Written by 2:35 pm Yoga, BLOG

10 Best Yoga Poses For Back Pain You Must Try

young attractive woman ustrasana pose against floor

Back pain is something many of us experience in our lives, and it can really make everyday tasks challenging. But, there’s a natural and holistic way to deal with it – yoga.

In this blog post, we’re going to dive into the world of yoga poses for back pain, focusing on yoga poses that are good for upper and lower back pain.

Yoga is not just about physical exercise; it’s a whole mind and body practice that’s proven to be helpful in easing back pain.

By combining gentle stretches, controlled breathing, and mindfulness, yoga offers a complete approach to understanding and dealing with back pain.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at why back pain happens and explore how yoga can be a helpful solution. 

Understanding Back Pain And Yoga’s Role

Yoga Poses For Back Pain

To really grasp how yoga can help with back pain, let’s first understand what causes back pain in the first place. Back pain can come from all sorts of things – like straining your muscles, having bad posture, or dealing with more long-lasting issues like herniated discs.

Yoga poses for back pain, especially those designed to target upper back pain and lower back pain, aim to tackle these root causes with a mix of stretches and exercises that build strength.

Yoga isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but it’s a versatile toolbox that can be adjusted to fit your specific needs. Science backs up the idea that doing yoga poses regularly can make you more flexible, strengthen your muscles, and generally keep your spine healthier.

This can help reduce how often and how bad your back pain is. But yoga isn’t just about the body – it’s about the mind too.

It encourages you to relax and be mindful, which can help you manage stress. Stress is a common thing that makes back pain worse, so this is a big plus. 

10 Yoga Poses For Back Pain Relief

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

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Child’s Pose, also known as Balasana, is one of the gentle and soothing yoga poses for back pain relief, particularly in the lower back.

To Perform This Pose:

  • Start by kneeling on the yoga mat, with your big toes touching and knees apart, aligning with your hips.
  • Sit back on your heels and gently lower your torso forward, extending your arms in front of you.
  • Rest your forehead on the mat and let your chest sink toward your thighs while keeping your arms extended. 

Benefits:

  • Gently stretches the lower back, providing relief and relaxation for lower back pain.
  • Elongates the spine, promoting better posture and reducing the risk of future pain.
  • Relaxes the hips and helps release tension in this area, contributing to overall back pain relief.
  • It also helps in improving posture and reducing tension in the upper back, making it beneficial for those dealing with upper back pain as well.

Cat-Cow Pose(Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

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The Cat-Cow Stretch, also known as Marjaryasana-Bitilasana, is a dynamic duo of yoga poses that works wonders for alleviating back pain, especially in the lower back.

To Perform This:

  • Begin on your hands and knees, aligning your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • For the Cow Pose (Bitilasana), inhale as you arch your back, lifting your tailbone and chest toward the ceiling, and allowing your belly to sink toward the floor.
  • Transition to the Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) by exhaling and rounding your spine, tucking your chin to your chest, and engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Alternate between these two poses, flowing with your breath. 

Benefits:

  • Provides dynamic stretching for both upper and lower back pain.
  • Warms up the spine and increases flexibility, ideal for those with back discomfort.
  • Enhances blood circulation to the spine, reducing muscle tension and promoting relaxation.
  • It helps to mobilize the spine, stretch the lower back, and relieve tension in the back muscles. It promotes flexibility and comfort in the back.

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

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Downward-Facing Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a classic yoga pose that offers remarkable benefits for back pain relief, targeting both the lower and upper back.

Downward-Facing Dog is considered one of the best yoga poses for back pain due to its ability to stretch and lengthen the entire spine while also strengthening the muscles that support it.

 To Perform This Pose:

  • Start in a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the mat, wrists under shoulders, and knees under hips.
  • Press your palms firmly into the mat, tuck your toes under, and lift your hips up towards the ceiling, forming an inverted “V” shape with your body.
  • Straighten your arms and legs as much as comfortable, with a slight bend in the knees if needed to maintain a flat back. 

Benefits:

  • Stretches and strengthens the entire back, from shoulders to lower spine, offering relief for upper and lower back pain.
  • Engages core muscles, providing stability for the back and aiding in back pain management.
  • Promotes better posture and flexibility, making it suitable for various types of back discomfort.
  • It aids in spinal alignment, making it suitable for individuals dealing with upper back pain by releasing tension in the shoulders and neck, thus promoting overall back health.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

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This yoga pose is one of the best yoga poses for lower back pain, and it’s renowned for its ability to alleviate discomfort in the upper and lower back. 

To Perform This Pose:

  • Lie face-down on your yoga mat, with your legs extended and the tops of your feet touching the ground.
  • Place your palms on the mat beside your shoulders, elbows bent and close to your body.
  • Inhale slowly and gently lift your chest off the mat while keeping your pelvis grounded.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears, and look forward or slightly upward.

Benefits:

  • It stretches and strengthens the muscles along your spine, promoting better posture and relieving tension.
  • The gentle compression of the lower back can help with pain relief and enhance flexibility.
  • Cobra pose also stimulates blood circulation to the back, aiding in the healing process and reducing stiffness.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

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Bridge pose is another excellent yoga pose for back pain relief, especially when targeting the lower back.

To Perform This Pose:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart, flat on the floor.
  • Place your arms alongside your body, palms facing down.
  • Inhale, press through your feet and lift your hips off the ground.
  • Roll your shoulders underneath you and clasp your hands together, if possible, or keep your arms flat on the mat.
  • Hold the pose while breathing deeply.

Benefits:

  • It strengthens the muscles in your lower back, buttocks, and thighs, providing stability to the lumbar region.
  • The gentle stretch through the chest and neck can alleviate upper back pain and shoulder tension.
  • Regular practice of this pose can improve spinal flexibility and promote a healthier, pain-free back.

Thread The Needle Pose (Parsva Balasana)

young woman doing thread needle exercise

When it comes to yoga poses for upper back pain and overall back pain relief, Thread the Needle pose is an excellent choice. 

To Perform This Pose:

  • Start in a tabletop position with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Inhale and reach your right arm toward the ceiling, opening your chest.
  • Exhale, thread your right arm under your left arm, lowering your right shoulder and cheek to the mat.
  • Keep your left hand grounded, and gently twist your upper body to the left.
  • Hold the stretch for a few breaths, feeling the release in your upper back.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

  • It helps release tension in the upper back and between the shoulder blades.
  • This gentle twist also stimulates the spine and promotes flexibility in the thoracic region.
  • Regular practice can reduce discomfort caused by hunching over screens or desks, making it a valuable yoga pose for those with upper back pain from modern-day activities.

Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

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Sphinx Pose, or Salamba Bhujangasana, is a gentle yet effective yoga pose for upper back pain relief.

To Perform This Pose:

  • Lie down on your belly, legs extended behind you.
  • Place your elbows under your shoulders, with your forearms parallel to each other on the mat.
  • Press your forearms into the floor and lift your chest, arching your upper back gently.
  • Keep your pelvis grounded and engage your glutes and core muscles.
  • Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds, breathing deeply. 

Benefits:

  • Sphinx Pose gently stretches the spine, helping to relieve tension and discomfort in both the lower and upper back.
  • Regular practice of this pose can improve your posture by promoting a natural curve in the lower back, reducing the risk of back pain caused by poor alignment.
  • The gentle backbend and deep breathing in this pose help reduce stress and calm the mind, which can indirectly alleviate back pain often exacerbated by stress.

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

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Pigeon Pose, or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, is a fantastic addition to your repertoire of yoga poses for lower back pain relief

To Perform This Pose:

  • Start in a tabletop position and bring your right knee forward, placing it behind your right wrist.
  • Extend your left leg straight back, keeping your hips square.
  • Gently lower your upper body over your right leg, feeling a deep stretch in your lower back and hip area.
  • You can use props like a cushion or block under your right hip for support.
  • Hold the pose for about 30 seconds to one minute, focusing on your breath. 

Benefits:

  • Pigeon Pose is renowned for its ability to stretch and open the hip flexors, relieving tightness in the hips, which often contributes to lower back pain.
  • It targets the piriformis muscle, helping to release stored tension and alleviate sciatic nerve pain.
  • Regular practice enhances lower back flexibility and can improve overall posture, reducing the risk of back pain caused by poor alignment.

Child’s Pose Twist (Balasana Twist)

people doing child pose mats yoga class

Child’s Pose Twist, or Balasana Twist, is a soothing and effective yoga pose for back pain relief. 

To Perform This Pose:

  • Start in a traditional Child’s Pose, with your knees on the mat and your big toes touching.
  • Extend your arms forward, palms on the ground.
  • Gently shift your weight to the right, bringing your left hand to rest on top of your right hand.
  • Feel a gentle twist in your lower back as you breathe deeply and relax into the pose.
  • After a few breaths, switch sides by shifting your weight to the left. 

Benefits:

  • The twist in this pose targets the upper back and shoulders, releasing tension and discomfort.
  • Child’s Pose itself is a calming posture, and the twist enhances its stress-reducing effects.
  • It gently stretches the back muscles, promoting flexibility and reducing the risk of upper back pain.

Cat-Cow Twist (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana Twist)

young woman cow pose

Cat-Cow Twist, derived from the combination of Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) and Bitilasana (Cow Pose), is a versatile and effective yoga pose for back pain relief. 

To Perform This Pose:

  • Start in a tabletop position with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Inhale as you arch your back, lifting your head and tailbone (Cow Pose).
  • Exhale as you round your back, tucking your chin and tailbone (Cat Pose).
  • Now, add a twist by extending your right arm forward as you inhale and reaching it under your left arm as you exhale.
  • Repeat the twist on the other side by extending your left arm forward and reaching it under your right arm. 

Benefits:

  • The dynamic movement between Cat and Cow stretches and mobilizes the spine, reducing stiffness and tension.
  • It engages and strengthens the back muscles, promoting better support for the spine.
  • The twist component targets both the upper and lower back, providing comprehensive relief.

Wrap Up

The journey toward finding relief from back pain through yoga poses has been a promising and holistic approach.

We’ve explored the best yoga poses for back pain, catering to various parts of the back, including yoga poses for lower back pain, upper back pain, and even those addressing general back discomfort.

Through this exploration, it’s clear that yoga isn’t just a physical exercise but a means of nurturing overall well-being. These yoga poses for back pain relief offer a path to improved flexibility, strength, and peace of mind.

Remember, consistency is key, so consider incorporating these poses into your daily routine. 

With dedication, patience, and these carefully chosen yoga poses for back pain, you can embark on a transformative path toward a healthier, pain-free back and a more balanced, harmonious life.

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