Aiya Yoga Featured Asana

6 Yoga Stretches for Lower Back Pain

Yoga is renowned for its relief of lower back pain, but you’ll need to find the right asanas to reap the benefits. It’s always a matter of easing in and finding out what works, but there are some good starting points for those who want to give it a try. Read on for some great yoga postures to help with your lower back’s pain-relief needs!

1. Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is simple, relaxing, and unloads your spine to allow your lower back to feel relief. It’s an easy, non-dynamic pose that can be held for prolonged periods by just about anyone.

Child’s Pose is simple: get on your knees, stretch your arms over your head, and lower your torso and hands to the ground. Just maintain rhythmic breathing and allow yourself to unload for a minute or two. You can keep your arms stretched out over your head or slide them around next to the sides of your legs.

Few people won’t be able to hold this pose, and the simplicity of it is appealing for relief during a long day since you can do it anywhere. Keep in mind, people with serious knee injuries or history of significant operations involving the knees might find it hard or painful to bend the knees completely. 

Rather, perform a seated forward fold where the legs are straight in front of you in a seated position, keep your back straight and engaged and bend from the hips to reach your toes.

2. Downward Facing Dog

This is probably the most popular and well-known yoga posture of them all. This simple pose lengthens the spine and strengthens your core. Both of those are helpful when you’re attempting to treat some form of lower back pain.

It’s a very simple position, but many beginners may have trouble holding it for more than thirty seconds or so. Keep trying at it until you can hold the pose for at least 1 minute for the best end result.

Combined with other poses, this one is an excellent cornerstone of any routine which is focused on helping out with lower back pain. Not only does it relieve pain, but it strengthens all the muscles in your back and shoulders.

3. Forward Fold

Reaching for your toes is an experience that many of us recall with a bit of trepidation. Fortunately, easing into it can help with lumbar pain and hip flexibility. You don’t need to be able to fold your head to your shins like a pro.

It’s easy enough: standing up straight, bend from your hips, keep your back straight and tummy engaged and just reach slowly for your toes. Find a point where the tension begins, and hold it for thirty seconds to a minute. Then round your back and come up slowly one vertebra at a time till you resume a standing position and see how your body reacted.

It’s easy to overdo it with a forward fold. You shouldn’t be in any pain during the process, so spend some time feeling it out before you add it to your routine. For beginners, the seated forward fold mentioned earlier might be easier to attempt and hold at first.

4. Low Cobra Pose

If you already have pain, you may want to skip the standard Cobra Pose, but you can still reap the benefits without twisting painfully. The low Cobra Pose will strengthen your lower back and create stability throughout your body.

You can assume the posture by lying face down on the ground and bringing your head and shoulders off the ground slightly. Brace with your arms, bending your elbows at a 90° angle. You only need to get your face and upper chest off the ground at first.

Hold it for 10-30 seconds, breathe regularly and lower down to the starting position. You can repeat this a few times, making sure your back is fully engaged.

This is a great pose for those who are new to yoga and not very flexible yet. And it’s easy enough for anyone to attempt.

5. Bridge Pose

Don’t worry if you can’t do a gymnastics style bridge, the Bridge Pose is a much easier accomplishment. This pose works well for strengthening the core and can even improve posture.

Lay down on your back, with your hands held at your sides. Then press into the ground through your heels and bring your behind off the ground while your shoulders remain on the floor. Your feet should be directly under your knees. 

Hold the pose for thirty seconds to a minute before easing out of it. Your body should be straight from your knees to your chest. Take into account how your neck feels and don’t go past a point where it is painful for you.

Since the Bridge Pose is so newbie-friendly, it’s a great one to slip into a routine targeting your lower back problems. There’s a lot to be said for the simple stuff, so try it out!

6. Seated Side Twist

Another easy pose for those who are beginning, and a great way to stretch out your lower back. The Seated Side Twist is a bit complicated to describe but easy to perform.

To begin with, sit down with one leg twisted over the other. Both legs should be bent, but the leg which has been pulled over one thigh should have the foot flat on the ground. Then twist just past that raised knee with your elbow and hold it for thirty seconds before repeating it on the other side.

In doing so, you can create a great stretch with little effort. Admittedly, it does require some minor hip flexibility.

You should also make sure to do both sides evenly, of course.

Twist Your Way to Less Back Pain

All of the above poses are simple enough for beginners and often suggested for back pain in afflicted individuals. You could even form a foundation for a lower back focused routine from just the above! The important thing, as always, is to ease into it. Diving into the deep end can cause problems if you go too far, so take it slow.

On the other hand, isn’t it time you tried twisting some of that pain away? You can start right now!

Isabel Ludick
Isabel is an avid yoga practitioner, who loves travelling, living life to the fullest, and cats. She loves living healthy and inspiring others to be the best they can be. When she's not performing her asanas or writing, you can find her at exquisite wine tastings around the world.