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A girl with medium-length brown hair sits on the edge of her bed that is covered in white linens. She is facing the open window and holding her hands on her lower back.

5 Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain

If you suffer from lower back pain, chances are, you aren’t too keen on twisting yourself into various yoga poses. The idea of moving too much isn’t pleasant when you’re in pain. However, lower back pain yoga poses can actually help to release your tense, tight muscles.

Stretching and relaxing your body helps ease the pain, presuming you don’t push yourself too hard.

So, let’s go through a few of the best back pain yoga poses that can help to ease your back pain. These exercises don’t just help back pain. They can help you stretch most areas of your body, increasing flexibility. Yoga is also good for relaxing and de-stressing.

So, with no further ado, let’s go into a few simple positions.

Yoga for Lower Back Pain Relief

Yoga pose demonstrating cat-cow


1. Cat-Cow

Start by getting down on all fours on your yoga mat. (It’s always best to use a mat to keep you comfortable and balanced. You could even fold it up to relieve any pressure on your knees.) Make sure your wrists are underneath your shoulders and your knees are underneath your hips.

Breathe in deeply, and slowly move your head until you’re looking up at the ceiling. Relax your stomach. Your back should dip downwards a little, but keep your movements relaxed and natural. This is the “cow” part of the exercise.

As you breathe out, lower your head, tucking your chin into your chest. Suck in your stomach, arching your spine upwards. This is the “cat” part of the exercise.

This pose should be natural and relaxed, not holding any one position for too long. The best rhythm to keep is your deep breathing. Stay aware of your body. Stretch your muscles, but don’t push yourself too hard.

You can even divide this exercise into two stretches: the cat pose and the cow pose.

2. Sphinx Pose

The sphinx pose is a backbend designed to stretch the muscles of your lower back, glutes, arms, and more. However, it’s important to keep your whole body engaged during this stretch. Since you’ll be lying on the floor for this one, it can be easy just passively to go through the movement. This isn’t enough to help stretch out your muscles and relieve pain.

Start by lying on your stomach on your yoga mat, legs out behind you. Keep your forearms on the ground, tucked into your sides with your elbows under your shoulders, palms flat on the ground.

Keeping your buttocks, lower back, and legs engaged, push up with your arms, lifting your torso and head. Move slowly; take your time. There’s no rush.

Avoid pushing back too hard and placing pressure on your lower back. The lifting should come through your shoulders and the top of your head. Keep your gaze ahead instead of tilting back your head.

Keep the pose for a few minutes before slowly lowering yourself down again.

Make sure to check out: 7 Daily Core Moves to Eliminate Lower Back Pain

3. Downward-Facing Dog

The downward dog pose is a famous yoga position that stretches the back and legs. It can be a little tricky for beginners, so go slowly if it’s your first time in this position!

Start on all fours, lining your wrists up under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Gently raise your legs until your tailbone is pointed towards the ceiling and you’re pressing down on your hands. Your weight should be distributed between your shoulders and hips.

Your arms should be straight, but keep your knees slightly bent. Don’t flatten your feet completely. Keep your heels slightly lifted.

Press into your hands, straightening your spine and lifting your tailbone. Your body should look like a slightly wonky triangle at this point, with your head in line with your upper arms.

Press back as far as is comfortable, keeping your tailbone the highest point in your body. Hold the pose for a minute or two.

Yoga pose demonstrating child's pose


4. Child’s Pose

This is a good pose as a relaxing position between more challenging poses. It especially focuses on the neck and back.

Start by kneeling on your mat, sitting back on your heels.

Slowly walk your hands forward until you’ve bent forward enough to rest your forehead on the mat in front of you.

You can stretch your arms out in front of you, or let them lie back alongside your body, palms up.

It’s important to stay aware of your body during this exercise. Focus on relaxing your body, letting your muscles release. Your weight should fall gently on your knees and thighs. Keep this pose for around five minutes.

As well as a buffer exercise between harder poses, you can use this position as a warmup or cool down to a yoga session.

You might also really like: The Secret Muscle That Can Cure Your Back Pain

5. Two-Knee Spinal Twist

Finally, we have the two-knee spinal twist. This is an easy position to try in bed before sleep. It improves flexibility in the spine, helping to reduce pain and stiffness.

Start by lying comfortably on your back. Draw your knees up to your chest, with your arms extended to either side. Remember, you shouldn’t be tense or overstretched.

Slowly lower your legs to one side of your body. You may need to use a pillow to rest against your knees. Take it slowly, and don’t push your legs further down than they’re willing to go. Breathe deeply, relaxing into the movement. Stay like this for around thirty seconds.

Lift your legs to the starting point, with your knees up to your chest, then repeat the movement on the other side.

While you’re doing this, you can look straight ahead or turn your head to the side. Don’t stiffen or tense your neck.

Do Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Really Work?

Yoga helps us to stay aware of our body, to assess how we feel and when we’re overstretched. While yoga and stretching may not take away the root cause of our pain (depending on what causes the pain), it certainly helps to stretch out stiff muscles and improve flexibility.

Better flexibility helps to keep your muscles supple and strong, which means your muscles are less likely to get damaged.

Don’t rush into lower back pain yoga. Take your time, listen to your body, and find a routine that works for you. Consider this as your time to relax and renew.

Related article: Combat Neck & Shoulder Pain With These 7 Yoga Poses

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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