Yoga and Meditation

Yoga Poses that Relieve Back Pain

Tight, tense back muscles can lead to muscle strain and poor posture. When your muscles aren’t tense, there’s usually less stress and pressure on certain parts of your body and, as a result, less pain in your back, neck, and shoulders. If you have chronic lower back pain, especially in your spine, it’s always essential to start any movement program slowly and carefully, using your own pain signals as a guide for your limits. When you exercise or do yoga to treat your lower back pain, start slowly and pay attention to how you feel while doing each pose. If pain increases while you are doing a pose, you should stop doing the pose. If you don’t experience additional pain, you can keep doing the pose to strengthen your body and lower back muscles.

1.Bitilasana Marjaryasana: Cat-Cow Pose

Instructions

Step 1

Begin on your hands and knees in table pose, with a neutral spine. As you inhale and move into cow pose, lift your sit bones upward, press your chest forward, and allow your belly to sink. Lift your head, relax your shoulders away from your ears, and gaze straight ahead. 

Step 2

As you exhale, come into cat pose while rounding your spine outward, tucking in your tailbone, and drawing your pubic bone forward. 

Step 3

Release your head toward the floor — just don’t force your chin to your chest. Most importantly, just relax.

2. Salamba Bhujangasana: Sphinx Pose

Instructions

Step 1

Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, hip-width apart. Keep your arms at your sides and your chin on the mat. Press the tops of your feet into the mat and spread your toes. Do not tuck your toes, as this can crunch your spine.

Step 2

Bring your arms up and rest your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor, parallel to each other. Point your middle fingers directly forward.

Step 3

On an inhalation, press your forearms into the floor and lift your head and chest off the floor. Press your pubic bone into the floor. Strongly engage your legs. Roll your outer thighs slightly toward the floor to help lengthen your low back. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Drop your shoulder blades down your back and draw your chest forward. Lengthen your tailbone toward your heels. Let your face and eyes soften.

Step 4

Hold for up to 10 breaths. To release, exhale as you slowly lower your torso, chest, and head to the floor. Relax your arms at your sides. Turn your head to the side and rest quietly.

3. Salabhasana: Locust Pose

Instructions

Step 1

Lie on your stomach with arms down by your sides, palms facing the floor. Extend your legs straight back with the tops of your feet pressed into the mat. 

Step 2

Let your forehead rest naturally on the mat. Roll your shoulder blades down and back to open your chest. Inhale and lift your head, chest, and arms up from the ground. With arms extended straight back, stretch through all ten fingers, and slightly turn your hands, so the thumbs point down. 

Step 3

Exhale and lift your legs off the mat, leading with the inner thighs. With the buttocks slightly firm, drop the tailbone toward the ground. Focus your gaze on the floor and slightly in front of you to keep the back of your neck from crunching. Hold the locust pose for three to five breaths and then release out of the pose.

4. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Bridge Pose

Instructions

Step 1

Lie down on the flat floor in the supine position. Now bend your knees, relax & breathe normally. Place your feet parallel to each other and hip-width apart. Keep your arms flat on the surface & your heels near your hand’s fingers.

Step 2

Now slowly start lifting your spine and stop when your body is resting only on your upper back and feet. Hold this position and take 3-4 deep breaths.

Step 3

Now come down to the starting position slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae. Relax and breathe. Keep your feet bent if you want to repeat it.

5. Ardha Matsyendrasana: Half Lord of the Fishes

Instructions

Step 1

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your knees, put your feet on the floor, then slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor. Step the right foot over the left leg and stand it on the floor outside your left hip. The right knee will point directly up at the ceiling.

Step 2

Exhale and twist toward the inside of the right thigh. Press the right hand against the floor just behind your right buttock, and set your left upper arm outside your right thigh near the knee. Pull your front torso and inner right thigh snugly together.

Step 3

Press the inner right foot very actively into the floor, release the right groin, and lengthen the front torso. Lean the upper torso back slightly against the shoulder blades, and continue to lengthen the tailbone into the floor.

Step 4

You can turn your head in one of two directions: Continue the twist of the torso by turning it to the right, or counter the twist of the torso by turning it left and looking over the left shoulder at the right foot.

Step 5

With every inhalation, lift a little more through the sternum, pushing the fingers against the floor to help. Twist a little more with every exhalation. Be sure to distribute the twist evenly throughout the entire length of the spine; don’t concentrate it in the lower back. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time. Watch a video demonstration of this pose.

6. Jathara Parivartanasana: Two-Knee Spinal Twist Pose

Instructions

Step 1

Begin by lying on your back, feet on the ground. Lift your feet off the floor, knees together and feet together and open your arms out to the sides.

Step 2

Exhale to slowly lower both legs to the left. Keep your knees at about hip level and at a 90-degree angle. Open your arms out to the sides and encourage your right shoulder to soften toward the ground. Hold for at least three rounds of breath.

Step 3

To exit, press both hands into the floor at shoulder level and contract your abdominal muscles. As you inhale lift your knees and feet up over your chest. Hold onto your knees with both hands.

Step 4

As you exhale, draw your thighs down into your chest as you lift your head and chest into the thighs and knees. Avoid lifting your shoulders as the head rises to the knees. Lower your head and shoulders to the floor and repeat on the other side.

7. Balasana: Child’s Pose

Instructions

Step 1

Begin on all fours supported by your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders, knees directly beneath your hips, and your feet directly behind your knees.

Step 2

Sit back onto your feet, keeping your feet and knees hip’s width apart. The soles of the feet will be facing the sky in the pose. Gently lower your upper body forward, resting your forehead on the floor.

Step 3

Allow your arms to rest loosely by your sides, hands by your feet, with palms facing the sky. Or keep arms extended above your head with palms on the floor. Inhale, lengthening your spine. Exhale, relaxing your shoulders.

For more Fitness tips follow the Our Fitness Journey section of our blog.

>