5 Yoga Poses for Back Pain to Add to Your Practice




If you're dealing with back pain, you're not alone. More than 16 million adults experience persistent or chronic back pain according to Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute. Healthcare costs and indirect costs resulting from this pain total upwards of $12 billion per year. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve back pain with yoga!

In this article, we're going to share five yoga poses for back pain that you can do throughout the day as well as a short practice you can add to your daily routine. For even better results, sign up for a two-week free trial of our Yoga for Back Pain program where you'll get three free one-on-one sessions with our expert yoga instructors as well as group classes focusing on yoga for back pain and core strengthening. Plus, you'll have access to 30+ other daily yoga classes!

5 Yoga Poses for Back Pain You Can Do Throughout the Day

Experts recommend incorporating yoga poses into your daily life for the best results. This doesn't mean that you have to spend 90 minutes every day on a comprehensive yoga practice. Even getting up once an hour and doing some stretching or a yoga pose will go a long way towards minimizing or even eliminating your back pain.

Our bodies are meant for motion, after all. Given that many of us spend our days at a desk, taking short breaks to regularly change position and get some movement into our lives will not only make our bodies feel better but will also improve our mental outlook. Here are five poses you can add to your day to relieve back pain with yoga.

1. Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-cow pose offers a gentle spine stretch and is a great way to start off your workout or yoga practice. This pose helps increase flexibility and stretch out your neck, shoulders, and torso.

To perform this yoga pose, start in a tabletop position. On the inhale, let your stomach drop and lift your sit bones upward and bring your chest forward. Your gaze should be slightly elevated. On the exhale, arch your back, bring your belly button towards your spine, and shift your gaze to your knees. Move through these two positions 5–10 times.

2. Child's Pose

Child's Pose

Child's pose is a delightfully relaxing yoga pose that can help you stretch out your wrists and ankles, thighs, neck, and lower back. Plus, it helps alleviate stress.

Start from a kneeling position with your bottom resting on your feet. Spread your knees wide, keeping your big toes touching, and bend your body forward with your arms stretched out over your head. Rest your forehead on the floor or a yoga block and keep your arms extended. Rest in this pose for up to 5 minutes.

3. Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-facing dog helps strengthen your back and shoulders while alleviating back pain and sciatica.

Start in a tabletop position. Press your hands firmly into the ground while tucking your toes and lifting your knees off the ground, pressing your sit bones towards the ceiling. Feel free to keep a slight bend in your knees and your heels off the floor if that feels best for you. Focus on lengthening your back and keep your head in line with your upper arms with your chin slightly tucked. Hold this position for 1–3 minutes.

4. Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

Bridge pose will help strengthen the glutes and abs as well as the muscles along your spine. This pose can also help correct your posture.

Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, in line with your knees. Your arms will stay at your sides. Raise your hips and pelvis off the floor, squeezing your glutes to press them towards the ceiling. Continue raising your hips until your shoulders and feet are supporting your body. Hold this position for a few seconds before gently rolling your torso down to the ground, ending with your hips. Repeat 10–15 times for up to 3 sets.

5. Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend

Standing forward bends help stretch out your spine and just feel really good. Be sure to initiate the movement from your hips and not your lower back.

Start by standing with your feet together or hip-distance apart. Keeping your knees slightly bent, fold your upper body forward and over your legs (moving from your hips). Place your hands on the ground in front of you or on yoga blocks. As you inhale, lengthen your spine and open your chest. On the exhale, bring your torso forward again, keeping your back straight. Repeat as desired.

Yoga Asanas for Back Ache: A Complete Practice

Yoga is a beautiful and beneficial practice. Not only is yoga great for your mental wellbeing but it can help you stretch and strengthen areas of your body that are largely ignored by most workouts. As such, yoga, when done correctly, is a wonderful solution to both preventing injury and healing from injury.

Here is a short yoga practice you can do to relieve back pain. To get even more benefit, sign up for a two-week free trial of our Yoga for Back Pain program!

  1. Wind Release Pose Flow: Start on your back with your hands on or behind your knees and your arms straight. Exhale and draw your knees towards your chest. Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat 6 times then hold your knees to your chest for 6 breaths.
  2. Reclining Bound Angle Pose: Start on your back with your knees out to the side and the soles of your feet together. Slightly tuck your pelvis toward your bellybutton and lengthen the lumbar spine. As you exhale, slowly bring your knees toward one another. Repeat several times, increasing the number of exhales and breaths it takes to bring your knees together.
  3. Bridge Pose: Start out on your back with your feet hip-distance apart and flat on the floor. Inhale and bring your hips up towards the ceiling, engaging your glutes and abs. Inhale at the top then slowly roll back down to the ground, keeping the abs engaged. Repeat several times.
  4. Cat-Cow & Child's Pose Flow: Start in a tabletop position. Inhale into cat pose and exhale into cow. At the bottom of the exhale, push back into child's pose. Take a breath in child's pose and on the next inhale come back into tabletop position. Repeat several times.
  5. Crocodile Pose: Lay on your stomach with your forehead resting on your hands. Feet can be apart or together. Start taking large, deep breaths. On each inhalation, bring space into your back. On the exhales, relax the muscles along your spine and low back.
  6. Cobra Pose (Arm Variation): While laying on your stomach, place your hands under your shoulders. On the inhale, stretch and lengthen your spine while moving into cobra. Exhale your forehead back to the floor. Repeat 3 times, staying in the final cobra pose for 3 breaths.
  7. Child's Pose: From a kneeling position, spread your knees wide while keeping your big toes touching. Bend forward, resting your head on the ground in front of you or on a yoga block or bolster. You can stretch your arms out in front of you or leave them along your sides. Breath into your lower back. Stay in child's pose for up to 5 minutes.
  8. Legs Up The Wall Pose with Bolster: Use a bolster or folded blankets until you sacrum and bring your legs up a wall or onto a chair. Spread your arms wide to the side. On each exhale, allow your body to feel heavier and heavier. Stay here as long as you'd like.
  9. Mountain Brook Pose: This is a restorative yoga posture. Place a weighted blanket or something comfortably heavy on the abdomen (or chest, if it's comfortable). Breathe deeply using your diaphragm for several minutes.
  10. Corpse Pose: Lie on your back, letting your feet and arms fall out to the side. Breath normally and relax in this position for as long as you'd like.

Relieve Back Pain With Yoga

Back pain is a common problem for millions of people. Yoga can help with this. A regular yoga practice can help you stretch and strengthen your body, reducing the risk of injury from your workout and helping to prevent, reduce, or eliminate back pain.

A 2-week free trial of myYogaTeacher's Yoga for Back Pain program is the perfect way to get started on your path to a healthier, happier back. You'll get access to our expert yoga instructors—including three free one-on-one sessions—along with unlimited access to group classes like Yoga for Core Strengthening, Gentle Yoga, Yoga for Back Pain, Chair Yoga, and a whole lot more!

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