8 Yoga Poses for Back Pain That Will Have You Saying Namaste (Thank You)
A stiff and painful back can be debilitating. Your back is your support, so when it’s hurting, it can be hard to function.
You could see a doctor for medication or physical therapy, but when money is tight and you need instant relief that isn’t always an option. How can you ease some of this pain at home?
Yoga is a great way to stretch and release some of those back muscles and build some strength to get a stronger foundation. Strengthen and soothe your back and core while easing your pain.
Keep reading for our favorite yoga poses for back pain that you can add to your morning routine.
1. Child’s Pose
This is a foundational pose in many yoga practices. Yoga routines often start or finish with this pose (before corpse pose) and may disperse it throughout for a quick rest and release on the back.
It’s a wonderful stretch when you’re using yoga for back pain and you get to choose how much pressure you’re applying.
For this, sit on your knees with your feet underneath you. Spread your knees slightly and bring your torso slowly down to the earth with your arms extended. Your torso can rest on your thighs, or you can spread your knees wider to let it rest between them.
Bring your forehead and forearms to the floor if you’re able. Melt down into this pose and steady your breathing until you feel a release.
A cat-cow is less of a pose and more of a movement, but it’s another foundational piece of many yoga routines.
You’re going to come up to all fours with your shins and tops of your feet pressing into the earth and your finger knuckles supporting your arms (to try to alleviate pressure on the wrists).
When you breathe in deeply, bring your navel down as though you’re pushing it to the ground, making a dip in your back. You should feel the stretch in your shoulders.
On an exhale, round your back, pushing your navel up as though it’s being pulled by a string. Your back should be arched like a frightened cat.
Repeat as many times as necessary.
3. Upward-Facing Dog
For this, lay flat on your stomach with the tops of your feet pressing into the earth. Bring your hands into a tight push-up position around the middle of your ribcage.
Press up gently on an inhale, curving your back, as high as you are able. Don’t push until you feel pressure, just as far as you are comfortable.
Hold this pose for up to 10 seconds before you slowly release back to the floor.
4. Downward-Facing Dog
This is a great followup to upward-facing dog as it stretches the back in the opposite direction. This is also one of the better yoga poses for lower back pain.
This is also a great strengthening pose for the core and a good rest pose that still builds strength and flexibility.
From the floor (if you just finished your up-dog) push up into a high push-up position or plank. Instead of stopping in plank, send your hips up and adjust your hands and feet until you’re in a comfortable upside-down v-shape. Your head should be between your shoulders, giving your shoulderblades a nice release.
Pedal your feet if they’re unable to lie flat for an extra stretch.
5. Bridge Pose
This is a strengthening pose for the back, glutes, and thighs.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your arms can be flat at your sides or resting on your belly.
Push up through your feet until your hips are hovering as high as you can comfortably get them. You can hold this pose for as long as feels comfortable, or you can release and repeat for more of a pilates-style bridge.
6. Low Lunge
This is a slightly more advanced move, and those with lower back pain specifically may want to build strength first before moving towards it (though it can be released from this pose). Upper back pain should feel some relief.
Beginning in downward dog or all fours, bring one knee forward and plant your foot between your supporting hands (for beginners, this is a good time for blocks if you have them to elevate your hands). Bring both hands to the “inside” (meaning if your right foot is planted, your hands should be planted to the left of it).
Your other leg should stretch out slightly, toes pressed into the ground, knee either lifted or touching the earth depending on your comfort.
Bring your chest up, pressing your shoulders down away from your ears, and try to pull your torso and hips in opposite directions. You should feel a good stretch right above the hips and in your shoulders.
Repeat on either side or keep this pose as you go into #7.
7. Chest Opener
This is a great pose for a backstretch. We’re going straight from the previous pose.
Whichever foot is forward, Plant your hands on either side. From here, tighten your core for stability and bring the hand that matches the foot (meaning if the right foot is down, the right hand comes up) up towards the sky, opening your chest with it.
Your fingers should be outstretched as if they’re being pulled up by an invisible string. and your face and chest should face whatever side you’re lifting towards.
Repeat on either side.
8. Forward Fold
This is great for flexibility and it’s a common (and simple) position in many vinyasas.
Stand up tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees just slightly as you reach your fingers toward the ground. If they don’t touch, that’s okay. Be careful not to lock your knees, especially as a beginner.
Once your fingers are on the ground, grab each elbow with the opposite hand and release the tension in your upper body so it “hangs” over your legs. When you’re ready to come up, ease up slowly as if each vertebra is clicking into place.
These Are Our Favorite Yoga Poses for Back Pain
As with every stretch or exercise, if something doesn’t feel good, don’t push it.
If you feel pinching, save that move for another day. Yoga should be restorative, not painful. These yoga poses for back pain should help stretch and strengthen your back, relieving pain, and hopefully preventing pain in the future.
To learn more about health and restoration, or to find affordable medications for your ailments, visit our site.