pranayama or breathwork is another great way to promote better z’s. Here are three simple breathwork practices you can try to help you sleep before bed.



1. Meditative Breath

For a short meditation, sit up in bed with your back straight and your head tucked slightly forward. Progressively begin to lengthen your breaths. For the first exhale, count to one. Then count to two, then three, all the way up to five. After your fifth exhale, held for a count of five, start over again at one. By keeping this pattern you allow your mind to remain focused on your breath instead of anything swirling through your mind in the evening.


2. Diaphragmatic Breath

With one hand on your lower belly and the other on your chest, take five deep breaths, inhaling for a count of three, then exhaling for a count of three. Clear your mind by focusing on the way your hands rise and fall according to your inhales and exhales.


3. Visualizing Breath

As you inhale, envision the air traveling into your nose, through your entire body, and back out again. Imagine it traveling through all your muscles, all the way to your toes and fingers, before it comes back out again during your exhale.

Focusing on your breathing activates your parasympathetic system, (also known as the rest and digest system) encouraging it to calm down, relax, and lower your heart rate in preparation for sleep.


Morgan Gertler received her 200HR RYT certification in 2014 from highly esteemed Kripalu teachers and then continued her learning in 2017 by completing her 300HR RYT certification with teachers from Yogamaya and the Iyengar Institute in NYC. Morgan also completed her Yin Level 1 & 2 trainings and loves being able to teach both sides, the yin & yang, of the yoga practice. Morgan views yoga as a vehicle to get back to yourself – through movement and breath-work, we learn how to live a more authentically happy & content life and meet all situations with confidence. When not teaching or practicing yoga, Morgan can be found writing, walking around town with her two dogs, Jagger and Bowie or browsing Sephora for more make up she doesn’t need.

Yin Yoga 101: 6 Benefits Of Yin Yoga

By UncategorizedNo Comments


When I started practicing yin yoga and immediately fell in love with it. After years of practicing and teaching strong vinyasa sequences that pushed my body to new limits, yin yoga offered a new challenge – sitting with myself and learning to find peace in discomfort. I learned through yin yoga a new found appreciation for stillness and a slower paced practice. Not long after starting my yin yoga practice did I decide to do my Yin Yoga Teacher Training, as I knew this was a practice I wanted to share with my students. I recently completed my Level II Yin Yoga Training and I feel it now the perfect time to share some yin yoga insights.

Yin Yoga: A General Overview

History & Style

Yin Yoga was founded by Paulie Zink, who came from a background of martial arts and Taoist yoga. In the 70s, Zink introduced his students of martial arts into Yin Yoga, as he believed the flexibility drawn from it complimented martial arts practice. It was then further popularized by Paul Grilley, who added in his knowledge of anatomy into the practice, and later by Sarah Powers, who helped to bring today’s version of yin yoga mainstream.

Yin yoga is rooted in Taoist philosophy from the Yin-Yang symbol which represents the feminine side. Yin poses are more calm and longer held postures that reach deeper muscle tissues. Yang poses on the other hand, are considered to be warmer, more energetic postures, and held for shorter periods of time.

Yin yoga is a slower paced yoga practice with typically only seated or supine poses focusing on deep stretches.The practice is more meditative in nature, with poses being held usually 1-2 minutes, but sometimes over 5 minutes in a single posture. Yin yoga is different from Vinyasa yoga in that you don’t flow from pose to pose. Most of the poses are done seated or lying on your back or stomach. It is also unlike restorative yoga because the body should be feeling the tension and compression of the pose, rather than a deep relaxation. We use the breath in yin yoga to help sustain the poses when they become uncomfortable. It’s the uncomfortable moments and sensations that help the body release built up tension and also create lasting change.



4 Major Benefits of Yin Yoga


1. Releases Deeply Held Tension in the Body

Yin yoga offers a special benefit to tense bodies, due to its direct lengthening and releasing effect. Yin yoga allows us to access the deeper tissues in the body such as the connective tissue and fascia. Many of the postures focus on areas that include a joint (ex. hips, sacrum, spine, and shoulders). Due to natural aging as well as day-to-day activities such as a sitting for a prolonged period of time time, poor posture, and repeated strain – we can lose our flexibility. Yin yoga is done without any warm up, so you are stretching your body in its natural state, which creates lasting benefits.


2. Complements Other Workouts

The ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang relates to the idea that within two opposing forces, there is balance. Certain styles of exercise can be classified as either yin or yang according to their qualities. Yang style workouts like running, sports, or vinyasa style/heat building yoga, are considered yang because they are active, sweat-inducing, dynamic, and repetitive. The principles of yang relates to masculinity, heat, and movement. Yin is the feminine force and is related to stillness, rest, balance, cooling, and release. Exercises that are based on stretching and relaxation are said to be yin in nature. If yang-style workouts are overused without balance, there is the potential for the body to become overworked, injured, or fatigued. Bringing yin yoga to your exercise routine will balance this with improved flexibility and relaxation.


3. It Balances Your Chi

According to traditional Chinese medicine, our bodies are powered by a vital force called ‘chi’. Chi runs through specific energetic channels in the body, called meridians. While any yoga style could have an effect on the meridian pathways to some degree, yin yoga has a more profound effect on the meridians. All of the meridians flow through the back and legs at some point, and many yin postures will effect several meridians at once. Yin classes may be structured in a way that allow students to work on all of the meridians, or there might be a focus on just a couple.

4. It Builds Fortitude and Perseverance

When life is feeling a bit more difficult than normal, or certain situations are making it hard for me to focus on other areas of my life, I turn to my yin yoga practice to help rebalance my energy. Yin teaches us that staying still and dealing with whatever thoughts or feelings come up will actually help you grow. Learning to take each moment as it comes – one breath at a time, one thought at a time – will help you become more proficient in managing the discomforts that come up in life. As we hold each pose, it gets harder to ignore the ‘monkey’ mind and we sometimes have the desire to want to leave the pose. Yin teaches us to find a place of comfort in a not-so-comfortable place and observe our thoughts and reactions from a place of calmness.

5. Releases Emotional Blockages

It is believed in yoga philosophy that we tend to hold old emotional issues in our bodies – including our muscles and tissues. By focusing on long holds and releases in yin yoga, we find that blockages to emotional issues that we have, slowly begin to break down. By slowing down, it brings us into the present moment and quiets the mind – allowing a space for great personal positive transformation. Next time you are feeling stuck on something, get on your mat and indulge in some long deep yin stretches for release.

6. Lowers Stress & Anxiety

Yang style yoga classes such as Vinyasa Flow and Power Yoga can give us energy and boost our moods. However, Yin style yoga classes offer us a different benefit for when we need more calm and grounding in our lives. Yin yoga can lower our stress and anxiety levels because of its slower and more meditative pace. These classes are usually quieter which leave room for inner contemplation and meditation.


Yin Yoga In Practice

Yin yoga is safe for people of all ages and physical abilities. It’s a great addition to your current yoga practice or workout, and is easily adaptable to those with injuries or limitations. With a towel and just two yoga blocks, you can even practice your favorite yin poses at home.

Make sure to let your teacher know if you are pregnant, have a new or old injury, or are feeling any sharp, shooting pains while in the pose. There are always modifications available to make each pose better suited for your body and specific needs.

Morgan Gertler Yoga Teacher YogaRenew

Morgan Gertler received her 200HR RYT certification in 2014 from highly esteemed Kripalu teachers and then continued her learning in 2017 by completing her 300HR RYT certification with teachers from Yogamaya and the Iyengar Institute in NYC. Morgan also completed her Yin Level 1 & 2 trainings and loves being able to teach both sides, the yin & yang, of the yoga practice. Morgan views yoga as a vehicle to get back to yourself – through movement and breath-work, we learn how to live a more authentically happy & content life and meet all situations with confidence. When not teaching or practicing yoga, Morgan can be found writing, walking around town with her two dogs, Jagger and Bowie or browsing Sephora for more make up she doesn’t need.

5 Yoga Poses For Lower Back Pain

By UncategorizedNo Comments














Yoga enthusiasts swear by their poses to maintain feeling open, strong, and stable in their bodies. But utilizing yoga to feel good in your body and relieve pain doesn’t necessarily require a regular practice. Once you learn what areas of your body need be to refreshed and renewed, you just have to find the right postures.

In this article we will dive into a few poses that are great to help relieve lower back pain. If you experience lower back pain you’re not alone – an estimated 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. Back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly. The below yoga poses can be done at home with limited props and don’t require any previous yoga experience.

Its important to understand that back pain is not a universal experience and that those experiencing severe pain should seek insight from a professional physician, or physical therapist before attempting any poses that could potentially create further damage. As always, its important to focus on how a posture feels, and not on how it looks.

1. Child Pose

Child Pose Yoga Poses Lower Back Pain Relief









Child pose is a relaxing way to elongate your spine and relieve stress. Even though your mind might be resting, this pose offers an active stretch that helps elongate your entire back. To try it, start in a table top position (on all fours) and then begin to push your hips back so that your seat ends up on, or close to, your feet. Reach your hands forward to add length to the sides of your torso and let your forehead rest on the floor or a blanket. If your seat doesn’t reach your feet, you can fold another blanket over your heels for some extra support.

Stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths, allowing yourself to become heavier and softening towards the floor with each breath out. This is a great pose to practice before bed or even first thing in the morning to help center yourself for the day and stretch out your back after sleeping.

2. Cat and Cow Pose

Cat Pose Yoga Poses Lower Back Pain Relief








Cow Pose Yoga Poses Lower Back Pain Relief










Cat and Cow are poses that provide both a rounding and an arch of your back, and they flow nicely from one to the other. This set of poses is perfect for an achy or sore back and will loosen your spine while also warming up the trunk of your body for any additional movement or workout.

Starting in all-fours position, move into Cow by letting your belly drop down, your tailbone lift, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your chest and head forward. Stay for the inhale. When ready to exhale, slowly round your spine up by pressing into your hands and release your neck so your gaze drops to your navel. Pause for a few seconds and then move back and forth from Cat to Cow. This helps position your spine into a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension.

Repeat 7-10 times, flowing smoothly from Cat into Cow, and Cow back into Cat.

3. Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Fold Yoga Poses For Lower Back Pain Relief









With Standing Forward Bend, its important to note that in some instances of back injury this can hurt the back further. You should have flexibility in the hamstrings while attempting this pose – if there isn’t a good stretch coming from the hamstrings, or if the hamstrings are tight – you could create further injury to the lower back. You should also do your best to keep the spine lengthened and more straightened than rounded.

A standing forward bend stretches the hamstrings and lower back muscles while providing a release for tight, tense shoulders as well.

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees soft, not locked. On your exhale, fold at your hips – not the waist – and bend forward toward the floor. Don’t worry if your hands can’t reach all the way to the floor at first; just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a comfortable stretch. The neck should be relaxed with the top of the head facing the mat, and both neck and head in line with the spine to prevent injury. You can keep a soft bend in your knees to prevent any strain in the low back – bending forward with straightened legs together can compress the spine. If you have yoga blocks, place them under your hands for additional support. Stay for 3-5 cycles of breath and repeat as needed.

To exit the pose, bring your hands to your hips, bend the knees a bit and press yourself up to stand, but move slowly. Stand tall for 30 seconds and breathe fully into your belly and chest.

4. Supine Twist

Supine Twist Yoga Poses For Lower Back Pain Relief

Spinal twists can be the most dangerous for those with back injuries – however the easiest on the spine would be a supine twist. A gentle twist offers tension relief for the entire back, as well as the neck. Allowing gravity to help release the back also makes this pose ultra relaxing for the rest of your muscles and your mind.

Lay on your back and bring your arms to a T-shape or cactus shape on the floor. Allow your knees to come up and in towards your chest and then slowly lower both knees to the left until they come down to the floor. Keep your head neutral or feel free to look in the opposite direction of the bent knees. Your knees might have a little space between them – if so, grab a blanket or towel and pad up the space so that your legs feel supported. Try to keep your upper chest broad and allow gravity to keep your shoulders heavy to the floor. Inhale to find some length and use your exhale to allow the twist to deepen. 7-10 cycles of breath will bring a nice physical release as well as a mental one! To switch sides, pull your knees back to your chest, and repeat on the right side. (Hint: don’t try this after a big meal.)

5. Sphinx Pose

Sphinx Yoga Poses For Lower Back Relief





This backbend is a great pose to strengthen the back and also stimulate the natural curves of the spine, which we sometimes lose from sitting for too long. When we sit a lot, the lower back tends to move into a more flattened shape, which can cause pain and discomfort over time. Sphinx pose promotes the natural curvature of the lower back which aids in overall spine health.

Lay on your stomach with feet hip-width apart, and bring your elbows to the floor and rest them under your shoulders. If there is too much pressure on your lower back, bring your elbows slightly forward. If you would like a deeper or more intense bend, place a block under each elbow. Hold this pose for several breaths, feeling yourself get longer with your inhales and allowing the hips and legs to heavy on your exhale. To exit the pose, lower yourself onto the floor, turn one cheek to the side and gently allow your hips to rock side to side.

These are just a few poses to help your back feel healthy and spacious. Always take it slow and ease into postures in a safe way for your body. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your intuition and exit the pose.


Morgan Gertler received her 200HR RYT certification in 2014 from highly esteemed Kripalu teachers and then continued her learning in 2017 by completing her 300HR RYT certification with teachers from Yogamaya and the Iyengar Institute in NYC. Morgan also completed her Yin Level 1 & 2 trainings and loves being able to teach both sides, the yin & yang, of the yoga practice. Morgan views yoga as a vehicle to get back to yourself – through movement and breath-work, we learn how to live a more authentically happy & content life and meet all situations with confidence. When not teaching or practicing yoga, Morgan can be found writing, walking around town with her two dogs, Jagger and Bowie or browsing Sephora for more make up she doesn’t need.