Best Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain and Stiffness

Having lower back pain and stiffness in your back is never fun. However, instead of just hoping it will go away on its own or taking medication, you can opt to try out some yoga poses to help.

The best yoga for lower back pain and stiffness are gentle poses such as the Sphinx pose and Cat-Cow pose. They are very effective and help stretch your lower back and lengthen your spine. Some poses may even stretch your thighs and build your core. It provides extra support which can help with the pain.

If you experience stiffness in your lower back or have pain, keep reading this article. You will find out some ways that yoga can help and 8 of the best poses to help relieve it.

The Benefits of Yoga

The practice of yoga consists of moving through and holding different postures. This can be in a specific or sometimes random sequence. It’s typically completed in a quiet and calm atmosphere. If you do it regularly, there are plenty of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that you will enjoy as a result.

The many benefits of yoga include:

  • Increased relaxation
  • Decrease in chronic pain; in the lower back from arthritis, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Release of built-up tension or stiffness in the body
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased strength
  • Toned muscles
  • Increased and balanced metabolism
  • Weight reduction
  • Improved respiration
  • Improved energy and vitality
  • Prevent Injuries

Yoga for Back Pain and Stiffness

If you want to use yoga to help relieve lower back pain and stiffness in your lower back, there are many different poses that you can do to do so. You can choose to do all of them in a repetitive sequence or only to do a handful every day.

If you wish to feel improvement in your lower back pain and stiffness through yoga, it is essential you do it on a daily or every other day basis. Before you begin, however, keep these things in mind, so you don’t end up causing any further pain or hurting yourself:

Be aware of pain. If at any time something hurts, is uncomfortable, or begins to cause sharp shooting pains, either ease up on the position or opt not to do it altogether.

8 Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Back Pain and Stiffness

When performing the following poses be slow and careful with your movements. Move into and out of every pose slowly and gently as you don’t want any fast movements to cause a pulled muscle or end up furthering your lower back pain. 

  • Stop when you feel sharp pains. If at any time something really hurts, is uncomfortable, or begins to cause sharp shooting pains, either ease up on the position or opt not to do it altogether. 
  • Be slow and careful with your movements. Move into and out of every pose slowly and gently as you don’t want any fast movements to cause a pulled muscle or end up furthering your lower back pain. 

Downward-Facing Dog

This pose is very popular, and in fact, not as simple as it looks. When first starting, remember it is more important to keep your back long and straight than to keep your legs straight. If you feel your back rounding, bend your knees if you need to during this pose. To do this pose:

  1. Begin in a tabletop position on the ground, with your hands lined up under your shoulders and knees lined up under your hips.
  2. Place your toes into the ground; keep your fingers spread wide apart while you lift your tailbone up and back toward the sky.
  3. Keep your head lowered between your arms, and set your gaze behind you. Hold for 3 -5 breaths.

Cat-Cow Pose

This stretch feels amazing and gives your back the stretch it needs, especially if you have been sitting at a desk all day. If you only do one pose out of this entire list, make it this one. To do this pose:

  1. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  2. Inhale slowly, then as you exhale, drop your belly button, curving your spine, lifting your chest, and sitting bones to the sky. This is the cow pose.
  3. On your inhale, bring your belly up, pushing your spine to the sky, rounding your spine toward the ceiling, bringing your chin to your chest. Repeat 5 -7 times.

Child’s Pose

This is a relatively easy pose but provides a great stretch. It makes a great pose to do between poses as a way to give yourself a bit of a break. To do this pose:

  1. Sit on your knees on your mat, hip-width apart, with your feet touching behind you.
  2. When you exhale, lean your torso all the way down onto the mat with your arms stretched out on the floor in front of you.
  3. Keep your forehead on the ground, and close your eyes. Keeping your neck and spine long. Hold for 3 -5 breaths.

Standing Forward Bend

This pose helps both your back and your legs. Stretching the back of your legs, as a result, lengthening your spine and helping alleviate any lower back pain. To do this pose:

  1. Begin this pose in a downward-facing dog.
  2. Then, step your feet to the top of your mat to meet your hands. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Let your torso hang as you are folded, keeping your legs as straight as possible.
  4. Keep your chin tucked in, and relax your shoulders. Hold for 3 -5 breaths.

Sphinx Pose 

​This pose helps to both stretch your back and strengthen your core. In turn, giving your lower back more support. To do this pose:

  1. Lay on your stomach, keeping your legs straight and on the ground behind you.
  2. Lift yourself onto your forearms by tucking your elbows in under your shoulders and raising your chest.
  3. Keep your hips and thighs pressed into the floor while you keep your spine long and shoulders relaxed.
  4. Be careful not to overextend your back. Hold for 3 -5 breaths.

Happy Baby Pose

​While this pose may have a silly name, it’s great to give your spine a light massage and open up your hips to support your lower back better. To do this pose:

  1. Begin on your back, with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  2. Keeping your feet flexed, bring your knees toward your chest and to the side of you.
  3. Wrap your arms inside and around your legs, grabbing the flat of your foot or your heels with your hands.
  4. Pull your knees down beside your rib cage while ensuring you have no tension coming from your lower back or tailbone. Also, keep your hips relaxed. Hold for 3 -5 breaths.

Reclined Pigeon Pose

​Another pose that does wonders for stretching your inner back also helps stretch your hips, butt, and inner thighs. To do this pose:

  1. Begin by laying on your back and bring your knees up to your chest.
  2. Then, cross your left foot over your right thigh, resting it by your knee.
  3. Grab the back of your right thigh with both hands, and pull it in towards you.
  4. When you feel a stretch, hold the pose where you are. Hold for 3 -5 breaths then switch sides.

Reclined Pigeon Pose

This pose feels like a nice back massage, well, kind of! It provides your back with some well-needed attention, rolling out any muscle soreness you may have. To do this pose:

  1. Lay flat on your back with your gaze on the ceiling.
  2. Bring your knees up to your chests, and hug them gently with both of your arms.
  3. Begin to rock yourself side to side slowly while not going too far, so you avoid tipping over. Rock for 3 -5 breaths.

Final Thoughts

If you experience lower back pain or stiffness, then doing yoga can help relieve you from that pain. It is very effective at stretching out your back and the areas that support it. To experience relief from the pain or stiffness do the poses mentioned consistently. Poses like cat-cow and happy baby are easy to do and can be performed anywhere.

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