5 Best Yoga Poses to Ease Lower Back Pain

Yoga can ease lower back pain. (Photo via Pexels/Cliff  Booth)
Yoga can ease lower back pain. (Photo via Pexels/Cliff Booth)

Have you considered yoga for lower back pain? If the answer is no, it might be the right time to switch to yoga and avail all its benefits.

Practicing yoga regularly can help you get the relief you seek from back pain. Focusing on asanas that stretch and strengthen the back can work wonders on several muscles, improving alignment issues or imbalance that could be the root cause of your lower back pain.

Yoga poses can help ease tight muscles, strengthen the weak ones, and reduce back pain. However, it's important to be gentle with the body, and adapt your session to how your body feels at every moment to ensure you don’t exacerbate the pain.


Yoga Poses to Reduce Lower Back Pain

To help you get started, here are five of the best yoga exercises that can help ease lower back pain:

1) Sphinx Pose

The sphinx pose is an effective asana for strengthening the spine and sacral lumbar arch. It encourages the natural curve of the lower back and promotes good posture.

Here's how to do the sphinx pose:

  • Start by lying down on your stomach, with your feet extended behind you at hip distance and elbows underneath your shoulders on the floor, with your palms facing down. Engage your buttocks, thighs, and lower back muscles.
  • Slowly lift your upper body and head, and gently engage your lower abs to support your entire back. Make sure the lift is through your spine and the crown of your head. Keep your gaze straight, and relax.
  • Hold the posture for up to a minute, and come out by slowly lowering your upper body to the floor.
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2) Cat and Cow Pose

This yoga pose offers a gentle and smooth stretch to the spine and also helps stretch out the shoulders, neck, and upper body while enhancing flexibility.

Here's how to do the cat and cow pose:

  • Start in a tabletop position with your hands below your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • As you inhale, allow your stomach to drop, and lift your sit bones while moving your chest forward, and shoulders and head back.
  • As you exhale, arch your back, and bring your stomach towards your spine and pelvis towards your ribs. Slowly tilt your head down towards the floor.
  • Continue shifting between these two postures ten times.
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3) Standing Forward Bend Pose

The standing forward bend pose stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves, and strengthens the quads while also easing lower back pain and relieving stress.

Here's how to do the standing forward bend pose:

  • Stand straight with your feet together and both hands on your hips. Slowly exhale, and bend at your hips to lengthen your front torso. Make sure you do not bend at your waist.
  • With your knees straight, position your fingers or palms to the floor in front of you or beside your feet. If you can’t do that, simply move your palms to the back of your ankles, or cross both forearms, and hold your elbows tightly.
  • Gently press your heels into the floor, and raise your sitting bones up. With each inhale, raise your body slightly, and with each exhale, go deep into the asana.
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4) Supine Spinal Twist

This yoga pose stretches the back and glutes and also relaxes and lengthens the spine. It offers quick relief for a sore or tight lower back.

Here's how to do the supine spinal twist:

  • Lie down comfortably on your back. Move your arms to your sides at your shoulder level to make a 'T' shape.
  • Bend your knees, and lift both feet off the floor to bring your knees over your hips and create a 90-degree angle with your legs.
  • As you exhale, allow your knees to go towards your right without moving your shoulders. As you twist, your left hip should lift for support.
  • Hold the twist on your right for a few seconds, and bring your legs back to the starting position to switch sides.
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5) Extended Triangle Pose

The extended triangle pose offers a gentle stretch to all the good spots, including the hips, groin, and spine. It also strengthens the chest, shoulders, and legs and eases pain in the neck and lower back.

Here's how to do the extended triangle pose:

  • Stand straight with your feet at least five feet apart from each other. Turn your left foot forward, and keep your right toes at about 45 degrees.
  • Raise your arms with your palms down and parallel to the floor, hinge at your left hip, and reach forward with your upper body and arms.
  • Move your hand down towards the floor, and extend your right arm towards the ceiling. Keep your hips and shoulders stacked and stable so that your spine is steady and aligned. Make sure to keep your gaze towards your right hand, down, or forward.
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Takeaway

It's important to note that the lower back supports the entire upper body, so taking good care of it is important for your overall health and well-being. While the aforementioned yoga poses can provide great pain relief, it's always best to consult a physical therapist if the pain is severe and persistent.

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Edited by Bhargav