A tight piriformis can cause sciatic pain. Lift both legs to a 90° angle. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, place your hands under your left hamstring, and gently raise your left leg toward your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, lower your legs, return to starting position and repeat with the other leg.
11. Prone Spine
For the lower back and abdominals.
Lie on your right side with your hips, knees, and shoulders in line. Slightly bend both knees, then grasp your left shin with your left hand and pull gently toward your buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds, release, and repeat on the other side.
13. Quadruped Arm/Leg Raise
See this YouTube video for a demonstration of this whole-body stretch.
14. Side Plank
A great all-around stretch for balance and core and back muscles.
Lie on your back with legs straight. Raise your arms to shoulder level, perpendicular to your body, palms down. Lift your right leg off the floor to a 90° angle and slowly rotate it across the left leg while you turn your head to the right. Place your left hand on your bent knee and gently stretch for 20 seconds, allowing your back to move with your bent leg. Slowly return the right leg to the starting position and lower to the floor, then repeat with left leg.
16. Standing Hamstring
Stand with a low table or chair in front of you, about knee height. Place the heel of your right foot on the chair and slowly lean forward, keeping back straight in line with the hips. Extend your right hand toward your right foot and hold for 20 seconds. Return to starting position and switch legs.
17. Total Back
Stand behind a chair, table, or other sturdy object at arms’ length, at shoulder or slightly lower height. Put both hands on the chair, bend your knees slightly, and lean forward, allowing your butt to move back while your head drops in line with your spine until it is between your upper arms. Hold for several seconds, return to starting position, and repeat.
Stretching is exercise and requires a cool-down. Lie with your back flat on the floor, knees bent to prevent strain, hands resting at your sides. Take as much time as you like to breathe deeply, feeling the stress and pain release from your body.
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