5 Gentle Yoga Poses to Try For Chronic Pain

Yoga poses help ease chronic pain. (Photo via Pexels/Elina Fairytale)
Yoga poses help ease chronic pain. (Photo via Pexels/Elina Fairytale)

Yoga isn’t just about meditating and relaxing the body but is also a one-stop solution for strengthening the muscles, promoting joint health, and easing chronic pain.

Certain yoga poses prevent and reduce chronic pain by alleviating inflammation, boosting flexibility, and stretching the muscles. Regular yoga practice can help cope up with pain mentally by calming the mind and relaxing the nervous system. Studies suggest that yoga helps counteract chronic pain by promoting pain management, increasing physical activity, and strengthening the mind and body.

While yoga may be the last thing you want to do when suffering from chronic pain, poses combined with deep and long breathing can be the safest way to ease your condition. However, before starting these poses, check with a doctor to ensure that you're healthy enough to perform all types of yoga asanas.

Gentle yoga poses for chronic pain

Here’s a list of five beneficial yoga poses you must try for chronic pain:

1) Downward facing dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This pose targets the shoulders and back and helps reduce lower back and sciatica pain.

To do this pose:

  • Take a position on all fours with your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders.
  • Press into your palms; tuck your toes in, and slowly lift your knees and hips while bringing your sitting bones up towards the ceiling.
  • Lengthen your tailbone, and slightly bend your knees.
  • Press firmly into your palms, and equally distribute your weight on both hands and feet. Keep your head stable and hold the posture.

2) Cat cow pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)

This yoga pose gently stretches the spine, shoulders, torso, and neck, and helps boost muscle flexibility.

To do this pose:

  • Get into a tabletop position, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and knees below your hips.
  • Allow your stomach to drop, and lift your sitting bones towards the ceiling while moving your chest forward and shoulders back.
  • Round your back, and bring your navel in towards your spine. Tilt your head down, and hold your posture.

3) Pigeon pose (Kapotasana)

If you have a sedentary job, doing the pigeon pose regularly can help loosen tight hip muscles and ease hip pain.

To do this pose:

  • Start in a downward-facing dog pose, and bring your left knee towards the front.
  • Move your right leg back as far as you can, and ensure that your left ankle is positioned in your right groin.
  • Stretch your hips while keeping your upper body straight, or fold your torso down, bringing your head on your hands.
  • Hold the position, and breathe deeply.

4) Half lord of the fishes pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

This twisting pose eases back pain and also offers a good stretch to the shoulders, neck, and hips.

To do this pose:

  • Begin seated straight with your left foot in towards your body and right foot around the outside of your left leg.
  • Lengthen your spine, and slowly twist your torso to the right. If that feels difficult, position your right hand on the floor behind you, and support your body as you twist.
  • Move your left arm across your right thigh, and keep your hips stable on the floor. Once you twist, hold the position, and twist back to return to the center.
  • Switch legs, and twist on the other side.

5) Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)

The cobra pose is another very gentle yoga pose that soothes upper back pain and stretches the shoulders, abs, and chest. It's also a great stress reliever.

To do this pose:

  • Lie straight on your belly, and place your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Move your arms to your chest, but do not allow your elbows to bend.
  • Press firmly into your hands, and lift your upper body off the floor while opening and stretching the shoulders and chest.
  • Remember to keep your pelvis down to strengthen and protect your lower back from strain.
  • Lift your upper body as high as you can, and feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders.
  • Breathe deeply, and release your body back to the starting position.


Perform the aforementioned yoga asanas to the best of your ability, but do not overstretch your muscles, especially if you have pain. Listen to your body, and stop if any pose hurts or feels uncomfortable. Practice these poses every day for a few minutes to give your muscles the stretch and relief they need.

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Edited by Bhargav
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