Many of us suffer from chronic back pain. When your back hurts, the last thing you want to do is move. The right types of movements can help your back feel better. There are many yoga poses for back pain that can provide pain relief and yoga is an easy way to relieve your aching back. Yoga’s combination of stretching and strengthening the muscles in your body can help strengthen your core,which is essential for keeping your back strong and healthy. These types of movements can also improve your posture. Think of it as physical therapy that you can do from the comfort of home.
Whether you have chronic back pain or are just feeling sore from a long day or a tough workout, here are the 10 best yoga poses for back pain relief.
Yoga Poses for Back Pain Relief
1. Supported Bridge Pose
Bridge pose can help strengthen your back and glute muscles, which can help improve your back stability and prevent future aches and pains. Bridge pose is the entry pose to the supported bridge pose. Supported bridge pose can help lengthen your spine and stretch the back muscles to find a more gentle relief.
Start by lying flat down on your back. Bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet to the earth with your knees and ankles hip-width apart. Walk your feet closer to the glutes so that your ankles are in line with your knees when it’s time to lift the hips. Keep your feet flat on the ground and your arms alongside your body with palms on the earth. Tilt your pelvis towards the ceiling to feel the full length of the spine on the floor. Exhale as you press through your heels and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
Grab your block and place it underneath your sacrum. Gently lower the back body to the block. Stay here for at least 10 breaths. When you are ready to dismount, press the feet into the earth and lift the hips. Remove the block and keep the pelvis scooped towards the ceiling as you lower down to the earth vertebrae by vertebrae.
2. Supine twist
Supine twist is great for a gentle and supported back stretch. Start by laying down on your back then pull your knees into your chest giving them a hug with your arms. Bring your arms out to a T-shape and, on the exhale, drop your knees to the right side. As your knees gently touch the floor, keep both shoulder blades on the ground. If the knees do not reach the floor then place blocks or a folded blanket between the knees and the floor for support.
If you would like a deeper stretch, drape your right hand over the left leg. Take deep breaths in and out and hold for as long as needed. When you are ready, gently switch sides.
3. Seated Twist
Seated twists are great for relieving back pain and tension throughout your entire back. They can be gentle or deep, depending on how your body feels. Starting in a seated position with a flat back inhale and sweep the arms to the sky. On the exhale, simultaneously twist to the right and lower your left hand to the right knee as your right hand to the floor behind you. Gaze beyond your right shoulder. Be mindful of twisting through the navel’s space. Hold for at least 10 breaths then gently release the twist and repeat on the other side.
4. Seated Rabbit
Seated rabbit is one of the best postures for people who sit at a desk or in a car for most of the day. It not only helps to find relief in the back, but also in the neck and shoulders. Start seated with knees bent and soles of the feet on the floor. Lift the toes towards the sky so only the heels are on the floor. Tuck the chin, dome the back, and reach for either the ankles, outside blades of the feet, or the toes while the forehead comes to the knees. Press equal and opposite energy through the feet and hands to find the back body stretch. Adjust as needed to find more or less intensity in the posture. Continue to breathe with long breaths and hold for as long as needed.
Cat/Cow pose is a great yoga posture for back and spinal health. This pose helps stretch all of the interconnector muscles down the spine and helps to open the hips and relieve pain and tightness in the lower back. Start on your hands and knees in a yoga tabletop position with a flat back, knees in line with hips, and wrists in line with shoulders. As you inhale, drop your navel to the earth and lift your chest towards the ceiling as you gaze up into cow pose. Exhale as you tuck your chin along with your tailbone and arch your back into cat pose.
Continue moving through these two movements, aligning the breath with the movement for as long as needed.
6. Child’s Pose
This posture is among the most gentle of yoga poses. It gives a stretch along your entire back and can help relieve pain in both your upper and lower back.
Start in the same tabletop position as in cat/cow pose. Bring your big toes together and widen the knees as you sit back towards the heels. Simultaneously, walk your hands out in front of your body with palms on the earth. The forehead will come to the mat as the glutes sit back on the heels. If the glutes cannot reach the heels then lay the front body on a yoga bolster or large pillow. Hold this stretch while breathing deeply into the navel’s space. Stay here for as long as needed.
7. Sphinx Pose
Sphinx pose is a gentle backbend that helps to strengthen the back and relieve back pain. It is a pose that has been shown to help improve posture.
Start this pose by lying flat on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart. Mindfully walk your arms underneath your torso and bring your elbows under your shoulders with your wrists inline with the elbows and palms on the floor. Roll your shoulders up towards your ears then slide them down your back as you pull your chest through your arms trying to bring your pectoral muscles in line with your biceps. Keep your chin parallel to the floor, press the tops of the feet into the ground, and breathe into the navel’s space.
Hold this pose for as long as needed, breathing deeply into the navel’s space. Come out of the pose by gently bringing your upper body and forehead down to the mat, then relaxing into a child’s pose for a few breaths.
8. Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog is the “classic” yoga pose. In yoga it is known as the active resting posture and can also help with relieving upper back pain. This yoga pose lengthens and strengthens muscles throughout the body at the same time.
Start in a tabletop position. Tuck your toes and lift your knees as you press through the hands and straighten your legs raising your hips towards the ceiling. Essentially, you are in an upside-down V position. Your head and neck are relaxed as you draw your inner thighs toward the back of your mat. Hold this position for at least 10 breaths.
9. Twisted Downward Facing Dog
This pose helps to provide a deeper lower back stretch than a traditional downward facing dog. Starting in a downward facing dog pose, firmly plant your left hand onto the floor. Reach your right arm underneath your body to grab somewhere accessible on the left leg. Gaze underneath your left armpit. Hold for a few breaths then gently unravel and move to the other side.
10. Forward fold
Forward fold can be entered either through downdog or a standing position. If entering through a downward facing dog, simply walk the hands and feet towards one another. Once feet are firmly planted on the floor, hang heavy in your forward fold and drop the crown of the head to the earth. If starting in a standing position, bring your feet underneath the hips, tuck your chin to your chest and roll your spine down to the forward fold. Hang heavy and drop the crown of your head to the earth. Maybe you grab opposite elbows and swing left to right.
Practicing these yoga poses for back pain relief can help prevent future back aches. By practicing these yoga moves, you can relieve your joints and build up muscle for a healthy posture and protection.
What are the Benefits?
Researchers found that yoga can ease moderate to severe lower back pain. It can also help improve your ability to move and walk. By practicing these yoga poses for back pain relief, you can also help prevent future backaches. Start off by practicing these gentle yoga poses. They can relieve your joints and build up muscle for a healthy posture and protection.
This website is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or lifestyle habits, always consult your doctor or physician first.