Yoga’s emphasis on breathing and stretching makes it one of the best exercises for avoiding lower back pain. Here are the five best yoga poses for lower back pain.
1. Downward Facing Dog
Considered the quintessential yoga pose, Downward Facing Dog provides a total body stretch and specifically targets the back extensors.
- When doing the pose, concentrate on straightening your back as much as possible while lifting your hips and pushing the heel of your feet towards the ground. Because it’s important to have a straight back, try bending your knees if needed.
2. Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose may look easy, but if done correctly it can feel like one of the most intense yoga poses.
- Because it helps elongate the back, it provides a fully-body stretch that can provide much needed relief.
- To perform the pose, start on all fours and lower down until you’re kneeling on your heels.
- Next, lean forward and stretch your arms out in front of you and hold your position.
3. Pigeon Pose
While pigeon pose will be slightly challenging for a yoga newbie, it’s one of the best stretches for the hip rotators and flexors.
- Because it’s important to have the right form, always start this pose in Downward Facing Dog before bending one knee and drawing it under your body and towards your hip.
- Lower both legs to the ground and keep one leg bent towards the body. Try to make the folded knee as straight as possible.
- Hold for at least five breaths and repeat on the other leg. If your hips are not able to rest on the floor, use a yoga block placed underneath the hip to make the pose easier.
4. Triangle Pose
One of the best poses for strengthening the back and the legs, Triangle requires that you lengthen the muscles on the side of the body while stretching the iliotibial (IT) band.
- Start in a lunge position with your right foot three to four feet in front of the left.
- Straighten the front leg and turn your chest to the side while stretching your left hand toward the ceiling.
- With the hand closest to the floor either grab hold of the ankle or use a block for support.
5. Cat and Cow Pose
Ideal for lower back pain, this pose stretches and loosens back muscles and is the perfect exercise for the start of any yoga practice.
- Start in a table position (on all fours) and enter cat pose by arching the spine upwards.
- Next, without moving the hips or arms, push the spine downwards, lift the head and hold.