5 Easy Yoga Exercises to Eliminate Back Pain
Living with back pain can drive us to crazy solutions. It can lead us to pain meds, expensive treatments, and even surgeries. While occasionally those may be necessary, it’s always a better idea to treat these problems naturally when we can — be it a massage, a better mattress to sleep on, or a regular yoga routine.
While some some cases of acute back pain can be caused by a serious medical condition or injury (in this case definitely go see a doctor), a lot of day to day soreness can be chocked up to “getting older”. If you fall into the latter camp, we’ve combed the net for the best yoga exercises for back pain, so you can be “back” to your best every single day. Not only can yoga help improve everyday posture, it’s also a great way to place your mind and body together, which can give you peace of mind and sense of calmness when you’re otherwise ailing. These poses often have specific benefits that we’ve listed below. So grab your mat, get centered, and let’s do this. Yoga time!
Downward Dog for Elongating the Spine
This is the most popular yoga exercise to deal with back pain, and not just because it conjures up images of our canine bffs. Downward dog helps elongate the spine, strengthens your core, and stretches out hamstrings (which can often be tight and put pressure on your lower back).
Start this pose on your hands and knees, tuck in your toes, lift up your hips, and bring your heels toward the ground. Hold this position for five breaths. Rest. Repeat.
Low Lunge With Backbend to Strengthen Back Muscles
This is a popular pose with instructors because it deals with the entire back. Done correctly, this should elongate and strengthen your back muscles, which not only will prevent soreness, but could prevent future injury.
Start in a low lunge position, lower your back knee to the ground. Bring your arms up straight alongside your head and lean back. Hold this pose for three breaths. Rest. Repeat.
Seated Forward Fold to Stretch Hamstrings
This pose may take you back to your old-school gym class days, but it’s also a great yoga exercise to deal with back pain. Remember when you did testing for flexibility? You’ll be channeling that energy in this yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings and strengthens back muscles.
This exercise starts in a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Walk your hands down your legs until you hit your toes, or just as far as you can comfortable go. This is about your comfort and building flexibility. If at any point it feels like too much, take it back a notch and go where it feels like just enough of a stretch. Hold this pose for three breaths.
Seated Spinal Twist for Improved Posture
Another favorite warmup of athletes, this yoga pose helps focus on improving posture and also spinal flexibility. Many yoga exercises that deal with back pain are about preventative measures, so that you’ll have the core strength to lessen stress on the back. This is one of those poses.
Start in a seated position, then bring your left foot outside your right knee. Extend your right arm, hook your right elbow outside your left knee and turn to look over your left shoulder. You should feel the stretch in your spine. Hold this pose for three breaths and then repeat on the other side for an even stretch.
Standing Forward Fold With Clasped Hands for Increased Shoulder Mobility
This is a great pose for opening yourself up, increasing your shoulder mobility, and activating your chest muscles. It’s a slight variation on an old classic, and works great as a warmup or a cool down after a good yoga session. This is a great yoga exercise to deal with back pain, as it activates muscles not normally stretched, while also helping with shoulder pain.
Start in an upright standing position, position your hips forward in a hinge, then slowly bring your fingertips toward the ground. Then, clasp your hands behind your back and bring your palms to together. Don’t be troubled if you’re bending your elbows — it still makes for a great chest and shoulder opener. Hold this position for three breaths.
And if you’re still looking for more ways to help you sleep — even with back pain, check out our article on why listening to music makes sleeping easier. Pair your favorite tunes with a yoga routine that works for you and feel the difference!
Disclaimer: Nectar Sleep does not provide medical advice or consultations. Individuals should contact proper health care providers if experiencing conditions or pain.