Many yoga poses (asanas) are designed especially for back pain relief. Yoga Poses benefits the back by lengthening your spine, as well as stretching and strengthening your back muscles. It holds true even for those who are yoga beginners or clueless about yoga but have chronic aches and occasional back pain. Besides that, yoga eases back pain by aligning your spinal cord to its right spot.
Unfortunately, due to our sedentary lifestyle and long working hours at a sitting job, our lower back suffers the most. To such an extent, that it ruins our posture giving one a hunch back. Lower back pain also stems from lifting heavy items the wrong way. Thus, the following 5 Yoga Poses (asanas) for lower back pain can be performed in sequence or separately – both for prevention and cure to the back pain.
5 Yoga Poses (Asanas) for Back Pain
1. Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is the best posture to take the pressure off your lower back. It is the topmost Yoga Pose (asanas) for back pain because it reduces pain by elongating your spine and also aligning it along the way. Also, practising Child’s Pose (Asana) gives you a moment to redirect your pain to your thoughts aligning it with your mind and with the intention of reducing the lower back pain. (This pose looks simple but has a deeper meaning)
How to do the Child’s Pose (Asana) – Steps?
- Kneel on your yoga mat with your knees hip-width apart and your feet together behind you. It is like sitting on your heels.
- Then, take a deep breath in and hold it for 3 counts. And as you exhale out, lay your torso over your thighs with your arms stretched out in front of you.
- Then, lengthen your spine and neck with stretching your arms in front of you while resting your forehead on the ground.
- Hold this pose for at least 5 inhalations and exhalations. Pay attention to how you breathe – it is very important. As you breathe in feel the back muscles stretching and as you exhale out, notice how your muscles relax.
- To come out of the position – gradually get back to the sitting position while inhaling.
You can do this pose before going to bed as it acts as a de-stressor.
2. Cat-Cow Pose
This gentle, accessible backbend yoga pose (asana) for back pain, stretches and mobilizes the spine. Practising this pose also stretches your torso, shoulders, and neck.
How to do the Cat-Cow Pose – Steps?
- From the Child’s Pose, lift your hips and come on all your fours with a hip-width distance between your knees and your shoulders.
- To come into the Cat pose – take a deep breath and gently curve your spine upward, arching your back. Then, drop your head down while exhaling, as if you are looking at your belly button. Exhale out and hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Then, move to the Cow pose by lifting your tailbone up, stretching your shoulder blades back and lifting your head up. Hold this pose for 15-30 seconds and inhale and exhale slowly and deeply before moving back to the Cat pose.
- Switching poses will bring your back to its original position and thus, reducing lower back pain and easing any muscle tension.
Make sure you switch poses gently and not in a swift motion to aggravate any further tension in the lower back (lumbar region). Due to the release of tension in the back, Cat-Cow pose induces a better and sound sleep for those having difficulty in sleeping due to chronic joint and muscle pains.
3. Downward Facing Dog Pose
If you did not know this, let me tell you, that sometimes the lower back pain also rises because of the tightness in your calves and hamstrings. Thus, Downward Facing Dog pose is an excellent yoga pose (asana) for back pain. This yoga pose, in particular, loosens your hamstring and calve muscles by releasing lower back pain effectively.
How to do the Downward Facing Dog Pose – Steps?
- Begin on all fours, just like the Cat-Cow pose and spread your fingers apart.
- Then, slowly lift your hips up and back lifting your knees off the floor.
- Straighten your legs and make sure your heels are touching the ground. Your position should resemble an inverted “V”.
- Straighten your arms and slide your shoulder blades down your back. Keep your head down and look right at the back edge of your yoga mat.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a minute. This will stretch loosen the tightness in your hamstrings.
If you feel discomfort at the back of your calves, you can bend your knees a little to make the pose comfortable.
4. Sphinx Yoga Pose for lower back pain
Sphinx pose is a gentle back-bend pose that you can simply do when you are lying down on your bed as well. It is one of the easiest yoga poses (asanas) for back pain to do.
Due to constant sitting down at either our desks jobs or in front of the television, our backs tend to flatten causing pain in the lower back. It puts pressure on the lower disc of your spine. What this pose does is that it stretches, tones the spine and also creates a natural curve of the lower back. This yoga pose (asana) for back pain for beginners is ideal as it is a low-intensity posture for anyone suffering from back pain.
How to do Sphinx Yoga Pose – Steps?
- Lie flat on your tummy with your legs together and stretched out behind you.
- Place your elbows next to you, under your shoulders. Also, make sure your forearms are placed on the ground and your chin as well.
- Then, take a deep breath in and lift your chest off the floor, keeping the neck in line with your spine.
- Press your thighs and pubic bone down into the floor and keep your shoulders relaxed as well.
- Then, sit up just enough to feel a nice stretch in your lower back forming a natural curve. Don’t stretch back too much. If you feel any discomfort in your lower back, lie flat on your tummy immediately.
- Hold this pose for 1 to 2 minutes. Exhale out as you release the pose by lowering your head and chest to the floor.
- Then, turn your head to one side and keep your arms to your sides and relax for as long as you need.
You can also perform this pose 2-3 times as per the comfort of your back.
5. Reclined Supine Twist
This twist on the spine is a great yoga pose (asana) for back pain as it takes away the tension from the entire back and the neck as well.
Twisting the spine activates the muscles around the lumbar spine and abdominal core, that helps to increase blood flow and oxygen to the back. This increases stability in the spinal cord helping those who find it difficult to balance their body.
How to do the Reclined Supine Twist – Steps?
- Begin with lying flat on your back with your arms stretched out straight forming a T – shape.
- Bring your knees up to your tummy and hug them.
- Then, take a deep breath in and exhale out as you slowly drop both your knees to the left side as you twist in the opposite direction (right side).
- You can keep your neck neutral or look in the opposite direction to your knees.
- Make sure you keep your shoulders on the floor. If your top knee is lifting too much as you twist, then add in a pillow or block between the knees.
- Hold this stretch for 1 to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.
However, if you have chronic back pain then avoid performing this yoga pose as it might aggravate the pain further. Thus, try yoga for spinal cord with poses such as the Cat-Cow pose as it will ease the tension in your spinal cord making it easier for you to twist and stretch.
Yoga can reduce back pain without taking tons of pain killers especially if you pay attention to your breath. So, give yoga a try and do not resort to medications completely unless you have a severe back problem.
Thus, before you begin to perform these easy yoga poses (asanas) for back pain, speak to your family doctor especially if you are prone to soreness and pain. However, start with a 10-minute practice at home with our easy yoga poses to not only gain a healthy back but a healthy mind and body laying emphasis on your breath.
Also, if you want to learn how to breathe the right way in order for the yoga poses to work, read our article on How to do Breathing in Yoga for a detailed description.
There are numerous yoga poses for back pain relief but we at Wellnessworks chose the right and appropriate yoga poses that are easy to perform if you are a yoga beginner and looking to relieve everyday back pain.