Yoga for Lower Back Pain : (Beginner Level Stretches)

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Every Lower Back Pain patient coming for Yoga Therapy generally asks me one question – Can Yoga Poses really help me with Back Pain?

But before discussing the cure and its effect, first, let’s discuss lower back pain and its causes in brief.

Do you wonder why lower back pain is such a common problem?

When we understand the anatomy, we come to understand that the bottom part of our back has five vertebrae which are fewer than our neck and mid-back. And these 5 vertebrae have to do a lot of heavy lifting and also have to support our posture! Our lower back, where our spine connects to the pelvis, bears the weight of our upper body. It is responsible for everyday simple as well as complex movements, like bending and twisting. It also coordinates the muscles in your hips, pelvis legs, and feet. This area is full of physical activity and stress, which can lead to wear-and-tear injuries.

Often one knows exactly why their back hurts. Maybe they have moved awkwardly or lifted something awkwardly and felt the pain right away. Or maybe their bad posture, the habit of smoking, obesity, or their sedentary lifestyle had led them to lower back pain. Sometimes, the source of back pain can be difficult to identify.

Typically, a person experiences some symptoms viz. ache, muscle tightness, tingling pain while bending, sitting, or keeping in a standing position for a while, etc., which can develop suddenly or over time. Generally, this lower back pain gets progressively worse over time. When our muscles are weak, the simplest actions can cause lower back pain: picking up our child, carrying something heavy, or twisting the wrong way in the car.

Lower back pain that does not respond to rest and self-care should be treated immediately, In such scenarios, it’s time to find a specialist or a  therapist who can diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain and start treatment. Targeting to eliminate the pain.

Now we come to our next question which is:

Can Yoga Help in our suffering from Lower Back Pain?

Yes, many studies and surveys have very well proven that regular practice of Yoga helps strengthen and stretch back muscles that might be tight. It improves mobility. This makes Yoga a gentle form of exercise that can help people, especially those with physical limitations such as back pain, maintain their strength and flexibility.

It’s one of the most effective tools for reducing low back pain.

Yoga postures emphasize stretching and strengthening our muscles. This in turn helps reduce muscular tension, build flexibility and strength, and improve balance and bone strength.

If this is so, if Yoga really helps in our lower back pains, then which poses as a beginner we should be practicing?

I will discuss 4 basic beginner-level stretches here:

Cat/cow pose

Cat and cow are 2 different yoga poses that are very effective for relieving back pain, but they are typically practiced together, Let’s discuss the technique:

Move into cat Pose:

1. Start on your hands and knees. Align your arms and legs so that they’re directly under your shoulders and hips.

2. Look at the floor, keeping your head straight in line with your torso and spine.

3. Round your back, lifting your spine toward the ceiling.

4. Your eyes will face your belly.

 yoga directory

After a breath, move into the cow pose, now Inhale

1. Slowly lift your chest and tailbone toward the ceiling, letting your stomach sink toward the ground.

2. our eyes will look up toward the ceiling.

3. After another breath, gently return to the cat pose.

4. Repeat these motions a few times or until you feel adequately stretched.

cow pose yoga directory

Together, these poses form a gentle yet effective stretch for your lower back.

Sphinx pose

The sphinx pose can also be called as supported cobra pose. This yoga pose is very good for getting relief from back pain. The beginners level practitioners who are not able to hold the cobra pose with their palms are recommended Sphinx pose with forearm support. This pose puts your lower back muscles in a more relaxed position and is sometimes recommended for people who have sciatica pain from a herniated disc. You need to lie on the ground, so use a yoga mat or thick towel.

sphinx pose yoga directory

1. Lie flat on your stomach with your legs straight. Keep your forearms on the ground next to you, tucked in close to your sides.

2. On an inhale, tighten your legs and push into a bridge pose by raising your chest off the ground. Keep your forearms and palms on the ground for support.

3. Your hips, legs, and feet should maintain contact with the ground, and your elbows should be aligned directly under your shoulders.

4. Hold this pose for few seconds, then gently lower your upper body back to the ground.

Bridge Pose 

The bridge yoga pose is a backbend and inversion that can be stimulating or restorative for back pain. It stretches the spine and relieves backaches and headaches. Holding in Bridge pose and then breathing is preferred for practitioners suffering from lower back pain.

bridge pose

To do this:

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels drawn into your sitting bones.

2. Rest your arms alongside your body.

3. Press your feet and arms into the floor as you lift your tailbone up.

4. Continue lifting until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

5. Leave your arms as they are and bring your palms together with interlaced fingers under your hips. You could also place your hands under your hips for support.

6. Hold this pose for up to 60 seconds.

7. Release by slowly rolling your spine back down to the floor, vertebra by vertebra.

8. Drop your knees in together.

9. Relax and breathe deeply in this position.

Folded Legs Spinal Twist

This restorative twist promotes movement and mobility in the spine and back. It stretches your spine, back, and shoulders. Practicing this pose can help relieve pain and stiffness in your back and hips. To do this:

1. Lie on your back with your knees drawn into your chest and your arms extended to the side.

2. Slowly lower your legs to the left side while keeping your knees as close together as possible.

3. You may place a pillow under both knees or in between your knees.

4. You can use your left hand to gently press down on your knees.

5. Keep your neck straight, or turn it to either side.

6. Focus on breathing deeply in this position.

7. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds.

8. Repeat on the opposite side.

spinal twist

Tips to protect your back on the mat

1. Avoid twisting and extending at the same time. This can compress intervertebral joints.

2. Rely on props like blocks and bolsters for additional support when you need them.

3. If you can’t reach your toes, hold a yoga belt in your hands and loop it around your feet.

4. Do forward bends while sitting rather than standing, and brace your belly as you return upright.

5. Always ask for help modifying a pose, and stop any move that is uncomfortable.





Hopefully, this blog was helpful in showing you some beginner-level yoga stretches that can help with lower back pain. It is important to remember to not push your body beyond its limits and to listen to what it is telling you. If any of the poses we went over today caused irritation or discomfort, make sure to stop immediately and consult a doctor if the pain persists. As always, happy stretching!

Other Articles you might like

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

10 Yoga Poses to Strengthen and Support Your Knees


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Disclaimer: The information and advice contained in our articles are intended for general informational purposes only. The content on our site does not provide any medical advice and only reflects the opinion of writers. You should always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health or well-being.

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Garima Goyal
Author: Garima Goyal

Garima is a highly qualified and experienced yoga instructor, having earned her E-RYT 500 certification from Traditional Yoga in Hyderabad, India. With a strong belief in the power of yoga to nourish and balance the body, mind, and soul, Garima’s classes are known for being both powerful and heartfelt. Based in Ahmedabad, India, Garima encourages her followers to join her on the mat and experience the transformative power of yoga for themselves. When she’s not teaching yoga, Garima enjoys reading, watching Netflix, and creating online yoga content to inspire and uplift others. Garima’s favorite place is anywhere where people come together to sweat, breathe, and push themselves beyond their limitations through the practice of yoga. You can watch more videos on her channel:

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