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Yoga for Back Pain: 14 Poses That Heal

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Static Back

    This pose uses gravity to put your hip and trunk on the same plane, which helps your lower back. Lie down on your back with your arms relaxed at your sides and the backs of your knees resting on a cushion or couch that enables your shins to be parallel with the ground. Your knees should make a 90-degree angle with your torso, and your neck should be relaxed. Hold for at least five minutes. (Video: An Incredible Fix for Lower-Back Pain)

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Bridge Pose

    This exercise forces the spine and the hips to find their fullest extension. Lie down on your back with your feet about a palm's-width distance away from your seat. Keep your feet inner-hip-width distance apart and place a block or pillow between your knees. Squeeze the pillow as you press down into your feet, lifting your hips up. Keep your neck long.

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Supported Legs Up the Wall

    To loosen up your shoulders, lie down and place a yoga block under the sacrum at the wall. Lift your legs up so your heels are resting against the wall. Keep your arms open and relaxed at your sides. Transition to the pose on the next slide...

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Supported Shoulder Stand

    While in the previous pose, remove the block out to the side and press the soles of your feet into the wall. Use your feet to bring your hips toward your face. Eventually there will be a completely straight line from your knees to your shoulders. This relieves the lower back from carrying the weight of your body. (Related from Sonima.com: What Inversions Can Do for You Mentally and Physically)

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Supported Child's Pose

    Child's pose opens up the sacrum and the lower back while slowing your heart rate. Place a bolster or pillow between your knees and widen them, toes touching each other. Sit your hips back toward your feet and relax your chest onto the bolster for support. Let your head relax to one side and breathe deeply. Stay for as long as you'd like, switching the direction of your head halfway through.

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Hero Pose

    Sit on a pillow or block, knees touching and feet apart. Flare out your toes, so even your pinkie toes touch the ground. Sit upright and lift your arms, grabbing opposite elbows.

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Cat Cow (with and without flipped wrists)

    This pose promotes bilateral spinal flexion and extension while gravity loads the shoulder and hip joints. Come into a tabletop position and place your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Breathe in and look forward, dropping your belly. When you exhale, draw your belly in and up, head down. Do the same with your wrists flipped inward to work on broadening across the collarbones. When you flip your fingers you open up the space of the collarbones so that eventually the shoulders find their place in the shoulder socket.

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Plank

    A strong core supports your spine to keep you upright. Extend one leg back, coming onto the ball of your foot, and then the other, keeping your shoulders above your wrists to form a plank pose.

    Related: The 5 Best Ab Exercises You Need in Your Life

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Forward Fold with Toes Touching

    Point your toes in toward each other to invite an opening in your lower back. Stand with your toes touching and heels apart. Hang forward, grabbing opposite elbows.

    Related from Sonima.com: Simple Tests to Prevent Pain Before It Starts

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Low Lunge with Arm Variation

    Lunge with your left leg forward, flipping your right wrist back and placing it on the floor in line with your heel. (Flipping your fingers this way helps bring your shoulders back.) Reach your left fingertips forward as far as you can, letting your armpit rest on your knee. Leaning your torso on to your femur will help align your spine. Repeat on the other side.

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Seated Leg Binding Twist

    This exercise promotes thoracic (mid-back) extension through rotation. Extend one leg out and bend the other, placing the sole of foot in front of you. Your toes should point forward as your knee points to the sky. Twist toward the bent knee and hug it with your opposite arm. Place the other hand on the ground behind your back for support.

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Sage Twist

    This exercise promotes extension of the lumbar spine and forces full range of motion at the hip joints. Sit with both knees bent, one foot in front of you and one foot behind you. The sole of the foot in front of you should touch the opposite knee. Place the arm on the side of the leg that's behind you on the opposite leg and twist, gazing in the opposite direction.

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Squat

    This exercise opens up your hips and gives you greater flexibility in walking and moving. Take your feet wide apart and squat down, toes pointing forward. Let your tailbone be heavy. If your heels can't reach the ground, place a blanket or bolster under them. Take your palms to touch in a prayer pose, letting your knees press in on your triceps.

  • Hailey Wist

    Yoga for Back Pain: Bent Knee Forward Bend

    This forward fold stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. To do it, sit down with your legs extended in front of you and place a bolster or blanket under your knees. Fold over, placing your head between your legs.