Exploring 8 Yoga Poses to Ease Lower Back Pain

Exploring 8 Yoga Poses to Ease Lower Back Pain

How to find relief when your back is feeling out of whack.

lower back pain

Lower back pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While there are various methods for alleviating this discomfort, yoga has emerged as a popular and effective approach. In this article, we will delve into the practice of yoga and explore eight specific poses that can help ease lower back pain. Through a comprehensive analysis of each pose, we aim to provide readers with valuable insights into the factors that impact their effectiveness, the potential tradeoffs involved, and the importance of mindful practice.

Understanding Lower Back Pain:

Before delving into specific yoga poses, it’s essential to understand the nature of lower back pain. Factors such as poor posture, muscle imbalances, and sedentary lifestyles can contribute to discomfort in this area. Yoga offers a holistic approach to addressing these issues by incorporating movement, breathwork, and mindfulness.

Exploring 8 Yoga Poses

Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): This dynamic pose helps improve spinal flexibility and relieve tension in the lower back.

cat and cow yoga pose

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  • Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Inhale as you arch your back, dropping your belly towards the floor and lifting your head and tailbone (Cow Pose).
  • Exhale as you round your spine, tucking your chin to your chest and drawing your belly button towards your spine (Cat Pose).
  • Flow smoothly between Cat and Cow Poses, synchronizing your movements with your breath.
  • Repeat for several rounds, allowing your spine to gently warm up and become more flexible.

Child’s Pose (Balasana): A gentle stretch that releases tension in the back muscles and promotes relaxation.

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  • Start by kneeling on the floor with your big toes touching and knees hip-width apart.
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale and fold forward, bringing your torso between your thighs.
  • Extend your arms in front of you or relax them by your sides, palms facing up.
  • Rest your forehead on the mat and allow your whole body to relax deeply.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on deepening your breath and releasing tension in your body.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Strengthens the entire body while elongating the spine and stretching the lower back.

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  • Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists slightly in front of your shoulders and knees hip-width apart.
  • Press into your palms and lift your hips towards the ceiling, straightening your arms and legs to form an inverted V shape.
  • Spread your fingers wide and press firmly into the mat, engaging your arms and shoulders.
  • Keep your heels reaching towards the floor (they may not touch) and lengthen your spine by reaching your tailbone towards the ceiling.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on lengthening your spine and opening your chest and shoulders.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): Strengthens the muscles of the back and abdomen while gently stretching the spine.

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  • Lie on your stomach with your legs extended and the tops of your feet resting on the mat.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders, elbows close to your body.
  • Inhale as you press into your hands and lift your chest off the mat, keeping your elbows bent.
  • Draw your shoulder blades down and back, opening your chest and lifting your gaze towards the ceiling.
  • Keep your pubic bone rooted to the floor and engage your legs to protect your lower back.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths, then exhale as you release back down to the mat.

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana): Opens the hips and stretches the muscles of the lower back, providing relief from stiffness and discomfort.

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  • Begin in a high plank position, then bring your right knee towards your right wrist and place your right ankle near your left wrist.
  • Extend your left leg behind you, keeping your hips square to the front of the mat.
  • Lower your hips towards the mat, feeling a deep stretch in your right hip and glute.
  • If comfortable, you can walk your hands forward and fold over your right shin, resting your forehead on the mat.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths, then switch sides and repeat on the other side.

Forward Fold (Uttanasana): Releases tension in the hamstrings and lower back while calming the mind.

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  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and parallel to each other.
  • Inhale as you lengthen your spine, then exhale as you hinge at your hips and fold forward, bending your knees slightly if needed.
  • Allow your upper body to hang freely, releasing tension in your neck and shoulders.
  • You can hold onto your shins, ankles, or the floor, depending on your flexibility.
  • Relax your head and neck completely, and breathe deeply into your hamstrings and lower back.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths, then slowly roll up to standing one vertebra at a time.

Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana): Promotes spinal mobility and releases tension in the muscles along the spine.

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  • Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides, forming a T shape with your body.
  • Bend your knees and draw them into your chest, then lower them to the right side of your body, stacking them on top of each other.
  • Turn your gaze to the left and extend your left arm out to the side, keeping both shoulders grounded on the mat.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths, feeling a gentle twist through your spine and torso.
  • Repeat on the other side, bringing your knees to the left and turning your gaze to the right.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Strengthens the back muscles, improves posture, and provides relief from lower back pain.

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  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart, flat on the mat.
  • Place your arms alongside your body with palms facing down.
  • Press into your feet and lift your hips towards the ceiling, engaging your glutes and thighs.
  • Keep your knees directly over your ankles and press your arms and shoulders into the mat to lift your chest towards your chin.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths, feeling a stretch across the front of your body and opening through your chest and shoulders.
  • To release, slowly lower your hips back down to the mat.

Considerations and Tradeoffs:

While yoga can be incredibly beneficial for easing lower back pain, it’s essential to approach the practice mindfully and with awareness of individual limitations. Some poses may exacerbate existing discomfort if performed incorrectly or without proper guidance. It’s crucial to listen to your body, modify poses as needed, and seek guidance from a qualified instructor if experiencing pain or discomfort.


Incorporating yoga into your routine can be a valuable tool for managing and preventing lower back pain. By practicing these eight yoga poses mindfully and consistently, individuals can experience improved flexibility, strength, and overall well-being. Remember to approach the practice with patience, curiosity, and self-compassion, honoring your body’s unique needs and limitations along the way.

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