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Top 5 yoga poses for back pain relief

by Arundhati Baitmangalkar
Top 5 yoga poses for back pain relief

Do you occasionally feel stiff or strained in your lower back? If you sit all day at a desk or stand for extended periods of time every day, you may occasionally notice some lower back discomfort or pain. In the past many years of teaching, this is the number one issue I have noticed with most people. Here are some simple, straightforward and easy yoga poses for back pain relief that you can try at home or at a yoga class near you. So let’s jump in.

What you will need…

  • A yoga mat
  • A blanket or cushion
  • A chair

Things to know about back pain…

  • There are different kinds of back issues. If you need medical attention, be sure to get that first
  • Always a good idea to check with your doctor before trying anything new

Top 5 yoga poses for back pain relief…

Chair Shavasana

Lie on your back, bring your lower legs up on to a chair. Support the back of your knees. Feet shoulder width apart. Rest here for 15 minutes. Do this as daily or as often as needed. Very soothing for the full body. Will leave you feeling refreshed and at more ease.

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Top 5 yoga poses for back pain relief

Adhomukha Virasana/Resting Hero’s Pose

This simple pose is great for back pain relief. To get into this yoga pose, get on your hands and knees. Bring the big toes to touch, knees apart – leave enough space for your trunk to fall between your legs. Bring your forehead on the mat (use a block if you can’t touch the head down). Place a blanket or 2 over your heels for additional support. Press the weight back on to the heels and relax your arms. Stay for 5 minutes and repeat a second time.

Top 5 yoga poses for back p

Adhomukha Virasana/Resting Hero

Marjari/Cat Pose

This simple spinal flexion and extension will help bring some movement into the spine as well as release lower back discomfort and pain. Especially the tailbone dropping and rounding the upper back. 2 repetitions of 10 rounds will be very helpful. Followed by resting hero pose (mentioned above). Details of how to do cat pose can be found here.

Top 5 yoga poses for back pain relief

Marjari/Cat Pose

Marjari/Cat pose

Top 5 yoga poses for back pain relief

Bhujangasana/ Cobra Pose

Bhujangasana will help build strength in the back muscles. To begin, lie on your abdomen, draw the tailbone to the heels. Slightly pull up the navel. Press the tops of your feet down and slowly lift your upper chest off the floor. Don’t think of going high up like an upward facing dog. Resist the temptation to lift up with the use of your arms. Cobra pose will stay closer to the mat. Lift as high as you can but do not get the hip points off the mat.

Read the difference between an upward facing dog and cobra pose here.

Top 5 yoga poses for back pain relief

Bhujangasana/Cobra Pose

Shalabhasana/Locust Pose

This is very similar to the cobra pose mentioned above. The only difference being, you are now lifting your feet and legs up off the mat as well. balancing on the lower abdomen and pelvis. Try to reach the legs further back and extend the spine to the front of the mat. You want to feel a lengthening in both directions. Keep the tail drawn to the heels and navel slightly drawn up. Chin is tucked. Maintain length at the back of the neck. Shoulders roll back and arms reach to the feet.


Top 5 yoga poses for back pain relief

Shalabhasana/locust pose


Best practice…

The long-term solution would be to start a well-balanced, consistent yoga practice. Use yoga as a preventive instead of a cure. By developing an on-going, regular practice you will find yourself getting stronger, more mindful and steady. And all these tiny aches and pains will disappear. There are more than these 5 yoga poses to help your back. But these should work in providing some lower back pain relief. Let me know if you try one or all of these in the comments below.



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