If you’ve got an aching back, the 4 best yoga poses for back pain can help you feel better without using problematic pain medication. When some of you hear the term ‘yoga,’ you probably think of people standing on their heads bent into shapes a pretzel couldn’t manage. Don’t worry, these are super-gentle poses where gravity goes 99.9% of the work. You don’t even have to stand up. No special equipment is required, though it’s great if you happen to have a yoga mat or other mat to cushion the floor. If not, a blanket will do just fine.
It’s better not to do these poses on your bed. It won’t provide as much support as the floor. However, if getting down on the floor is not an option, your bed is a great place to start. This series of poses will take anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on how long you feel like staying in each pose. For a super-relaxing restorative stretch, give each position 5 minutes of your time. If you want a quick stretch, spend a minute in each pose or just do your favorite for however long feels good to you.
There’s a saying in Yoga, “Your body. Your practice.” If you have a history of back problems, you might want to check in with your doctor for the okay to start even a mild exercise program. Ready to get started? Cool! Let’s check out the 4 best yoga poses for back pain.
Unhunch With This Nifty Trick
The first pose is my absolute favorite. If you spend your days hunched over a keyboard, you’ll want to do this at the end of every single workday. It’s fantastic for students, too. Start by rolling a towel or a blanket up and placing it on the floor. Lie down so that roll hits just below your shoulder blades. For women, this is right about the bra line. That’s it. You just lie there. The rolled-up towel provides a gentle backbend.
Start with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Straighten your legs for more of a stretch. Move your arms out to your side to form a ‘T’ for even more stretch. Stretch your arms out long above your head for the maximum stretch. Play around with arm and leg position, the stretch will feel very different in each position.
All you have to do is lie on the floor. At first, it may seem like nothing happening but you’ll begin to feel your neck and back unhunch with every passing second. You might even hear some surprising crackling sounds. This pose is fantastic for counteracting the forward head posture that comes with looking at screens and phones all day. Spend anywhere between one and five minutes in this pose and you’ll feel like a new person. That’s one down in the 4 best yoga poses for back pain. Our next pose is just as easy.
When you call something a yoga twist, images of bendy Instagram models might pop into your head. This is nothing like that. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor just like this.
Hold your arms out into the ‘T’ shape. Holding your legs together, drop them either to the right or left. Make sure to keep them stacked on top of each other. Do your best to keep your shoulders pressed firmly into the floor. At first, you probably won’t feel anything. Then you’ll feel the mild stretch. Just let gravity do the work. After a minute or five, go back to your starting position and give your back a moment to readjust. Then drop your legs to the other side. I told you the 4 best yoga poses for back pain were simple.
Back In Line
This pose is called Sphinx because you sort of resemble the famous Egyptian landmark. You probably used to watch TV like this when you were a kid. It’s another great way to correct questionable posture during the work and school day. Start by rolling over onto your stomach. If lying on your stomach makes you uncomfortable, add pillows or a folded blanket under your chest.
Put the tops of your feet flat on the floor and lift the upper half of your body up. Rest on your elbows. If this is uncomfortable, put a pillow or folded blanket in front of your chest to help support you or lower your front half down closer to the floor.
This is another pose where your back might start to sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies and you settle into place. So far, 3 out of the 4 best yoga poses for back pain have been super-easy, right? Well, the 4th one is so simple a child can do it. In fact, it’s called Child’s Pose.
We’ll wrap it up with Child’s Pose. This pose is a great way to lengthen your spine. Start by kneeling, feet together and knees apart. Then reach forward as far as you can without pain. Try to put your forehead down on the floor if you can. Don’t worry if you can’t. You can place it on pillows, a yoga block, or a stack of books.
Try to plant your butt back on your feet. Don’t worry if it won’t reach. You can also stick a pillow between your behind and your feet to add a little support. Just settle into the pose and allow your spine to lengthen. As you get comfortable, you can walk your hands forward just a bit to lengthen the stretch. Don’t do it if you feel any sharp pain. You can also do this pose by straddling a yoga bolster, body pillows, or a couple of couch cushions for support. Hold between one and five minutes.
The 4 best yoga poses for back pain won’t fix your aches and pains overnight. You’ll want to try these stretches daily or at least three times a week for a few weeks.