Top 10 Yoga Poses for Back Pain - Sweatbox

Yoga draws in mindfulness and helps make a person feel calm and at peace. But did you know there are yoga poses you can practice to treat back pain?

This will guide you on the yoga poses to practice if you want to boost your strength and relieve or prevent back pain. It will also explain how to perform the poses properly and safely.

Top Reasons to Pick Yoga as a Regular Exercise Routine

Even doctors recommend doing yoga to relieve back pain medically reviewed by professionals. It’s a form of physical therapy that targets both the body and mind.

Yoga has been proven effective in dealing with back pain and other health issues, including anxiety, depression, and stress. The idea here is to know what poses are suitable for your health conditions and how to execute them right.

As long as the yoga poses are done properly, you can efficiently deal even with chronic low back pain and upper torso issues in no time.

It is so effective that yoga is integrated into various treatment forms, including physical therapy.

You will gain many health benefits even when you practice any postures, like Child’s Pose, for several minutes per day. The movements relieve stress and bring awareness.

The yoga practice is a physical therapy better than taking pain relievers, especially when dealing with muscle tension and lower back pain.

A Look into the Causes of Back Pain

The problem with back pain is that its cause doesn’t show up in any imaging study or test. It usually happens as a symptom of other conditions, including the following:

Osteoporosis

This condition makes the bones brittle and porous. As a result, a person can feel painful breaks from the spine’s vertebrae.

Arthritis

There are many forms of arthritis, some of which can affect your back, including spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis.

Ruptured or bulging disks

The problem with the disks does not always cause back pain, but there are cases when it does. The disk has a soft material inside that can rupture and bulge, causing the disk to press on a nerve.

Ligament or muscle strain

Your spinal ligaments and muscles can get strained due to sudden jolting movements from repeated heavy lifting. Frequent strain, especially in those who have weak bodies, can lead to muscle spasms that can be painful.

Yoga’s Benefits for Back Pain, Right and Left Arm and Right and Left Foot

Suppose you have a history of injuries in your lower back, have experienced pain for more than two days, or have problems with your disks. In that case, it is recommended to see a physical therapist before enrolling in a yoga class and trying any yoga pose for back pain. The therapist can assess if you are fit for the exercises and if it’s safe to do yoga poses.

If they find anything wrong with your physical health, they will try to address the issue before giving you the signal to try yoga.

What makes yoga beneficial for back pain is that it makes your core stable. It teaches you breathing techniques and proper posture.

It also works on your flexibility and physical strength. It is safe to do yoga and perform stretches daily.

Listen to your body and practice the poses at a level your body is comfortable with. Ensure that you stop at points when you feel pain, as it signifies something is wrong, or something could go wrong if you push it.

Some yoga poses take time to master, so don’t hurry. Keep on practicing until the movements flow smoothly.

Reducing Lower Back Pain by Practicing Yoga

Your yoga teacher will teach you about the flow when you come to her and ask for the poses you can do to relieve back pain. The flow can be a sequence of five to six poses that you must hold for at least ten seconds each.

You have to breathe deeply while holding the pose. Feel your body as you perform and hold each pose.

10 Good Yoga Pose for Back Pain and Postures that Work Like Child’s Pose

Downward Facing Dog

This rejuvenating and restful pose can relieve sciatica and back pain. Downward Dog also improves strength, improves poor posture, and eliminates body imbalances.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Quadriceps
  • Triceps
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Deltoids
  • Hamstrings

How to do Downward Facing Dog:

  1. To begin the Downward Dog pose, lower your body to the floor on all fours with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your knees beneath your hips, your arms extended, and your hands aligned with your wrists. Press your body back, with your tight hips and tight muscles, as you lift your butt.
  3. Spread your fingers while keeping them pressed on the mat. Make your heels lower on the floor, with your legs as straight as possible.
  4. Ensure your head is relaxed as you keep your gaze on your tummy or your legs.
  5. Hold the pose for a few breaths, or for as long as it feels comfortable.

Cat Pose

This classic yoga pose is good for the spine, back muscles, and upper body. It is good for pain relief and helps stretch your neck, shoulder blades, and torso. The movements relieve lower pain and also deal with neck pain.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Gluteus maximus
  • Serratus anterior
  • Triceps
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Erector spinae

How to do the Cat Pose:

  1. Get down with your feet and hands on the mat, like in a tabletop position. Keep your right knee and left knee stable under your hips, ensure they are hip-width apart, and your wrists under your shoulders.
  2. Ensure that your body is balanced. Breathe in and move your head up, with your gaze straight ahead or toward the ceiling.
  3. Make your stomach slowly drop to the floor.
  4. Fold your chin into your chest as you breathe out. Push your navel in the direction of your spine, and bend your spine upward.
  5. Be mindful through each movement and active stretch, and concentrate as you release all body tensions.
  6. Hold the pose for a minute.

Sphinx Pose

This backbend pose helps relieve stress. It stretches your abdomen, shoulders, chest, left arm, right arm, left foot, right foot, left leg, right leg, and upper body. It also makes your buttocks and spine stronger.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Trapezius
  • Pectoralis major
  • Gluteal muscles
  • Erector spinae

How to do Sphinx Pose:

  1. Lie in a neutral position with your stomach on the mat. Keep your legs extended, or straight, with your inner thighs near each other.
  2. Place your forearms on the floor, with your elbows beneath your shoulders. Slowly lift your chest off the mat.
  3. Focus on making your spine long as you do a slight bend and press your thighs and hips on the mat. Breathe, and keep your shoulders relaxed.
  4. Slowly sit on the mat. While in a seated position, give your lower back a nice stretch without exerting your muscles. Keep your back in proper alignment, and stop when it becomes uncomfortable.
  5. Hold the pose for a minute or less.

Bridge Pose

This restorative pose helps relieve headaches and backaches. It stretches the spine and leaves you feeling restored and stimulated. It stretches the hip muscles, left and right toes, left and right legs, upper arms, and back muscles.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Hamstrings
  • Erector Spinae
  • Gluteus Muscles
  • Transverse and rectus abdominis

How to do Bridge Pose:

  1. Move down to the mat and lie on your back. Keep your heels near your sitting bones and move your knees to a .
  2. Lay your arms straight at each side of your body with your palms pressed on the mat.
  3. Support your body with your feet and arms as you gently lift your tailbone until your thighs are aligned with the floor.
  4. Move your palms under your hips and interlace your fingers while pressing most of your arms on the mat. Breathe in as you hold this pose for a minute.
  5. Lower your knees and try to relax.

Plank Yoga Pose

This pose boosts your core and takes the pressure off the back while supporting the spine.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Gluteus maximus
  • Triceps
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Erector Spinae

How to do Plank Pose:

  1. Get down on the mat on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders, lying flat on the mat. Keep your knees beneath your hips.
  2. As you lift your knees, try to stretch and extend your legs. This will make you look like you are forming a long line with your hands and toes pressed on the mat.
  3. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart, your palms on the mat, and your core engaged. Ensure the neutral position of your spine and neck. Focus your gaze on the mat.
  4. Hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.

Locust Pose

This pose makes your legs, arms, and torso stronger. It’s a backbend that relieves fatigue and lower back pain.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Triceps
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Erector spinae
  • Trapezius

How to do Locust Pose:

  1. Go down with your stomach on the mat. Keep your arms near your torso with your palms facing up.
  2. Move your big toes until they are touching, and then move your heels to the side.
  3. Gently place your forehead on the mat.
  4. Move your head and chest up. Move your arms to the middle, higher, until they are both up. Put your hands together and interlace your fingers if you can.
  5. Lift your legs to make the pose deeper.
  6. Look toward the ceiling or onto your front as you keep on extending your neck.
  7. Keep the pose for a minute before releasing, resting, and doing it again.

Cobra Pose

This pose relieves sciatica and makes the spine stronger. It heals the pain in the back and fatigue. It’s a good stretching exercise for the shoulders, chest, and abdomen.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Serratus anterior
  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Hamstrings

How to do Cobra Pose:

  1. Go down with your stomach lying on the mat. Place your hands beneath your shoulders, with your fingers extending forward.
  2. Move your arms to your chest without the elbows going to the side.
  3. Use your hands to carry your weight as you lift your shoulders, chest, and head.
  4. Lift slowly until you reach whatever position you’re comfortable in. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  5. Deepen the pose by allowing your head to drop back.
  6. Breathe out and release as you go back to your starting pose.
  7. Place your arms on each side and lay your head down to rest.
  8. Gently move your hips to release tension from your spine and back.

Two-Knee Spinal Twist

The pose is a restorative twist that relieves stiffness in the hips and back and any pain. It’s a good stretching exercise for your shoulders, back, and spine.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Pectoralis major
  • Trapezius
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Erector spinae

How to do a Two-Knee Spinal Twist:

  1. Go down with your back lying on the mat. Keep your arms stretched to the side and move your knees to your chest.
  2. You will now do the twisting movements. Gently place your legs lower to the left side as you hold the connection of your knees.
  3. Gently press your knees down using your left hand.
  4. You can turn your neck to the left or keep it straight. Breathe and focus as you hold the pose as long as it’s comfortable.
  5. Release and repeat the pose on the other side.

Half Lord of the Fishes

This pose relieves pain in the back and fatigue. It’s a good stretching exercise for the neck, shoulders, and hips. It also works by stimulating your internal organs.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Psoas
  • Pectoralis major
  • Erector spinae
  • Serratus anterior
  • Rhomboids

How to do the pose

  1. Start in a seated position, then move your right foot near your body.
  2. Move your left foot beyond your leg.
  3. Twist your body to the left as you extend your spine.
  4. Move your left hand behind your back to serve as support.
  5. Place your upper right arm beyond your left thigh. You can also place your elbow on your left knee if that feels more comfortable.
  6. Deepen the twist as you keep your hips square.
  7. Look over your shoulder and focus as you hold the pose for a minute.
  8. Release, relax, and repeat on the opposite side.

Extended Triangle

This pose relieves anxiety and stress. It strengthens the legs, chest, and shoulders and is a good stretching exercise for the groin, hips, and spine.

The pose works on the following muscles:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Gluteus maximus and medius
  • Internal oblique
  • Latissimus dorsi

How to do Extended Triangle:

  1. Starting from a standing pose, stand straight with your feet flat on the mat, and walk up to four feet away.
  2. Move your right toe facing forward and your left toe at an angle.
  3. Move your arms up with your palms facing down.
  4. Move your body, and your hips should be nudged forward with your torso and arm.
  5. Move your hand to the floor or place it on a yoga block for support.
  6. Stretch your left arm upward.
  7. Keep your gaze toward the ceiling, and then look down. Hold the pose for a minute before releasing it.
  8. Do the same sequences in the opposite direction.

Final Thoughts

To deal with back pain, you must know what’s causing the discomfort. Talk to your doctor if it’s safe to do yoga exercises and asanas, such as Child’s Pose and the other poses mentioned above, to deal with the pain.

Once you have the green light to do yoga, ensure that you do it in a yoga studio with complete gear and qualified teachers, like Sweatbox Yoga. More than the poses, we will design a flow that you will follow per session to speed up your way to healing.

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About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.