Growing up in Japan, there were no chairs in my house. The floor of my house was covered with Tatami, which is a type of flooring made of weaved straw.  We used to sit on Tatami all the time. When we visited the Buddhist Temple, we had to sit on our feet with our spines erect, in Seza, until our feet would fall asleep.

I still remember the life style changes in my childhood. Suddenly, there appeared couches and chairs in my house. The western style toilet replaced the old fashioned one. We said “Sayonara!” to Tatami and said “Hello!” to wooden floors. I embraced the changes with joy… It was so much more comfortable sitting on chairs.

Only recently, after 40 years and several disc injuries later, I started to give up my furniture and have begun to sit on the floor. I realize my back feels much better this way. Whenever I travel to Asia on 13 hour plane rides, I walk around and find a wall to perform the Yoga Tune Up® pose, Boomerang. Boomerang will help to simultaneously loosen and strengthen the QL by introducing certain movements to change your postural pattern. This action will bring awareness to your muscles to strengthen and increase your range of motion.

The best part is, you don’t need much space or time. Just a little office space or bath room wall will do—so why not spend five minutes in between work, or a long drive to try it?

 

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Kyoko Jasper

Kyoko Jasper (ERYT-500) was born and raised in Japan. In 1985, she moved to NYC to become an actress and for over two decades, she has been performing in Musical Theatre, TV and Film. After the devastating day of 9-11-2001, led by an undeniable calling in her heart, Kyoko went through a dramatic shift which led her passion to a Yogic way of life. Now she is dedicating herself to spread peace and healing all over the world through Yoga and other healing methods. Kyoko travels to Japan and other parts of the world regularly to teach at conferences and retreats. She specializes in training teachers for her Yoga Alliance Teacher Training and CE program. Kyoko is certified in Dharma Mittra 500 hours TT, Yoga Tune Up®, Acro Yoga®, Circus Yoga® and Next generation Yoga®. Continuing Education of Embodied Anatomy with Amy Matthews, Philosophy and Sanskrit study at the Bhakti Center in NYC. She is a Kirtan Leader, Reiki Master and also a Spiritual Life Coach. Kyoko is known for her fun, creative and loving teaching style. She will help her students to unravel themselves by becoming deeply in touch with their spirit. Aligning the body with precision so the energy can flow through it freely. Follow Kyoko on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/KyokoJasperYoga

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Alissa Trepman

I loved reading about the transition in your life from youth to later on– the context is illuminating. Excellent advice. And great video as well, I appreciate this demo as a reminder.

Janeen Anhara Castillo

QL was totally where i felt the movement the most today in training. My tight QL loved it!

Gen

I love this pose, not only for my back but also for my breathing that makes it deeper.

Melanie Blanchette

I just learned the Boomerang pose today. I didn’t know about the advantage of this pose for the lower back pain. I’m really happy to know that now. My husband often has pain in his lower back. He will definitely appreciate to know this simple solution.

Ella Maghen

My lower back has suffered as well from excessive sitting, and trying the closed chain, activating the QL is wonderful.

Ellen S.

I love this one too, and it’s so much harder than it looks! I start to breathe faster and can feel how it also works on my respiration. Also, for me as well, I have “returned” to sitting on the floors or sitting cross legged on chairs when the chair allows for it. I can feel such a difference on my spine.

nic matthews

love it Kyoko. this is my new favorite pose. My QLs are really out of balance – i’m always tight on one side. I’m going to boomerang more starting today!

Véronique Lamothe

I will help make everyone aware of this exercise. For sure!! Thank you 🙂

Clare Kelley

This is so validating! I sit on my floor at home and keep my mattress on my (clean) floor so I have to constantly get all the way up and down. Strong legs aren’t optional for me, and this helps so much!

marie josée packwood

Thank God for Boomerang

Em B

Thanks, Kyoto for this article on Boomerang! I have long wondered just how much we compromise our bodies by sitting in chairs. I’m interested in how you sit because when I sit on the floor in a cross-legged position, I find that my lumbar spine bulges in a similar way that it does in chairs. I will definitely try doing Boomerang on my next long flight.

Katrina LK

I too love sitting on the floor! Thanks for a great demonstration of Boomerang, it’s such a lovely QL stretch and strengthener.

Tracy Wagner

Great to know this exercise helps with lower back pain, thanks great demonstration.

Linda

Wow thanks did not realize the Boomerang would be so great to help with lower back pain. I am sure mine is caused by too much sitting and not stretching when I do get up. Such an easy pose to do anywhere.

Thanks again.

Nancy

Thank you Kyoko, super stretch, easy, accessible and enjoyed by all and fun to do!

Ted Burnham

I am very happy to hear that getting rid of my furniture is the right thing to do! I have been a big promoter of this in my home over the last few years which has not been met with a great deal of exuberance by others. So in the meantime the Boomerang will be my go to pose. My problem is in the lower back right above the sacrum and maybe around the Fifth Lumbar obviously caused by too much sitting and poor posture. I have not tried the tune up balls there yet but will do so tomorrow.… Read more »

Jenny Lim

Lol! This is amazing! I love side bends and I usually start my practice with either seated or supine side bending. I haven’t really thought about trying a side bend at the wall, especially one that is closed chain in both hands. I’m fascinated by the extra bit of resistance you use with your top hand. Must try this. Thank you Kyoko for sharing and making it look so delicious!

Regina

Thank you Kyoko for the QL info. I work with lots of clients who spend the day sitting or driving. I can’t wait the share the Boomerang stretch with my clients. I started last night to do that stretch especially after a long day of sitting and doing computer work. I love to use the Yoga Tune Up balls to my daily practice, now I have something else to add to my practice.

Dani Ibarra

I love boomerang!! I will have to remember your post next time I take a long flight. Great tips thank you!

Krysten Hills

Thanks for the reminder. Bommerang is exactly what I need to be doing to stretch my QL. My entire core is so weak after 9 months of pregnancy.

elodie

thanks for the advice. i think most of us usually picture the back muscles, as tissues potentially stretchable by flexion of extension of the spine. thank you for the reminder that side stretch could be as effective!

Dominique Pelletier

Tellement simple comme pose. Un super étirements latérale et merveilleux pour tonifier et relacher notre QL.

Therese

I learned Boomerang while attending Level 1 YTU Teacher Training and it’s just what I needed, just what my back needed. Thanks so much!

Maryday

My QL acts up once in awhile if I am not careful. I know its takes a lot of strength and awareness in my core and posture habits. Boomerang pose is awesome to do, especially at the moment I am doing the YTU training, where all day its taking notes and at home its doing homework where I tend to slouch. So now I def feel it in my QL! Also I have tried to do Side Plank Prep 1, which I found helps to also strengthen the QL 🙂 Thanks for this great post!

Stephanie

What an interesting post! It’s fascinating how body pain can and culture can be related. Often cultural norms are not best for our physical body. Take our 40 hour or more work week sitting in front of a computer, this causes so much suffering for so many.

Jason Koh

Hi Kyoko. Ah, your post brought back some memories. My grandparents and parents sat on floor mats most of their lives, and my grandmoms could squat for hours at a time with beautiful spinal alignment. Every time I get a little uppity, my mom drops into a squat and invites me to join her. She does that because she knows that there’s no way I can match her. And like many things, time and experience prove that the old ways are oftentimes the best ways.

Christy

Yes. This exactly what I need. I low space, no implement release for my low back.

Kate

Thanks for the plane tip – I’ll make sure to do this on my next long flight!

Brittany L

Kyoko, appreciate the insight! Will share with my staff !

Sarah R

Thank you Kyoko, I work with new immigrant families and often do home visits. Many of them do not have western furniture in their homes and I have always been happy to sit on the floor with them. Sometimes they express concern that I am going to be uncomfortable. Your story has given me a great talking point to share with them about the value of sitting as they are.

Caitlin Carr

I just practiced Boomerang today at home after watching your video. I also never thought about it being effective for lower back pain, and have been trying to eliminate lower back pain in my sacrum, QL and erectors by rolling on my yoga tune up balls! This stretch has helped me and is very easy to do each day. I highly recommend it!

Sharon

love this movement! so simple but so complex! I got up and did it right away after watching your video! I am in the middle of YTU level 1 teacher training and we did this…it will be a regular movement in my day and will bring it to as many classes as possible!!

Maureen

I just learned Boomerang in class today. I never thought about it being effective for lower back pain. I have been rolling on my sacrum, QL and erectors. I just can’t seem to get into the L4-L5 area. Sidewinder seems to have loosened it up. I will try a combo with Boomerang and see if that fixes it.

I agree, getting rid of furniture is the best thing for the back.